An interactive installation of metaphysical circumstance and supernatural self-determination devised through sound, vibration, and oscillation.
This piece is a large chime, with a single pull, and about 1000 common house nails. In the development of the work, I thought a lot about the nails and found them a robust symbol for potential and desire in leaving them unhammered. The piece feels like a huge doorbell, but the term, "doorbell" is so large and clunky. The sound of La Sonnette is a delicate tinkling, it is a little song, light and gentle, and serves well as title for a doorbell of entreaty to the ethereal planes. The nails are presented outside their manufactured function. Superstitiously and magically, nails are used to bind, to hold, and like most symbolically empowered objects, to bring favor. To prepare the nails for hanging, I "worked" the twine into knots, pulling and entwining, bewitching the threads, to ordain and immanentize their power. Here, they call, they ring, they vibrate with unfocused energy. They are an accumulation of possibility, little pieces amassed to a formidable force of transference.
The Office of Requests and Petitions
The viewer is not guided in this piece. They can look. They can sit. They can focus of on one nail and place it in a hole. They can focus on nail after nail until they are all in. They can move the nails around. They can make a shape of their desire. The invitation to kneel before the wood becomes one of genuflection. That interaction and expectation alone bestows the wood with a holiness, a right to reverence.
In making of these phantasmascopes (or phenakistoscopes), I animated alchemist Robert Fludd's 17thcentury diagrams of the creation of the universe by applying 19thc parlor game technology. A phantasmascope employs the technique of "Persistence of Vision," which is what all film and cartoons are based on to create the illusion of movement. They are nearly hypnodiscs as used in antiquated hypnosis or prayer wheels, yet seem to serve as a lens into the beyond.
Together these trees make a forest. Sound and movement are the impetus for communication, brought from a quiet immobile stasis to a chaotic and random reverberation. A ring, a clang, a pluck, a hum, a growl (spoken word), a whistle, it reaches out. It calls and it calls forth. Audience members can touch, rub, push, tap, and rap the tree, no directions provided.
I enjoyed giving the figures in the photographs superpowers and these became for me the photographed auras of indigo children. "Indigo children" is a concept of evolved people with extra sensory -something or other. Included are Andrew, Asha (self-portrait), Barbara, Kenneth, Lillian, Rebecca, and Timothy.
Automated Oracle Vending Machine
True to toy vending machines, each capsule contains a prize awarded at random. Here, the participating viewer receives a sticker and accompanying message which range from benevolences to forebodings in exchange for four quarters. The stickers are hand-cut from a book of reproductions of myth-themed paintings; the selections may be recognizable by the art-adept. The fortunes are inspired by the imagery of the stickers, one of fifty fortunes found among the series of 130 capsules.
Bubbles from the Pitch Lake / Detail of a Stranger's Funeral Pyre
A video of LaBrea pitch lake in Trinidad, 2011
A loop switching between the pair of videos, both an exhalation of expiration, the gases from beneath the pitch has been long delayed and the smoke from the fire is fresh and full of immediacy. These videos are so similar. They are remains, they are what's left of once living things.
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