Dane Mitchell at Connells Bay Sculpture Park
February 3, 2017
A new temporary outdoor sculpture by Dane Mitchell is on display at Connells Bay Sculpture Park in Waiheke Island, New Zealand. Mitchell's installation, titled Stealth Transmission Tower 1, is a functional cell tower, which takes the form of a manufactured pine tree that cloddishly camouflages to its surroundings in an attempt to hide in plain sight. This large and highly conspicuous tree transmits a radio signal across the park on an FM radio bandwidth, that can be tuned into by visitors, on an endless loop.
Mitchell attempts to – intentionally unsuccessfully – blend the work into its surroundings, but his chosen subject is particularly conspicuous, as Connells Bay has gone to great lengths to remove the invasive species of pine tree from the park. The deception caused by the sculpture attunes us to the responsibility the artwork has to transmit a ‘signal’ (both literally and metaphorically), and the viewer’s responsibility to interpret the signal. Through the sculpture's service as both infrastructure and transmitter, Mitchell looks to the role of mimicry and deception in the production of meaning.
Stealth Transmission Tower 1 will be on display for six months and is viewable by booking a tour of Connells Bay Sculpture Park.