Instructions for Capturing the View from the Middle by Cara Levine and Michael Namkung for At A Distance, Kansas State University Gallery, 2017
Cara Levine and Michael Namkung live in opposite corners of the country: Levine in Portland, Oregon and Namkung in Miami, Florida. They met in the summer of 2016 and formed a unique artistic connection. Upon returning to their respective homes, they have been making collaborative artwork from a distance, and about distance. Looking at a map of the United States, they wondered where the actual geographic middle point would be, as the crow flies, along the 2696 miles between them. Lo and behold, they discovered this point, the geodesic center, to be within a stone’s throw of Wichita, Kansas.
Desiring but unable to travel to the midpoint themselves, the artists asked the curators of At a Distance to enact the artists’ meeting in their stead, to explore the view from the middle, and to contemplate the distance between two people. As surrogates, the curators were given precise directions for carrying out Instructions for Capturing The View From The Middle. As the exact midpoint lies on private property, the surrogates were to follow one set of instructions if they were given permission to access this point, and a wholly different set of instructions if they were denied access to this halfway point.
In exploring the physical, emotional and spiritual distance between them, Levine and Namkung ask what it means to reach across the distance, what it means to find connection with another, in spite of and because of this distance. What does it mean in a relationship to meet someone halfway? To close the distance between? As human beings, we seek connection; yet often when two people attempt to meet each other halfway, unforeseen distances are revealed.
Location of Artwork: Latitude 37.537149, Longitude -98.738443