Installation: Present Tension

Installation shot of “Present Tension”: Instruction cards, 2014
Paper and ink
3.5” x 3.5”

“Present Tension” was experienced by appointment by 60 participants in May 2015. Participants signed up with a partner, or were matched with a stranger, via an online sign up service. They knew only the information provided by the sign-up page: partners follow a loose set of instructions interacting with objects in a gallery space in a sensate exploration of sociality. When the two participants arrived, I welcomed them and gave instruction cards, then left them to perform Somatic Studies in private.

Installation shot of Somatic Study I: The interval between two successive heartbeats is never precisely the same, 2014
Thinklabs digital stethoscopes, shrink wrap tubing, tape, noise-cancelling headphones, padded pedestal
Dimensions variable

Partners were instructed to listen to each other’s bodies using the cutting edge equipment. Participants described the experience as “surreal,” “intimate,” “uncomfortable,” “vulnerable,” and “poignant” in the audio conversations they left behind on a recording device after going through Somatic Studies.

Installation shot of Somatic Study I: The interval between two successive heartbeats is never precisely the same, 2014
Thinklabs digital stethoscopes, shrink wrap tubing, tape, noise-cancelling headphones, padded pedestal
Dimensions variable

Partners were instructed to listen to each other’s bodies using the cutting edge equipment. Participants described the experience as “surreal,” “intimate,” “uncomfortable,” “vulnerable,” and “poignant” in the audio conversations they left behind on a recording device after going through Somatic Studies.

Installation shot of Somatic Study II: The attunement of looking, 2014
2x4s, digital timer
6’8” x 56” x 24”

Partners looked into each other’s eyes without looking away or speaking for at least four minutes. The experience was reflected upon as extremely powerful and disorienting by participants’ recorded conversations.

Installation shot of Somatic Study III: The kinaesthetics of a line, 2014
Plexiglass, sharpie, PVC pipe stand
Dimensions variable

Partners stand on either side of a plexiglas pane and place the tip of their markers to the same point on their respective sides. They traverse the pane’s surface to the other side, mirroring each other’s finite movements to create a line on each side that is an exact copy of the other. Partners described the gesture as “playful,” “thought-provoking,” and even “addicting.”