On Air and Influence

 

I am currently working on a large-scale project, a series of stand-alone sculpture that link through pneumatic circuitry, a sort of conversation between objects we may or may not have access to.  This project is accumulative–each singular object builds upon the last to create large-scale kinetic environments.

The content of this project is the examination of what I’m calling a “pneumatic history of culture”, a material reading of cultural history through the examination of how air is conceived, utilized, and metaphorically employed throughout time and in different cultures.

The Banquet

In 18th century France, Anton Mesmer’s banquet, filled with Animal Magnetism, healed the cultural elite by provoking hysterical fits, “crises,” which opened the patients up to the Flow circulating through all people, the materials of the banquet, and the moon and the stars.  When Benjamin Franklin came to France and proved, with a distinguished group […]

The Air-Loom (or Influencing Machine)

The Air-Loom (or Influencing Machine) is a response to my research on an 18th century psychotic James Tilly Mathews, who believed he was persecuted by what he called an “Air-Loom,” a pneumatic device that could influence his thoughts and world history.  I’m particularly interested in his imagined machine, which marked the moment, at the turn […]

Vibrant Matter

Influenced by a Baudelaire poem Une Chargonne, this pile of raucous materiality (rabbit skin glue, fake fur, an inflating silicone bladder, organ pipes, salt, clay…) brings a particular Romantic edge to the conversation on material’s participation in culture.

Pneuma

The first component of a large-scale kinetic sculpture/installation/performance to revitalize flabby matter. In this piece, a compressor activates hand pumps atop a veneered stand, pumping air to next component.