2019, Wood, metal, plastic, cloth, electronics, robotics, sound
Nurture engages in mind control vernacular, utilizing audio based on institutionally marketed educational materials. The primary objective of the installation was to invert the power dynamic between a traditional interactive object and a viewer in a gallery setting, with the aim of eliciting a profound sense of transformation or any form of voluntary and unwitting influence – which I refer to as an induction. The media culture entices and captivates individuals in the digital realm. However, Nurture seeks to ritualize this experience within a physical space, employing techniques derived from the use of vocalized confusion induction hypnosis.
The installation performs spoken phrases that are accompanied by robotic movements, generating physical sounds when spectators are within proximity. Its graphical layout, mounted on the wall, reimagines the human vocal tract as a schematic representation and an arrangement of musical instruments dispersed throughout an acoustic environment. The speech mechanism is divided into distinct interdependent components, each serving a specific function. The robotic percussion follows the consonants and syllables of the texts, while a mechanical valve modulates the resonance of a chamber to mimic vowel sounds. As viewers are engrossed in the kinetic deconstruction of the auditory performance, a subliminal process is simultaneously occurring. Beneath the synchronized layers of mechanized tones and percussion, the original unaltered spoken text can be discerned, with one of the speakers reciting passages from phonics recordings interspersed with “autosuggestive” lines from Napoleon Hill’s 1937 positive programming self-help book, Think and Grow Rich.
Special thanks to the Contemporary Austin Crit Group