Here is an overview of Devin Riley's conceptual art piece based on John's song "Ticket to the Stars". The graphic above is from the "ticket" that was used in the project. The "artist's statement" about the project and some photographs follow.

The room was fairly dark for the mood of the project. The photos have been lightened for better viewing and may appear a little "washed out".

"Ticket to the Stars"
The Artist's Statement

When I looked at other installations, many of them came off more like sculptures. There was no direct interaction between the piece and the viewer. As I began, I wanted to create something that could not only be viewed but also experienced. Ideally, this would be set up in a small room where the viewers would enter one at a time. Even with that restriction on my finished project that it can't be in a small room, I still believe that the core message comes across even if you are experiencing the installation by watching someone else.

Before I go any further, I must give credit to Mr. John Stewart. John was a member of legendary Kingston Trio from 1961 to 1967 and has since released over 40 recordings, including the classic "Daydream Believer", which was later made a hit by the Monkees. One song in particular, "Ticket to the Stars" struck home with me and began the thought process that resulted in the installation before you. Before I began, I contacted John about my ideas and to get his permission for me to use his song. Within a few days I received a response allowing me to do just that and asking for pictures in return. I happily agreed.

As for the actual installation, the environment is intended to be your room. The window on the ceiling represents the way to your dreams. Dreams are represented by all of the silver stars and the gold stars are there to represent the Nine Muses. The way we get to the dreams is through the "ticket" hanging down from the window. The ticket should be positioned just out of the reach of most people. A bed was the natural choice for the viewer to lay on because that is the place where most of our dreams get played out. We see them while we sleep, while we daydream, etc. and the bed automatically makes you look upwards towards those dreams.

The other key part of the installation is the train. The viewer will react to this element most of all. The train is reality and the movie's abrupt beginning is intended. While the viewer dreams and drifts, the abrupt appearance of the train is so out of place and loud that it prompts a reaction, which draws you back into reality. This is where the true interaction takes place. The person must decide which they would rather pay attention to. By focusing on reality, they should be able to see what's coming and successfully navigate a course. If they only focus on their dreams, they will become out of touch and eventually "run over" by reality. The ideal is for the viewer to reason through the message and come to the realization that to succeed in life, you have to figure out a way to hold onto the ticket to their dreams and keep enough of a view on reality to successfully work their way to the stars.

- Devin Riley

Here is an overall look at the setup of the project. Note the "window" on the ceiling, the bed, and "the train"

Here is someone experiencing the project.

"Reality" coming at you!
Note the ticket hanging in front of the train.

Here is a good view of the stars in the window.

Here is another overall view of the project.

and here is the graphic on the back side of the "ticket" with the lyrics to the song.

You can go back to searching the John Stewart Lyrics Database by clicking on the button below