Scanning Viscera 2008

Room 25 x 30 feet with silk fabric walls 9 feet high. Scanning structure located in central space.

Silk fabric, light, motor, timer, relay switches, steel, wood, denril, acrylic on acetate, acrylic on Plexiglas, vinyl, thread and copper rods.

A translucent silk fabric wall extends across the space with an entrance in the center that leads to a corridor that surrounds an interior room with walls also made of silk. A slow scanning light, seen through the fabric walls, dimly lights the room. The sound of a motor fills the space. After walking this short labyrinth, one enters into the central room. There is an 8 x 8 foot translucent screen attached to a structure and a long narrow light beam scanning slowly, located 2 feet behind, projecting colorful silhouettes onto the screen. Walking around we see a series of constructions hanging between the light and screen, made of hand painted acetate, Plexiglas and vinyl, cut into shapes that suggest an indeterminate organic system. The elements are held together with a structure of copper rods that are braced and interconnected. The structure holds the parts together and suggests the way a specimen from an archeological site might be held in place to move it for further study. Labels used to assemble the sculpture are left attached, suggesting the kinds of tags put on at a site that reference the location in the pit or place of connection between parts. The light scans back and forth, pausing momentarily at each end before changing directions. One exits, circling the silk room and viewing the scanner through the translucent silk fabric walls as one exits the labyrinth.


The piece alludes to the magic of the knowledge revealed in scientific study, the collecting and analyzing of specimens and the process of how we understand the world through microscopic views of samples. The method of gathering specimens informs the system of rods connecting and supporting the elements. The installation also refers to the ancient practice of looking at animal intestines to predict the future. Historically, the complex shape of intestines influenced labyrinth design; this is echoed in the labyrinth of fabric. Walking through the installation the viscera projected becomes a meditation on existence. 

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