Commission: Whitney Museum, New York / Whitney Biennial 2000 (unbuilt)
Type: Art Installation
Size: 8’ x 12’ x 210’
VISION-TUBE is a device for urban monitoring. It intrudes upon Rockefeller Center with antennas bearing surveillance cameras at various angles along the length of its body. At Fifth Avenue, a ramp beckons visitors into the space. The hovering tunnel contains a path pierced with vision and perception devices. Surveillance cameras on steel appendages survey life and zoom in on the surrounding streets, gardens, offices, stores, ice rink, while projectors reveal their views onto the curved walls of the tube. Visitors along this new urban path witness a sampler of everyday actions selected by the Tube’s many eyes. The projected scenes become the only reference as the Tube rises higher above the garden, culminating over the ice rink.
Vision-Tube is composed of six aluminum gasoline tanks joined into a continuous 210’ long space divided by the tanks’ baffle walls in which doorways have been cut out. The tanks’ bottoms have also been cut out, and visitors walk on a lower catwalk with their upper bodies inside the Tube. The tanks and catwalks are supported by a steel scaffold that rises above the Channel Garden. At its highest, the catwalk returns visitors to the plaza by a staircase along the top of the ice rink. The existing pools and planters disappear under a mound of sand/soil.