in_paradiso

An expanded cinema installation by Vijay Rajkumar

Rubenstein Arts Center, Duke University - Durham, NC

April 26 - May 15, 2018

in_paradiso is a site-specific installation located in the dogwood gardens behind the Rubenstein Arts Center at Duke University. It sits at the end of a pathway which abruptly stops with no clear point of destination. The monolithic sculpture is composed of two-way mirrored walls and has a projector embedded inside.

During the day the sculpture disappears into its environment. The top panel grounds the colors and movement of the sky, forming a new horizon and framing it to a human scale. 

At sundown, the reflective walls turn transparent and the space contained inside the sculpture is illuminated by an artificial intelligence's vibrant, multi-colored impression of the physical space. The A.I, trained to recognize flowers, produces a looping video of the grass inside growing into the floral patterns it understands and then returning to grass. 

in_paradiso embodies the human bridge that connects the natural and designed, technological worlds. As viewing-angle, time of day, and weather conditions all significantly influence the way the sculpture and content are perceived, no two people can ever see the same thing. It is a work that confronts the ever-present rift between our personal subjective and objective realities. 

Two-way mirrors at work...

In the morning, after a night of thunderstorms, the sculpture takes the appearance of a stone-like slab. Due to condensation, rather than reflecting the sky, the top panel absorbs the richly textured shadows cast by surrounding trees.

In the studio...

A variety of design iterations and renderings...