THINGS WHO FLINCH (or perhaps anticipate)
The title of this installation piece is inspired by the MIT Media Lab project Things That Think. It is part of a conceptual cluster of work I call The Memory Project. The piece refers to several problems I've been mulling over: Conditioned reflexes that make past trauma visible, and the psychologist J. J. Gibson's work with affordances, or locations on objects which encourage human interaction. The everyday objects in this installation could be said to provide anti-affordances, since they actively avoid human interaction. Also, by doing so they display behavior which normally appears in humans who have experienced certain kinds of trauma. Because the installation itself is designed to be viewed under very low light, the image here shows the proof of concept for one of the objects, in this case a flinching sugar bowl, under normal room lighting. To see what happens when someone reaches for it, click here.