You Have Not Seen

“You Have Not Seen” was a site-specific interactive art installation located in the gallery of Bluffton University. It was installed in the fall of 2013 and was open to the public for a month before the installation was disassembled and distributed to reception attendees. Fragments of the installation now hang in dorm rooms, business, studios and homes.

You have to trust the things you can’t name, you feel through your body, you take in the world through your skin.
– Ann Hamilton

You Have Not Seen was really two projects. The first project was comprised of a large scale gallery installation (over 720 square feet of art) in Bluffton University’s Grace Albrecht gallery. The installation included several musical compositions which played simultaneously in different parts of the room.

The second project was an experimental event that took place on the last day of the exhibition. On September 22nd we disassembled the installation and gave away the art. Each person who came to the reception was given the opportunity to take a piece of art home with them (until all the art was gone). People filled out a yellow tag with something that “they have not seen.” People hung the yellow tags in the place of the artwork. Peoples’ tag lines were very different: I have not seen. . . “peace on earth”, “a monster truck”,  “an elephant fly”, “the wind or the way time moves”, “the end of grace”, “antartica”, “mine and my sister’s hearts unguarded to each other”..

A wonderful cross-section of the community turned up for this event, including professors, friends from inner city Lima, students and locals, filling the gallery to capacity. An amazing ad hoc support team supported the project, including patrons and volunteers, some of which traveled across the country to participate.

The time-lapse begins- so all of the sudden we see
all the moments over time wrapped into one montage.
and we see the growth, yet so many days we must simply trust
and let the petal unfold, let the cloud scud across the sky,
let our hair grow, our faces stretch
and trust that spirit and breath will bring us …
-Amber Butler

Celebration & Risk


We were asked to pull together an installation that dovetailed with the conference theme “Celebration and Risk.” We contacted photographer Doug Fike about contributing to the installation, and his photographs and concepts ended up playing an important role in the installation. Once the conceptual challenge was addressed, we faced the problem of how to install art in a building where we were not allowed to make holes in the wall.



The Conceptual Solution: We built four sections which corresponded to four phases in the risk-taking process. Each stage included a photograph, paintings or drawings and an interactive art piece that conference-goers could use to trigger and focus their reflection on risk-taking.

Implementation: With the help of a local construction company owner we built stands for the art that lined two walls. After painting the stands gray they effectively faded into the background, especially as people came close to the work, opening the origami triangles and placing their written reflections inside.

By nature, wiring and history I’m not an arts kind of guy, and I can’t even fully explain how I connect with it, but something shifted for me. When you connect with beauty you are really connecting with God.