Vi-Regalia in New York City

Combining graffiti, fashion, technology and performance, Vi-Regalia was created as part of Di’s residency at Eyebeam Centre for art and technology in New York City

 

An exploration of the body through architectural space; Vi-Regalia discovers the hidden narratives that lurk within the everyday. This series of fragmented 2-dimensional structures are left in public spaces, for serendipitous encounters, enticing the inquisitive to touch and play. Transformable, they merge with the urban landscape, growing up the wall or spilling onto the pavement, scaring the land like acid coloured lichen.

One of these street interventions was documented by Di and Leanna Palmer using stop-motion techniques illustrating the interactive qualities of this viral sculpture. This event culminated in a magical, shape-shifting street ballet.

Vi-Regalia are a strain of urban virus, peculiar to the City of New York. Colloquially referred to as the vertical virus, these eccentric organisms are most at home glistening on the walls of abattoirs in the meatpacking district. Their iridescent scales have evolved over the past 50 years, with an aim to lure unsuspecting urbanites. This commuter-courtship is brief, with the sole purpose of establishing temporary human residence as they hitch between the meatpacking district and 23rd street. Once engaged, Vi-Regalia romp and cavort on the backs of their host, throwing them into a playful, yet obligatory ‘ballet of the sidewalk’. During rush hour, Vi-Regalia hitch from secretary to truck, truck to bank-worker, and bank-worker to pensioner – disengaging and engaging in a silent and graceful pirouette. NB. Vi-Regalia will never approach children, and are rarely seen to associate with artists or musicians.

Process

Clusters of converging tessellations were designed to intersect the human form and create abstract body maps. The flattened geometric patterns were digitized and cut with a laser-cutter. Di experimented with a series of architectural materials including plexi-glass, wood, peg-board and rubber…and a family of Vi-Regalia were born. The forms contain strong magnets which were connected to metallic warehouse walls, giving them camouflage properties. The Vi-Regalia were placed in public space allowing dancers to interact, creating adventures in their own portable space.

Team

  • Di Mainstone
  • Creative Assistants: Jason Lim, Rachel Lamb, Patricia Yagüe and Jen Park
  • Interns: Bryan Nussbaum and Kindall Almond
  • Photography: Leanna Palmer, Di Mainstone and Sarah Hart
  • Film Editor: Judy Jacob
  • Models: Jennifer Essex and Clara Jo

Sponsors

Eyebeam