Gail Wight, Ian Pollack and Janet Silk, and E.G.Crichton.
Curated By Ed Osborn
March 17 - April 11
earliest religious talismans to latest in satellite dishes aimed at the
heavens, the notion of technology providing a connection to the beyond
is one that has informed our relation to the world we construct around
us. Scanning electron microscopes, magnetic resonance imaging machines,
radio telescopes, and personal biofeedback devices are only the latest
artifacts of a desire to sense a world beyond the one proscribed by our
senses and the limitations of linear time and physical space. Despite
the rationalist impulses that permit the development of these technologies,
the human proclivity for inscribing meaning onto whatever is at hand (the
path-crossing black cat, the talking tree, the rabbit's foot) does not
slow down in the least when developing them.
In Corporeal Sky, four artists investigate the desire for a technologically
mediated bodily connection with something beyond the purely physical world.
Ian Pollock and Janet Silk reference the early days of radio as articulated
by Edison's "Spirit Catcher" as a medium for communication with the dead.
As crackly radio-abetted sound appeared to be pulled from the aether,
the hope that the hovering spirits of deceased loved ones could be similarly
tuned in was given an electronic form. Here Pollock and Silk revive that
hope with a twist: the ostensible desire to communicate with the dead
is reformulated to reveal our wish that the masses of electricity and
wire that we wrap ourselves in could somehow order the world and in so
doing make sense of us. By using a copy of the first human electroencephalogram
ever recorded to generate tuneful data, Gail Wight plays off a notion
of the music of the spheres as she investigates a history of illuminating
inner space by way of scientific inquiry. The hope that musical order
as found in the planets could also be found in the chemical composition
of the brain is here given a careful treatment as Wight shows how closely
the practices of storytelling and science parallel one another. E.G. Crichton
uses the technology of voyeurism (the keyhole) to reveal in sound notions
of bodily presence and absence. As voices identify internal organs, their
conceptual presence but physical absence serves to offer terrain of uneasy
relations to the body as recorded and distended by technological means
of inscription. In doing so Crichton reminds us of our own physical relation
to the electronic and digital aether we have built for ourselves.
Ed Osborn March
Reviews, Essays & Articles
New room shows work to proper advantage
The Press, 1999 Apr. 7, p. 16
Corporeal Sky and G3C: group shows.