Social Prototypes

2002

‘Social Prototypes’ is a site-specific installation which contains a series or small, metal mechanically driven ‘prototypes’, which are electronically controlled by the blind underground movements of “Red Wriggler’ composting worms.

These ‘prototypes’ are inventions that have yet to find their social or practical use. Installed on the floor, walls and ceiling of the ‘exhibition space they are realised as small metal sculptures in the guise of handtools. Metal mechanical sculptural objects in search of a function, which do not, as of yet, perform a useful task, or fulfill a practical need.

Near the ‘prototypes’, are several large piles of soil, heaped on the floor of the warehouse space. Buried within are many ‘Red Wriggler’ composting worms, decayed organic matter (vegetable scraps, eggshells and coffee grounds) and several sensors.

The worm’s activities are recorded by sensors buried in several areas of the soil. These minute signals are amplified and modulate the electrical current to each of the motors attached to the ‘prototypes’.

By inventing and building these sculptures, I question how certain technologies may have been created for our betterment, for constructive purposes, but have been misused or abused, used to abuse ourselves, create distance between each other and our environment.

This site-specific installation was presented as part of the exhibition/festival Helden der Arbeit‘ (Heroes of Work), within a derelict¬†experimental battery factory that was used by the Third Reich and then the GDR.

Medium

  • Interactive Installation: Steel, electronics, power supply, motors, sensors, composting worms, earth.

Dimensions

  • 5 sculptures total;
  • 12 x 12 x 9 inches each.
  • Up to 1000 sq. feet when installed.

Installation View

  • "Working Class Hero's?- Helden der Arbeit?"
  • Kunstfabrik, Schonewide, East Berlin, Germany, August-October 2002.