Artist Christopher Paul Jordan’s creative practice incorporates digital media, photography, public installations, and community organizing to explore issues of belonging. Based in Tacoma, WA—an area undergoing rapid change through urban development—Jordan is interested in how we experience home in relation to the landscape.
On the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the Olympic Sculpture Park, SAM continues its tradition of temporary, site-specific summer installations with Latent Home Zero by Christopher Paul Jordan. Latent Home Zero is a sculpture addressing the historic migration of African American people across the United States through a series of collaged slides dedicated to north, south, east, and west. Park visitors are invited to peer through a binocular telescope and observe what the artist describes as “an interactive silent film.” It not only alludes to the physical movement of people but also conveys a spiritual dimension in gestures that point to heaven and earth. Jordan’s image reel is punctuated by distorted real-time views of the park, considering the hidden histories of the landscape and the blurriness of memory. Situated in the Olympic Sculpture Park—itself on the ancestral lands of the Duwamish and Suquamish peoples—Jordan’s binoculars explore “how a landscape can feel simultaneously nostalgic and dysphoric,” and how histories of displacement are intertwined.
Drawing on the photographic concept of the latent image (evoking something just below the surface) Latent Home Zero portrays home as an idea in flux—both present and unseen, real and remembered, past and future.