Dervish (2004-2005) - Jennifer Steinkamp


Dimensions: size variable, horizontal: 8 - 12 feet high x 10.6 - 16 feet wide Equipment: Equipment: 5000+ lumen projectors, 1 PC computer. (Photo credit: Robert Wedemeyer, courtesy Lehmann Maupin)

Dervish consists of four high definition projections of individual trees with twirling branches. This was inspired by a ritual practiced by the priests, or dervishes, of the Mevlavi sect of Islam. In the midst of a trance, the dervishes whirl in a motion symbolizing the soul's release from earthly ties and communication with the divine. The movement of the branches contains elements of both control and lawlessness -- while the whirling motion of the trees is fanciful and seemingly enchanted, the movement is limited by the roots of the trees.