Public Noise

Geoff McFetridge at the Olympic Sculpture Park.

Better known for his design work for Nike, Burton Snowboards, and Marc Jacobs, the L.A.–based artist Geoff McFetridge has taken over the PACCAR Pavilion with a graphically strong installation. The Mind encompasses the entire sloped-ceiling space, with a crowd of line-drawn faces papering the west wall. On the east side is a colorful collection of poster-like works: an oversized, blue, contorted trumpet-looking sculpture especially appealing to kids; giant thumbtacks (a nod to Claes Oldenburg's Typewriter Eraser outside); and an enclosed room. Amid the crowds at the Olympic Sculpture Park, this tiny room offers a bit of respite. On the inside wall is a large painted work that reads, "The Saddest Circle is a Square." Two figures are shown: a baby-blue circle with legs and the shadow of a black square figure. There's a bench to sit on, with three fat books, Vol 1, 2, and 3. Punning on "volumes," these false texts contain three soundtracks to the space: Don a headphone set and you'll hear live sounds incorporated with meditative piano phrases. Vol 1 eavesdrops on the cafe across the way; baristas grind coffee beans, with the repeated staccato of a lever pushed to release the grounds. Vol 2 is a bit more abstract and harder to identify. A percussive noise repeats, sounding at first like footsteps along a smooth walkway, and later like the slap of a bounced basketball. Vol 3 contains the white noise of what could be traffic on Western Avenue. In all three tracks, the piano swells and recedes, the outside noises taking over for awhile, then subsiding. This intimate sound room has a door, so you can close yourself inside the meditative space. Until the kids want in. 

 
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