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works | Reverse Flow Paradox Series | nature preserve
Placed in center-stage of the cube-shaped gallery were four devices constructed from recycled furnace-boxes and other natural and industrial debris. These functioned as containers and resonators for motion-triggered sound modules that were constructed earlier in Hawai'i. The continuously varying sonic output was composed from digitally recorded sounds from the Adirondack and Finger Lakes Regions of Upstate New York during the three weeks prior to the design and assembly of the installation. During this time video imagery from these upstate regions was collected, digitized, re-composed, and juxtaposed. Compositional technique combined impeccably logical choices with indeterminant processes (as was the case with the sonic composing ).

10"x 16" prints were made using a consumer ink-jet printer on donated mis-sized cover stock. Walls were covered with tar paper which was also used to mat the prints. While this darkened environment was designed to enhance the luminance of the prints and to create the sense of being inside of a box, the very minimal amount of lighting necessary to bring a glow to the work also created a dream-like ambience. The plastic frogs are off-the-shelf schlock landscaping ornaments that croak three times when approached. Each print is paired with a frog. I couldn't resist incorporating them. The central floor area is covered with a 12 foot hexagon of that wonderful cheap fake grass which serves as a stage for the industrial nature-containing devices (sculptures?). The pile of rocks in the center of the space are flat stones from an area of Seneca Lake where I camped to get early morning recordings.

The reverse flow paradox reflects our often private wish to somehow bring back the parts of the past that were "better"...not to return to the past but to have concurrently the most desirable elements of both past and present. This work reflects my own desire to not only retreat to my secluded log cabin but also to have my lap-top connected to the very world I seek escape from. I find it very curious that our species has evolved to the point that we acknowledge that we need to take great effort to protect nature from ourselves so that we can enjoy... ...under limited conditions... that very nature. I have also noted the incredible number of "nature tapes" now being sold at record stores...a morning in the Andes...a rainstorm in New England. While the implications of our buying into virtual realities is interesting, the extent to which we unknowingly do so is a little scary. Simply, I have placed recordings of protected nature into a protective box which allows limited and timed access to once removed sounds.

Nature-In-A-Box: (details) four black industrial steel furnace boxes found in the Oceanography dumpster at UH. Inside are rebuilt auto-reverse car stereos modified for AC power. The tubular pedestals the boxes rest on are pvc sewer pipe and actually function as resonators for the speakers which are mounted just below the box and pointed upwards into the box where their sound is reflected horizontally by aluminum or plywood focusing baffles. Columns on one are laminated with birch-bark which is also used to cap another while the third is left as black pvc and the fourth actually constructed from bamboo rather than pvc.

Boxes are about 8" x 11" x 7" deep and the column heights vary from 12" to 28". Motion sensors which trigger the sound are standard home hardware type and in this case the controls were set to allow four seconds of sound playback per trigger. As someone enters the space they will trigger both the frogs and the boxes at various times. On opening night the sound of course approached frenetic chaos but during normal gallery hours the soundscape is clear and discernable.