Elephant In Room, The Augmented Landscape, Salem Maritime National Historic Site, Salem, MA

Kristin Lucas, Elephant In Room, 2017, geolocation augmented reality

An elephant, brought to America as cargo, lounges in a psychiatrist chair reminiscing about its natural habitat - a twist on idioms: "elephant in the room" and "elephants never forget".

The ship America of Salem is credited with carrying the first known elephant to America from Calcutta, landing first in New York, and exhibited in Salem in 1797 (Goodwin, 1951). According to John Frayler, historian of Salem Maritime NHS, the basement of the Custom House once became an incidental zoo serving as a temporary holding pen for exotic birds and animals imported to Salem by collectors and for resale (Pickled Fish & Salt Provisions, 1999).

The walls of the metaphorical "room" are replaced with a porous virtual forest made up of freely-distributed 3d models collected through online trade markets.


Elephant In Room, details