C.L.U.E. is the gateway to experiencing the ultimate in any surrounding. A living collective organ, molten, expanding and contracting as it responds to its immediate environment. Curious and open. Red, orange, yellow, forest, aqua, royal, majestic and purple. Guided by the celestial powers of rainbow and light. Finds intrigue not only in the beauty of rock, ash and earth, lake and sea, moss, leaf and open sky, but in the whine of debris, lyric of cement, sorrow of mall and hum of highway. Fluid as water or lava or blood or air, moves through tiny gullies and grooves, tastes to know but leaves behind only what was already there.
C.L.U.E. (color location ultimate experience) is a collaborative video and performance work by New York-based artists robbinschilds (Layla Childs and Sonya Robbins), A.L. Steiner, AJ Blandford, and Seattle-based band Kinski. A work permanently in progress, C.L.U.E. adapts to the space it temporarily occupies. In an on-going collaboration, the artists continue to find an activated state of seeing and being and wish to share the discovery. In C.L.U.E., robbinschilds uses a choreographed language as a vehicle to explore the natural and human-made landscape. Their journey embodies a poignant freedom expressed in the union of humanity with the vast natural world, juxtaposed against the contemporary tendency toward consumerism, waste and disposable architecture. In August 2005, robbinschilds, A.L. Steiner and AJ Blandford traveled and filmed through cities, deserts, hills, forests and along the coast of Southern California. The natural variety of landscapes provide a rich array of environments spanning from salt flats and high desert to redwood forests and rocky beaches, through dry river basins and vast parking lots, to suburban swimming pools and green lawns. Filming continued in upstate NY in October 2005, finding inspiration in the 60’s era modern civic architecture of the state capitol, the abandoned industrial relics of the Hudson River valley and within the aisles of the vast big box stores and malls of our consumer-driven culture.
Utilizing a focus on the distinctive partnership between the two characters in the film, robbinschilds is portrayed as supremely united, creating a bond through which their shared experience of a vibrant color field is symbiotic with one another and their surrounding environments. The duo is repeatedly reincarnated in each color of the rainbow, making their path across these symbolic landscapes and implementing timeless and unsuspected secret passageways between the geographical and historical distances: emerging from the ocean into Home Depot, falling through an office park esplanade into the desert to hand out their memos among the yucca. The friction of these overlappings and intersections incites a sense of revelation at the oneness and sameness of never-ending energy.
The 10:48-min video entitled C.L.U.E. (color location ultimate experience) Part 1 (2007) edited by robbinschilds and A.L. Steiner, with music by Seattle-based band Kinski, premiered at Taxter and Spengemann gallery in NY in March 2007 and has since been screened in numerous galleries and venues within the U.S., Europe, China and New Zealand. In its live incarnations, C.L.U.E. was performed with a dual screen video projection and set installation by AJ Blandford and original score by Kinski at PS122 in December 2007. In 2008, C.L.U.E. was presented at the New Museum in NYC as a performance, multi-channel video installation, and video projection. At Pica/TBA festival in Portland, 2009, the work took the form of site-reactive performance accompanied by Kinski’s live original score, 3-channel video installation, and video projection. Responding to the architecture of the TBA installation site, AJ Blandford constructed a geo-dome structure, which housed a multi-channel video installation where robbinschilds presented a series of three performance interventions. In December 2009, a multi-channel C.L.U.E. installation was on display at The Physics Room in Christchurch, NZ. Additionally robbinschilds created a 5-hour site-responsive experience as part of the exhibit.