traversal53, lili maya & james rouvelle
Installed in the western half of the former Donnell library (20 w. 53rd St, NYC, across from MoMA), and visible across the surfaces of the large windows fronting the space, traversal53 is a kinetic art installation composed of robotic instruments programmed to survey the space with custom optics.
Inspired by photographs of the preparation of the library’s materials for digitizing by archive.org, and the library’s current, ambiguous status, traversal53 is a process of scanning the transitional moment of the building itself, analogous to the scanning of the materials of the library prior to their relocation.
The output is designed to work with the reflections on the large windows of the building to create compositions from the interplay and slippage of the interior and exterior environments. traversal53 is a persistent, transflective event.
Visitors are invited to photograph the work and upload their images to flickr, with the tag traversal53. In doing so, visitors are completing the archival gesture by digitizing the space itself in its transitional moment, and then situating it, in that condition, in digital space.