title: f l u i d i t y
My piece is made up of a video and three physical circuits.
One circuit is an AND circuit; the next, an OR circuit; and the next, a NOT circuit. AND, OR, and NOT are three of the most basic circuits, which all electronic systems are made of.
These circuits are placed onto clear one foot by one foot squares, and are made of copper tape, switches, a light bulb, and battery. The light either turn on or off depending on which switch one closes opens.
The video shows a performance where several people walk the same path as electrons on a circuit board. They move through every path possible in the AND, OR, and NOT circuits.
more documentation of the work:
Initially, it was challenging to integrate binary logic into the conceptual focus of my piece. I tend to think of binary in a very binary way: as problematic. I struggled to come up with a project that was deeper than a surface level criticism of simplistic logic structures. In thinking about the rigidity of binary logic, I began to notice the humor and beauty that it structures the movements of electrons (some of the most mysterious entities in science). Electrons move in an electron cloud, where their position and direction cannot be known simultaneously. And yet, they can also exist within different circuit structures, their flow allowing lightbulbs to turn on and the electronic signals in our brain to fire. And I began to think about how this parallels the way humans are – both fluid and able to move through many different societal structures. I decided to make my art piece a meditation on this parallel, by showing both a video of humans moving as electrons and also three different basic interactive circuit boards.
In working on this project, I’ve realized that it is hard for me to work on a peice unless I feel my initial idea is initially completely formed. I have also learned that, sometimes, ideas clarify, and become stronger than anything one could of thought of at first, through the act of making. I did not create any iterations of my piece before the final, and I see this as contributing to my piece’s weakness. Despite my effort, the lack of a thoughtful connection between the interactive circuits and the video create a shallow impression of simply illustrating different circuit diagrams rather than a mediation on the authority and lack of authority of the structures that form both circuits and society. I have realized that approaching making as a series of small steps, and leaving room for the evolution of an idea as you are building the piece, will make the work stronger. I think if I had done this, I would have considered the relationship between the circuit pieces and the video even more and been able to have my idea evolve and strengthen before the critique.
For my next project, I will work on creating more detailed prototypes and work in thinking through making. I am excited for what comes next.
Note: I am planning on creating a revision of this piece, as I feel something important is here, but it has not been articulated the way it needs to be. Right now, I am thinking of having the video projected on a person’s back. They are hooked up to a heartbeat sensor, and this sensor dictates when a light turns on and off, and this light illuminates the branch of a tree. This feels right to me, and I am excited to work on this early next week.
photos of process: