Modern Monoliths migrating emerges out of an investigation of the sociological and technological shifts in the borders between public and private space. In this piece, the icon of the phone booth–originally designed for private conversation in a public place–acts as a repository for speech amidst parties in a dominant/subservient relationship.
This speech shifts the function of the booth from the modern monolith in decline to a space that sets up a dialogue between types of power wielded by the various parties in the hierarchy. Modern Monoliths migrating will be placed at the convergence of several types of power : the natural power of the river, the political and cultural power of the city–operating simultaneously on the site of a power plant that has been generating current since 1882.*
Born in Albert Lea, Minnesota, Barbara Claussen grew up in the open spaces of the rural Midwest. She received an undergraduate degree in art from Minnesota State University at Mankato. She studied Chinese painting with a private tutor at the South China University of Technology in Guangzhou, China. Following the Tiananmen Square Massacre in Beijing in 1989, she left the mainland and spent the summer in British-controlled Hong Kong.
For several weeks she camped on an island in the South China Sea until the political situation calmed down and it was possible to return to the mainland. She returned to the U. S. in 1990. She received her MFA from the University of Minnesota in 2000. Her work probes the everyday intersections of public and private space.