Nasher XChange: Fountainhead

Charles Long
October 19, 2013 - February 16, 2014
Charles Long
Fountainhead,2013
NorthPark Center 

A virtual fountain explored the relationship of viewer and artwork through new and interactive technologies.

For his Nasher XChange commission, Long created an interactive, waterless fountain entitled Fountainhead that extended his ongoing investigation into the viewer/ artwork relationship through the use of new technologies.

Long’s project was an innovative contribution to the tradition of artist-made fountains. Relying more heavily on technology than anything Long had produced before, the installation performed every function of a traditional fountain, only virtually. Projected images of sheets of dollar bills moved serenely over the surface of a sculpted, headlike form, flowing like water, instantly adapting to every nook and curve, accompanied by an elegant soundtrack of moving water and paper. It also updated the role of the public fountain as a source of well-wishing and charitable giving. Three kiosks topped with iPads surrounded the form and offered an opportunity for visitors to donate money to one of three Dallas charities: Bookmarks, a branch of the Dallas Public Library; Dallas CASA and the North Texas Food Bank. After payment was tendered, visitors were encouraged to flick a virtual coin on the iPad screen toward the form, resulting in an exuberant splash.