All Things (Being Equal)
All Things (Being Equal) is a large-scale installation that incorporates sculptural elements, lighting and ambient sound to create an immersive experience. It is part of a larger series entitled, “The Collectors.”
Inspired by rock collectors, desert dwellers and junk hoarders, this installation looks at the very human desire to acquire, accumulate, and arrange the objects we own. Just as ancient humans came across gold and other objects of beauty and decided to keep them, we all work daily to search, scavenge, acquire, quantify and organize, all to our own mysterious purposes. But as you peel away the metaphors attached to the objects themselves - the importance assigned to precious metals, the meanings atttributed to various gemstones, the healing and mystical properties believed to be inherent to crystals and other rare minerals- it becomes clear what we desire to control and quantify is perhaps the earth itself. In light of the changes that are affecting our planet, this desire becomes even more poignant, the action of collecting or hoarding is ever more futile and desperate.
All Things Being Equal consists of a large indoor mound or pyramid of milk crates that are filled with fabricated, unnatural “rocks” and equiped with a special timed lighting and ambient audio system that operates on a cycle.
During this cycle, the gallery lights will dim and special rotating LED lights inside the sculpture will project outwards through the structure onto the walls of the room, revealing elaborate, slowly moving, multi-layered shadowplay. The sound design will serve to subtly hightlight the changes in the visual elements of the room.
For the rock-like items collected in the structure, I made foam and plaster castings from the remnants of product packaging materials, thinking about how future archaeologists might try to recreate the lost contents of our carefully constructed, polystyrene-lined boxes. It is not accidental that these precious, mysterious “rocks” are gathered in plastic milk crates. They are the most utilitarian, the sturdiest, cheapest and most plentiful way to organize a bunch of rocks. But now plastic can be classified as a “hyperobject,” ubiquitous and massively distributed in our environment, not unlike things once considered elemental: air, earth, fire, water. Long after the original purpose is lost, these artefacts will remain, ruins of something inchoate.