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(un)stable – An Art Installation That Reacts to Earthquakes

Wow! — this piece by artist Gaelen Sayres is quite chilling and effective:

I have created a system that reads real time earthquake updates from around the world and depending on the magnitude it receives, disrupts and shakes a set of Japanese tableware by use of solenoid. While artists such as Susy Bielak, in her work “Quake/Temblor”,  have previously explored the relationship between humans and geographic disaster, my motivation ultimately comes from my own first hand experience of Japan’s recent large March 11th earthquake.

While I got off relatively easy (knowing I had a home and family outside of Japan that I could “return” to) my Japanese friends and family did not. A week of aftershocks and lack of news coverage was more than enough to leave me wondering how much control I had over my life and to realize that even the common act of sharing a family meal without fear of disruption should not be taken for granted. That said, the choice of Japanese dinnerware will hopefully work as a metaphor for the stability of shelter and family ties (namely in Japan) being broken in some way with each new earthquake being recorded. Ultimately, it is not the tangible rattling of plates that I am hoping to capture on the plinth, but the knowledge of disruption and unease that is happening somewhere in the world outside of the viewer’s “stable” gallery.

I love that art can do things like this.


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2 Comments

  1. Very nice. Opens a whole new dimension to arts 🙂

  2. Looks a lot like http://roteno.com/?q=terremoto in concept. Inspiration perhaps?

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