A detail from the row of painted postcards in Ruth Marie Tomlinsons installation Lost Long at Jack Straw New Media Gallery.
  • A detail from the row of painted postcards in Ruth Marie Tomlinson's installation Lost Long at Jack Straw New Media Gallery.

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It's in a small enclosed room steps away from the traffic of Roosevelt Way, with one brick wall, two long cloudy windows, and a dumb thin black carpet laid down in squares. I've been to this place before: It's a gallery, the Jack Straw New Media Gallery, and a couple of months ago it gained a glassy lobby—you used to have to ring a doorbell then walk down a dim hallway to enter it, which could not have been a less fortuitous beginning. When the gallery door closes behind me this time, I have traveled someplace new. There are sounds: empty playground swings clanging against metal poles, a female voice reading weather conditions ("cloudless, windless"), distant thunder and dripping rain. A continuous line of white pins along the white walls outlines a mountain range, ringing me into a valley. In the center there's a low long table that glows.

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