This is the understructure for my hill. The sphere cap is 36' in diameter and raises to 2' at the center. (If the rest of the sphere were to continue, it would be 1 mile in diameter).
The hill is covered in an artificial turf that is remarkably life like including browning under turf. It is life like, yet too perfect.
The hill is the result of thinking about the moon bridge from traditional Asian architecture. This is a famous example in Taiwan. The circle completed in the still water's reflection.
Note the steep arched incline on the Moon Bridge. Pedestrians must literally pull themselves up via hand rails.
The specialized staircase is made for one foot at a time. In this way, the participant must pay careful attention to her movements. The result, when viewed from a distance, will be a slow ascent with feet just below the surface of the sphere cap. The participant will seem to be floating to the top of the form.
The design of participants' movements are a result of thinking about the constrained movements of the geisha.
The form is an illusion, made up by a series of lengths of thick chenille yarn hanging side by side, held in place by the large circular frame.
Chenille yarn is traditionally used in doorways in Italy to keep bugs and dust from entering open doorways. The yarn is fancifully colored like this example.
The yarn forms the illusion of a sphere's bottom. When the participant gets to the top of the hill, their head parts the strands of yarn, intersects with and then is enveloped by the bottom of the sphere. Once within the inside of the sphere cap, the participant's view is a landscape-like vista of blue. A viewer watching the participant's intersection with the blue sphere will see a body without a head. The result is a literal mind/body split.
The creation of this physical mind/body split comes fro a consideration of the 16th/17th century European style of wearing a ruff.
The ruff was originally developed to keep food from soiling the wearer's bodice below. Quite a literal separation of mind and body.
In 700,000:1, the participant is alone in the midst of a vast landscape, separating one from oneself. The spectator of another's ascent of the hill sees a different kind of mind/body split..
And now, a word about the title. 700,000:1 refers to the chances of one of us being struck by a meteor while here on Earth...kind of high odds, when you think about it. In February of 2013, a meteor sonic boomed into the atmosphere, streaked across the morning rush hour sky and crashed into the frozen lake in Chelyabinsk Russia. Yikes.
700,000:1 (material and image sources)
All images copyrighted by Amy Hauft 1990-2016. An icompendium Site