the occasional very real-life thrumming
deposited by the weighted chest piece
that hangs against your torso.
When I first visited Dream Wanderer, it showed Lily Dale, a series of
VR experiences employing interviews
and imagery collected by Marler at the
southern tier community of the same
name, a place that is home to over sixty psychics. Often associated with video
games, virtual reality is what the programmer makes it, and I quickly realized Flatsitter’s stylized visuals feel
nothing like the VR video games or
clips found elsewhere.
Before Flatsitter’s nomadic cross
country trek as Dream Wanderer, its
installations have been site-specific,
like White Buck, which took place in
one of the massive buildings at Rick
Smith’s Silo City. Recordings of the
Allegheny River Dancers performing
inside the acoustically magnificent silo
and Marler’s accompanying imagery
sought to deliver viewers what he calls
a spirit journey, a motif that winds and
wends its way through his work.
At the time, White Buck earned
press and attention from the city’s art
scene, but the limitations of site-specific work led friend “Swannie” Jim Watkins to suggest Flatsitter go mobile.
With support from Smith, Watkins, and
a crowdfunding campaign, Dream Wanderer came to fruition in late summer
of 2016, departing the Buffalo area by
autumn. Flatsitter spent the better part
of a year engaging audiences all over the
country by opening Dream Wanderer’s
doors at galleries and community spaces for a day or two, or participating in
well-respected art shows, such as Basel
in Miami Beach, Moogfest in North Carolina, and Luminato in Toronto.
In July, Marler headed to Oaxaca as
part of a short-term residency through
Obaracadobra. There he created another immersive audio and visual experience, the subject of which he politely
refuses to reveal during our interview.
Despite not knowing the plot, title, or
theme at the time this article goes to
print, after several emails and two conversations with Marler, I’m certain it
will echo, in part, his other work—
his leitmotif, if you will—which he
describes as “examining the peripheries of consciousness.” Look for it as
well as other work from Flatsitter to
make its way through Buffalo in the last
stretch of 2017.
Follow Flatsitter and The Dream
Wanderer on Facebook and Instagram
for updates regarding local pop-ups and
Christa Glennie Seychew is a freelance writer with
a passion for immersive experiences of all