Really Large Numbers

From These Woods

October 4 – 27, 2014
Institute of Contemporary Art Baltimore at D center

From These Woods is an exhibition of projects, objects and ephemera from the Really Large Numbers laboratory, the creative expedition of multidimensional artists Chad Stayrook (Brooklyn, NY) and Julia Oldham (Eugene, OR). Stayrook and Oldham’s partnership began in 2011 when they encountered each other spontaneously as characters in dreams of mythic adventures. This dream thread led them inexorably to a collaborative relationship that combines science, fantasy and dream language to blur the boundaries between the Real and the Unreal.

The titular installation for this show is a series of animated videos chronicling the story of a deer who can travel through dreams. Originally inspired by the true story of a buck swimming from Jersey City to Governor’s Island in 2010, RLN reimagines the buck’s adventure as a celestial journey. The artists cast their own minds as the “islands” he moves between. The videos have a lively fairy tale structure. Each incorporates a mysterious, geometric teleportation device that allows the deer to move between realms and travel deeper and deeper into bizarre brainscapes.

This and other projects showcased at D center in October exemplify a persistent strategy of Really Large Numbers’ practice—fantastical interpretations of the natural world blended with empirical research of human relationships, communication structures, and symbols. From These Woods will be the first installation of Really Large Numbers work in Baltimore.

Really Large Numbers created this work while participating in the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Swing Space residency on Governor’s Island in Upper New York Bay, and Artists Alliance Lower East Side Studio Program in Manhattan. Their work is supported by the Oregon Arts Commission in Portland, OR.