ABOUT THE ARTIST
BIENNALE OF SYDNEY 2004
I WAS SCARED TO DEATH /
I COULD HAVE DIED OF JOY (2000)
I was scared to death / I could have died of joy (2000)
The spectator enters a darkened room with two stainless steel
tables separated by an empty space. The tables are on human
scale, from a clean room used for computer chip design or biological
engineering. On the tables are objects that appear to be specimens.
Two half brains made of glass, again human scale, are encased in glass
tubes. Unlike many anatomy illustrations where the brain ends at the
neck, these models have trailing tail-like nerves, like devolved creatures.
At first observation, the objects might seem familiar or recognizable
to the spectator. It soon becomes clear that they are not inert. The
spectator is sensed and the brains excite. Electrons become agitated
and plasma gases flare up in the tubes, the brains responding. The
spectator might touch a tube and the plasma's energy stream follows
the hand, straining for contact.
Finally, the light begins a beat, a pattern of on and off, as if signaling.
The empty space between the tubes becomes highly charged, especially if both
brains are firing, both tubes are beating. In this charged space, with the
tubes signaling like distant planets, spectators wander like ...