Unfold parachute to occupy a space.
Unfold to describe your return to the Earth.
Unfold to signal for rescue.
Refold by joining letters in alphabetical order:
A to A, B to B, C to C, and so on.
Refold while anticipating air resistance.

Guide for Returning is an ongoing, interactive project that uses a paper parachute as a starting point for kinetic and collaborative approaches to storytelling. The project centers around an 8 ft paper parachute that folds and unfolds to describe a return to solid ground that might have happened just moments before. The process of folding and unfolding the parachute can function like a puzzle, or the process can pause midway through to notice the various gestures it takes on.

The parachute itself is printed all over, using woodcut, with billowing patterns from the red and white drogue chutes that slow the reentry of space capsules. The printed pattern folds and disrupts the pictorial space on top of the physical folding already occurring. The entire structure allows for a kinetic experience that is immediate but still seems to imply an action or journey that exists somewhere else on the timeline. It functions as the opposite of potential energy; it is the memory or evidence of a trajectory. As print on paper, it acts somewhat like a book that describes this narrative after the fact, or a guidebook that anticipates another experience in the future. Still, it does not fully function as a book and does not function as a parachute. Instead, it occupies and communicates from an undefined space between the two.

During the last week of July 2017, the parachute will be set up and available to the public in various outdoor locations in Red Hook. The accompanying guidebook “instructions” will prompt an additional opportunity for interaction since participants then will be able to to write their own set of instructions based on their experience interacting with the parachute. These new Guides then will be compiled into a booklet, a Guide of Guides.

ABOUT Lindsey Clark-Ryan
Lindsey Clark-Ryan is a multidisciplinary artist who works primarily in installation and printmaking. She is interested in the precarious boundaries between two-dimensional graphic images and three-dimensional objects, between mobile and stationary, and between function and uselessness. Overall, her work reflects a deadpan and absurdly precise observational attitude toward existing in and archiving the world. She has exhibited her work nationally and internationally, and regularly participates in site-specific residency programs as an important extension of her studio process. She lives and works in Northampton, MA, where she is currently an Assistant Professor of Art at Smith College.