I am building an expanding host of instruments and vessels. I imagine them, at some point, pried from the earth or fished from aimlessly drifting through space. Made from a patchwork of salvaged materials, they seem already old before their fabrication, historical objects from a history that we have yet to identify. They exude atmosphere and produce nostalgias of the haziest sort.
Each hollow form secretes its own isolation while playing a dorm to absenteeism. They are husks, like shells and empty homes, carrying only whispers. Their worn exteriors suggest a lifetime, and certain visual elements breed familiarity: “Is that a boat? Well, get on board!” But in the end, they are alien.
My machines smack of absurdity and herald dissolution. They strive for a level of technological perfection, but of a most clunky sort. They clamor but say very little. They seem simple, metering clowns, but their plunks, plonks, taps, and jangles are a ruse, an attention grabbing distraction. It is when they are mute that the say the most about the desire and loneliness of things.
I believe that we are involved in the beginning of a diaspora whose point of origin is our planet. Many indicators predict great upheavals are imminent. There will be rapid and massive changes that most will not survive. This has happened before. The rise and fall of herds on this planet is a familiar tale. The human herd has proven very capable of adapting to its environment through the use of technology. We face a time, however, when our ability to adapt to this planet is possibly being outstripped by the earth’s tendency to change.
If we leave our planet, how? Perhaps the most essential or privileged or lucky will be placed in secret fleets of vessels and flung into space, surviving but harboring the knowledge that most did not make it. How far will we travel seeking resources? How long until we can no longer see the earthrise over the curvature of our vessel’s hull? What effects will expansion into space have on our herd? When we are forced to flee, will we remain a flock or expand so rapidly that we can no longer keep record of our relationship?
Not being associated with place or people, there is no longer anything to be measured and time disappears. Here at last, history peters out. We will sleep, dreamless, knowing everything that can ever be known.
We will finally arrive at dissolution and hang in suspension until somehow we are prompted to believe again that there is something other than what we are. We will ask: “What just happened?” and this prompt, this moment, will become our first reference point. Everything will be measured against this and time will begin again.
I liken my machines to cave art -- attempts to record an underlying preoccupation of our time. They are made for posterity. Their mechanics are simple, a tongue-in-cheek reference to the engines that have accelerated this crisis. They are less concerned with finish than finale. They seem archaic but firmly reference the future. They signify movement and travel while at the same time proving that we were here. They simultaneously express the joy of being and of the melancholy of leaving. They are symbols of a commitment to remember our physical origin, even as we move farther and farther from it. My intention is that they be a simple and universal message: We are sensational beings who choose motion over stasis, and who arrived at consciousness through the mechanism of potentiality. It is our will that marks time and separates us from fathomless sleep. “We are here because we choose to be!”
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