Projects > Pause, 2006-08

Project Description:

In 2006 I moved from Columbus, Ohio to Portland, Maine. In an odd coincidence, the house I found to rent in Maine was identical to the one I had rented in Ohio. This made it very easy to decorate. However, it was an odd experience for the first few weeks to wake up in a house that felt like Ohio and then open the door to find Maine. I began to imagine that it was not just me that moved; but actually, that it was the entire house. This reminded me of Dorothy's famous tornado trip in "The Wizard of Oz." We both left the Midwest, her Technicolor Oz was my Maine.

I carefully watched the tornado sequence from "The Wizard of Oz" and used it to reconstruct Dorothy's house as a scale model. I built an inflatable tornado chamber to house the model. Dorothy's house hangs from an umbilical-like cord inside of the chamber. Fans are used to create cyclonic and laminar airflow that causes the house to continually spin and swing. The weight and momentum of the house moving causes the entire chamber to sway, just slightly.

The project's title refers to the pause button on my remote control. I used this button to obtain accurate measurements of Dorothy's home; it allowed me to temporarily stop the tornado.

This project was made possible by the generous support of the Greater Columbus Arts Council, Ohio.

mixed media
84" x 84" x 72"
Pause, schematic
graphite on paper
18" x 24"
dorothy source images
homes in ohio & maine