the summer of 2005, Sasha Harris-Cronin invited me to participate
in the Simnuke
she and Max Carlson curated at the Rx
Gallery in San Francisco. The
show was just part of a larger
project exploring the themes of nuclear arms and the atomic
age on the anniversary of the Trinity tests.
for some time with the question of how to approach so profound
(and hence almost banal) a subject matter.
end, I found direction in the impossibility of asking a sound
installation to address such complex abstractions; instead,
I turned to what gives my field recordings their emotive force:
that they evoke a very particular, very concrete experiential
Desert Sun, was built around
a single recording (made
specifically for the piece) of forbidding warning signs
rattling in a harsh desert wind outside the Nevada Test Site.
were instructed to don a safety blindfold and sit in a chair
between high-quality speakers playing the recording at its
original volume. A full spectrum heat lamp was focused on
the forehead of the participant (who in its ultraviolet glare
might eventually sunburn). A fan behind the chair reproduced
the gusting of the recorded wind.
was to recreate as closely as possible the sensations of being,
eyes closed, in the bright afternoon of the high desert.
full artist's statement is here.