More POWER to You
In 2020, I looked – again – at a power pole obstructing a scenic view. Thought about how we’ve trained ourselves to ignore utilitarian intrusions. Instead of the scenic view, I painted the pole. Studied the moss on it, the birds who flitted with it, the wires, transformers and connections. That first piece created a new awareness of the pervasiveness of electrical objects in our landscapes and lives.
I discovered electricity is bi-directional: it can flow either way across a junction. The junctions are contained within boxes, defined as “communal meeting spots for electrical objects.” As an artist this made me curious. Could a canvas be a junction box? Would seeing electrical objects presented as objects of art make people’s neurons light up?
As humans, we are as much electrical as we are biological. Our synapses contain current – just like an electrical wire. We’ve mimicked ourselves at the largest and smallest scales, from giant dams and towers to mini motherboards and tiny carbon resistors. This body of work invites you to explore our energetic relationship with generation, transmission, POWER and light.
Resistors, common in electrical networks, take different symbolic and material forms. These pieces sparked when I discovered resistors are unpredictable when pushed to their limits.
The work imagines an energetic dialogue between live wires and living things. A conversation with noise: buzzing cables, rustling grass and leaves.
The ways we map our electrical systems to ourselves was the unexpected left turn in the show.
Discovering the nodes in power grids pattern the nodes in our minds. Learning about computer chips that model neurons and synapses.
I travelled a long way, in my power play, from an electrical pole in the middle of a scenic view.