Listen Before You Enter

PETER BURR: I’m Peter Burr I’m an artist from Brooklyn New York, and I made
Dirtscraper with a team of other artists. On the most basic level this is a portrait of a subterranean megastructure that extends deep, deep, into the earth. And so you can think about taking a skyscraper and flip it upside down, and turn it into a dirtscraper.

Dirtscraper is a computer simulation where we’re watching this world exist and there’s a narrative arc that happens; we’re seeing the philosophy of the people that made the structure and the people that live within it. And of course in a way the voice of the structure itself. Every 30 seconds to a minute–and it’s constantly changing–you’re getting these moments of reflection by the people that actually are part of the story of Dirtscraper. There is a game that is inside of it. As the building decays, the different artificial intelligence entities that maintain and kind of keep this structure alive, they start to compete.

There are these game rules that happen, but we as the audience are not affecting that change. So if you see Dirtscraper one day and you come back another day and watch another cycle of it, it always starts off in the same state but it will always end in a different state.

Listen Afterwards

PETER BURR: Dirtscraper is a site specific piece. I designed it to fit into this museum in a very custom way. My core motivation behind making the Aria End project, which Dirtscraper comes from, is an exploration of the iconography of the labyrinth as a symbol but also as an emotional space that you can enter. And so I think it’s interesting to have that kind of mirroring and that echoing between the architecture that we’re inside of, this brand new building that is a very bespoke contemporary art space that houses my own virtual bespoke architectural space.

And I’m interested in experiencing what it’s like to be in that room with other people… I think it’ll open up some surprising dynamics.

Burr’s Collaborators

PETER BURR: My primary collaborator for this project is a woman named Porpentine Charity Heartscape, who did all the writing for the piece. And we conceptualized this together as one facet of a much larger project called Aria End, which we’ve been thinking about as a videogame, but has come to encompass lots of different kinds of artworks, almost always including some form of immersive media.

And we worked with a programmer named Mark Fingerhut, and a sound designer named John Also-Bennett, and in addition, because this is a much larger project than just what we’re seeing in the space today, there are lots of other elements: advertising and architectural structures, that I worked with other artists to develop including Brendan Bloomart, Eric Carlson and Brenda Murphy.


Staff Pick: Burr and Porpentine

Thursday, Aug 2

12:30 PM–1:00 PM


Peter Burr with Porpentine Charity Heartscape

Apr 21, 2018 – Sep 9, 2018