Work » Projects » a condensation of space into light 2017

Prior to its present livelihood as a library, the Stephen A. Schwartzman Building of the New York Public Library served as a large water reservoir along the path of the Old Croton Aqueduct. The traces of this structure’s former life can be found in a retaining wall that lines a staircase near elevators at the base of the building.

These interstitial spaces are exciting as they reveal as much about the past as they do the present. As such, a condensation of space into light builds on a series of works that interact with sites of historical infrastructure in New York City, particularly those tied to water and transit lines.

The text for a condensation of space into light, written by Roger M. Grant, playfully recasts The Croton Ode written by George P. Morris to celebrate the opening of the aqueduct in 1842. Fragments of this new prose were recorded by Jamie Jordan at the site of this retaining wall, which form the electronic elements of the piece.

Many thanks to Paul Friedman, and the Friends of the Old Croton Aqueduct.


voice and fixed media
Jamie Jordan · voice