Up Late: A Conversation with Jordan Eagles

On July 21, as part of Friends of the High Line's first-ever Up Late event on the High Line, we're inviting visitors to roam the park after-hours and be transported as dancers, musicians, and visual artists illuminate the park with participatory performances, installations, and a world of hidden surprises.

Leading up to the event, we'll be sitting down with artists contributing to the Up Late line-up to discuss what makes this event so unique—and why people shouldn't miss it. As we count down to the event, be sure to check back here for more exclusive Q&As with Up Late artists.

New York-based visual artist Jordan Eagles works with a very unconventional, powerful medium: blood. Last month, Eagles brought his work on the High Line for World Blood Donor Day as part of the #BloodEquality movement. Now Eagles returns, inviting Up Late visitors to challenge the way they think about blood through his new immersive, projection installation, Blood Illuminations.

Photo by Evi Numen

Check out what he had to say about his upcoming work:

Tell us a little bit about what you have planned for Up Late. What do you want attendees to take away from your work?

Blood Illuminations will take place in the 14th Street Passage and will involve over 20 analog overhead projectors that will be used to shine and enlarge patterns into the space from preserved, translucent panels filled with cattle blood. This effect will cast the blood patterns on the walls, ceilings and floors—as well as viewers—wrapping the organic patterns, light, and shadows with the architecture of the space and abstracting the viewers' bodies to appear as a new layer of skin. People often have preconceived notions about blood. I want attendees to have a new experience with the space and to feel the energy of the materials and light in a way they might not have expected.

What makes the High Line as a venue unique or challenging to you and your work?

The 14th Street Passage is a massive space and that's both a challenge and something very exciting. Experimenting with the number of projectors needed, the throw of the projectors' light, and the amount of blood panels needed to execute the installation is exciting. And the fact that the High Line is a public space means that the viewers themselves became part of the installation.

How does your work speak to the New York community?

The High Line and the Meatpacking District have a deep history and relationship to slaughterhouses and the transportation of cattle. There are still meat hooks hidden inside the 14th Street Passage. The blood preserved inside the panels is procured from slaughterhouses, so there is a connection to the history of the location.

Join Eagles, among many other artists who will be lighting up the night, on Thursday, July 21 on the High Line from Gansevoort to West 18th Streets from 10:00 PM to 12:00 AM.

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