Dis-M-Body by Ken Rinaldo and Amy Youngs is a multi-sensory, interactive installation exploring the disembodied nature of information and messages as they dislocate and fracture one’s sense of self while simultaneously expanding one’s sense of connection. Our sense of self is no longer created through direct experiences but mediated and simulated experiences. Fictive fluid worlds.
Our minds continue to extend far beyond the physical limits of our bodies; virtual spaces and ideas are brought to us not by our fingers, ears, or eyes but by video cameras, satellites, and digital wires. It is difficult to know where the individual body begins, and our extended senses end.
While these technologies amplify and clarify our knowledge, they also diminish and shrink our sense of self. The instantaneous quality of the information – with today’s news and images replacing yesterday’s – places us in a perpetual present.
In constant flux, It puts us at the center of an unknown self which is as fleeting as these electronic pulses. What is concrete are our connections. Indeed, electronic communications may help us realize that the individual self is a knot embedded in a relational network of others. When this knot is unraveled, the self may also unravel.
The Dis-M-Body Collaborative, 1995, was a multimedia installation that utilized sound, light, and water to give metaphorical meaning to increasingly disembodied human existence in a digital age.
To view Video Dissection, you look through a hole in the floor and see your behind turned to the side.
Made of human hair, the “rug” of Genetic Blueprint contains genetic information from hundreds of unsuspecting people who had their hair cut in our neighborhood. This hair was collected from five salons in our SF with the help of barbers who agreed to hand over this DNA in hair.
Barrier Penetrations involve a video camera, tape recorder, and amplifier placed inside plaster cones covered with computer paper. Penetrating through the gallery walls, these extensions allow people on either side to communicate.
However, while you speak, you cannot hear well or see, leading to a fractured communication experience. This is further confused by pre-taped audio conversations hidden in the cones from tape recorders. The materials were tape recorder, amplifiers, and plaster cones covered with computer paper.
Message Slough involves lint, buttons, and a sound sampler. Messages can be spoken into the cone and played back, but our messages are like our flecks of lint: we only have so much control of where they go. In this case, messages are randomly broadcast.
Fluid Desires is a water fountain created with plastic from product packaging. It suggests that fuel for the techno-revolution begins with insatiable consumerist behavior. Redwater runs from one clear plastic coating to another in this fountain. These plastic coatings, like ghosts, have retained the forms of the products they covered. The circulating water filling the plastic voids and trickling down to the next suggests that fuel for the techno-revolution begins with our insatiable consumerist behavior. (15′ x 7′ x 3′)
Limited Domain Meaning Machine involves a washing machine tub, motor, light, electronics, Velcro, and Ping-Pong balls with dry transfer lettering. When viewers approach, the machine and light turn on and mix balls with techno-words. Viewers choose ping-pong balls to place on the wall to create meanings limited to technospeak.
This piece arises out of the Sapir and Whorf hypothesis that what we say is structured and influenced by the nature of our language. Sapir and Whorf believed languages like German were suitable for engineering because they are highly descriptive. At the same time, native Americans have less difficulty understanding Einstein’s Theory of Relativity because the language does not have absolute conceptions of time. The words on the ping-pong balls are all technospeak.
Viewers’ choices frame a cultural moment when all that is said within the realm of technology is hype and hyperbole, transforming the dialogue and meanings associated with techno issues.
Magnetic Streams involve seven tape recorders placed around the room with three magnetic tape loops playing between them.
Digital Scat below takes your voice secretly sampled and scatted back to you in real time.
Magnification Distortions looks at how optical and philosophical lenses magnify. However, they simultaneously distort and change the nature of what is seen, as do all of humankind’s technologies to formulate ideas about the world. Thus the perceptual aberrations that may occur with these lenses are less noticeable. Languages, a linguistic lens or condenser of information, are most subject to mediation through individual interpretation and technological distortions.
Glass lens and colored wire. (14″x 12″x 6″)
ACME Gallery San Francisco, California, 1995
bio art, installation, interactive art, sound art, glass, fountain, interactive installation, light, motion