Village Carousel was a site-specific installation at Vizcaya Museum and Gardens in Miami, Florida. The fully functional interactive carousel was installed in the Vizcaya Village as part of Art Basel Miami Beach Week in December 2017. The carousel was made by Carlos Gabaldon, James Martin, Nick Simko, and myself with the help of Assistant Professor Szu-Han Ho, in a collaboration with the University of New Mexico and the CAP Lab program at Vizcaya. The collaborative project was completed on site after several months of research and the acceptance of a proposal (responding to the theme "Overload") by the curatorial staff at Vizcaya. Here is the statement that was displayed with the piece:
Village Carousel is a functional, manually-powered carousel that echoes the cyclical dimensions as well as the sensory overload of the Vizcaya estate. Like the celebrated creators of Vizcaya, the artists behind this carousel have worked collaboratively to produce an immersive piece that embodies the spirit of material and experiential synthesis that occurs practically everywhere on the property. The carousel includes four hybridized creatures inspired by the mythological and historical figures associated with the estate and its context in South Florida, as well as a “ghost chair” that makes reference to the seasonal preparations that took place on the property. Village Carousel responds to its site at the Vizcaya Village, where the staff lived and performed daily operations in Deering’s lifetime. The performative role of the artists in the work provides an opportunity to shed light on the hidden labor that powered (and continues to power) the spectacle of Vizcaya.