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Scott Snibbe: Falling Girl

June 1, 2008 - August 31, 2008

Scott Snibbe: Falling Girl, 2008 (detail); outdoor digital projection; 8 x 32 ft.; courtesy of the artist.

Scott Snibbe: Falling Girl, 2008 (detail); outdoor digital projection; 8 x 32 ft.; courtesy of the artist.

Scott Snibbe’s Falling Girl, an interactive media installation animating the Durant Avenue entrance of the museum, represents an exciting new direction for this Bay Area media artist. Snibbe’s previous works have taken the form of abstract and interactive projects such as Boundary Functions, which projected a line on a gallery floor that moved with, yet remained always between, viewers, exploring notions of separation and interdependence. Falling Girl embodies similar themes in a more complex and nuanced narrative presented in a figurative mode.

Falling Girl presents audiences with the story of a young girl falling from a skyscraper, so both the story and the presentation of the work itself take place on the side of a building. During her miraculously slow descent, the girl reacts to the people and events in each window. The daylight fades, night falls and passes, and at dawn when the falling girl finally lands on the sidewalk she is an aged woman who bears no resemblance to the young girl who started her fall a few minutes before. Other characters appear in the apartments that the falling girl passes—as silhouettes, reflections in windows and mirrors, shadows in darkening rooms, and fleeting images on television screens. They react to the falling girl with varying degrees of engagement or indifference as they go about their activities, each vignette a mini-drama within the story. Together these silent, dreamlike images tell a tale of mortality, empathy, pettiness, and whimsy.

Visitors to the museum are invited to interact with the falling girl as well. A camera captures the silhouettes of viewers and inserts them into the narrative in real time. As visitors appear in the windows and become part of the story, they are invited to reflect on their own everyday interactions, including those that appear episodic or transient but that may provide solace to a passing stranger.

Snibbe collaborated on Falling Girl with choreographer and director Annie Loui, who cast and directed the dance and movement performances.

Richard Rinehart
Digital Media Director and Adjunct Curator

Falling Girl
Directed by Scott Snibbe
Choreographed by Annie Loui

Noah Cunningham
Matt Haley
Ashley Rhodes
Darcy Prevost
Russel Morgan
Lonnie Alcaraz
Tamar Pacheco-Theard
Victor Vasquez
Tom Holloman
Andrew Delman
Stephanie Ghertner
Maribeth Rubin
Borden Liu
Scott Snibbe
Assistant Director, Cinematography, Animation
Storyboard Artist
Rigging (ZFX Flying Effects)
Production Assistance
Production Assistance
Video Logging
Project Management

Jennifer Restivo
Evans Jarnfeldt
Michael Doonan
Mitch Lewis
Nylda Mark
Karen Hendricks

Rachael Grate
falling girl
society man, office boss, husband at breakfast
party dancer, couple leaving, office worker
party man with rose, office worker
another falling girl, couple leaving, party dancer
society lady, falling girl 2, office worker, wife at breakfast
falling girl 3, office worker, party dancer

Produced with the generous support of UC Irvine, The Beall Center for Art and Technology, and the National Science Foundation.