Museum Monday: The Shining at Mass MoCA

Flying Airstream trailers?  It looks like someone once thought that was a great way to get around.

Among the current installations at MASS MoCA, the giant Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art in North Adams, MA, is a three-part project by Michael Oatman titled All Utopias Fell.

MASS MoCa All Utopias Fell


The main part of the exhibit is an old Airstream trailer, complete with parachutes and solar panels, that looks as if it’s just crash-landed on the roof of the museum.

Titled The Shining, the Airstream trailer is open to visitors and, inside,  “the craft” appears to be part domestic space, part laboratory and part library.  Videos flicker on the cockpit’s instrumentation panels, books fill the shelves, postcards are tucked into shelving, and a 33 rpm record (The Doors, when I was there) plays over and over on a cheap record player.

MASS MoCA, Michael Oatman trailer

There’s more to this piece. Much more. According to the museum website:

Once inside the craft, visitors will also be able to view Codex Solis, a massive field of photovoltaic (PVs) or solar panels. …In addition to this 230-foot long grid, mirrors are interspersed in the middle of the field, and suggest an absent text. The arrangement of mirrors and solar panels is based on a specific quote by an unnamed author, and will not be revealed by the artist; instead the public will be encouraged to spend time with the piece, watch the reflected sky, and solve the riddle as birds and planes, inverted, fly by.

Sounds a bit complicated, but take my word. Like everything you see at MASS MoCA, it may take a while to figure out what you’re looking at, but it’s all very cool.