A Thousand Miles an Hour, two channel video installation, 2014. (installation view)

Kevin Cooley: A Thousand Miles an Hour
01.15.2015 - 02.21.2015

RYAN LEE Gallery
515 West 26th street
New York, NY 10001

Illuminated Crescent PSE 10.23.2014, HD video, 8 minutes, 40 seconds, 2014 (view from the High Line)
on view in the RL Window 01.15.2015- 02.23.2015


RYAN LEE is pleased to announce the debut of A Thousand Miles an Hour (2014), a video installation by the Los Angeles-based artist Kevin Cooley. The video, its title referring to the speed at which the Earth rotates around its axis, observes the diurnal motion of the sun, moon, and stars that we experience as humans. Cooley is interested in our perception and experience asit relates to scientific fact, exploring the particular disconnect between what we see and know in regards to our relationship with the cosmos.

The two-channel video installation presents a familiar view of the sun and moon, although it eliminates its typical movement. During a full moon phase, Cooley attaches an astronomical tracking system to his camera, which moves in retrograde to counter perceived motion. Additionally, he uses a German equatorial telescope mount to offset the East Los Angeles latitude to 34:08 degrees north- so its rotational axis is parallel to the earth’s- to highlight the gap between the horizon line and objects that move across it.

Through slow-moving, continuous tracking shots, the emergence and descent of the sun and moon, presented as stationary objects, are recorded. The video captures the slowly changing colors of the sky, the faster moving clouds, and the shifting horizons of the landscape. Cooley recreates day and night during the middle of lunation when the sun, moon, and earth are directly lined up with one another and when the rising and setting of the sun and moon are at polar opposites. Each channel appears on parallel walls in the project space, one bearing the moon and the other the sun. As the two celestial bodies rise and set respectively then change screens, the viewer stands in place of the earth. A companion project Illuminated Crescent PSE 10-23-2014 is on view in RLWindow in conjunction with the show.

Throughout his practice, Cooley considers our evolving relationship with technology, nature, and ultimately each other. The underlying conceptual framework of his work looks at how these forces contend with each other and how we exist among them. A Thousand Miles an Hour pushes the viewer to rethink his/her perceptions of and relationship to our orbit and to the orbits of celestial objects.