A Thing Among Things

 Visible and mobile, my body is a thing among things; it is one of them. It is caught in the fabric of the world, and its cohesion is that of a thing. But because it moves itself and sees, it holds things in a circle around itself. Things are an annex or prolongation of itself; they are incrusted in its flesh, they are part of its full definition; the world is made of the very stuff of the body. These reversals, these antinomies, are different ways of saying that vision is caught or comes to be in things—in that place where something visible undertakes to see, becomes visible to itself and in the sight of all things, in that place where there persists, like the original solution still present within crystal, the undividedness of the sensing and the sensed. -Maurice Merleau Ponty, Eye and Mind

Inspired by philosopher Maurice Merleau-Ponty I have used a quote from Eye and Mind, the visual spectrum and low and high frequencies to explore the borders of our ability to see and hear.  A Thing Among Things was installed in a tight stairwell leading to the lower level of the Studio Arts Building.  White fabric was draped at the entrance to the stairwell as a way to guid the viewer down the stairs.  At the bottom of the stairwell light shone through a sliver of a window of the doorway leading out.  The light slowly shifted through the visual spectrum and illuminated a hand written Maruice Merleau Ponty text.  As the viewer stood and read the text, sound coming from the speakers read the text aloud at frequencies barely audible to the human ear.  As the viewer existed the stairwell, they entered another space where all of the technology and wires were exposed.

Much of the conceptual components of this work come from the realization that our bodies are fragile and limited.  As conscious beings we exists in a paradox where we find ourselves aware that we embody an object that is limited and temporary.  This awareness infiltrates our daily lives affecting us on many different levels.  At the core of the work is a dialogue between science and technology and our existential dilemma.

Listen to sound here

Untitled from carolinevalites on Vimeo.


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