Experiential Modifiers

“Experiential Modifiers is a public lending-library of bright pink objects, available for your immediate use. After a brief consultation with a member of our friendly and capable staff, an appropriate item will be suggested. Feeling tired? Try the Small Portable Chair. Feeling playful? Perhaps the Hula Hoop, or the Large Inflatable Beach Ball. Need something to nurture? The Small Potted Plant.”

Modifiers include: a Vintage Megaphone, a Large Inflatable Coil, a Remote Controlled Car, a Cassette Player with Headphones, a Motorcycle Helmet, a Handheld Mirror, a Scuba Weightbelt, and many, many more. To borrow an Modifier, participants simply leave a government issued ID with a member of our staff. Come on down to Experiential Modifiers today, and get yourself Modified! (You know you need it!)”

Experiential Modifiers is a project encompassing sculpture, performance and installation. The project explores a type of fairy-tale consumerism, in which products are expected to modify or alter emotional states (which of course is one of the underlying claims of a market driven culture – self-realization through consumption). I’m also interested in bureaucratic and pseudo-scientific motifs – using proprietary systems to determine choice. Thus my consultants rely absolutely on a chart that cross references objects with effects (e.g., the Necktie “Prepares You For an Important Business Meeting” and the Potted Plant “Bestows a Sense of Nurturing Another Living Being”) when making their recommendations.

Typically, the overall effect is immediate, playful, contagious, giddy, sensual. Participants naturally begin to role play within the piece’s performative parameters, starting with the absurdly serious “consultation process”. Afterwards, once the participant has ‘checked-out’ the object, they quickly develop novel ways to interact with others within the ever-expanding context of the piece. During the debut in San Francisco, one woman hula hooped all night. Another took her friend down the street and around the block in the toy wagon. Another drove the remote controlled car around the space, bumping into people’s feet. The effect was as if a pink virus had spread through the crowd, encouraging a spirit of play that co-mingled with and intruded upon, the official context of the evening (a gallery opening). Visually and spatially, the piece was dispersed and pervasive; little flashes of pink were seen bobbing around the very crowded scene.

Exhibition History:

ScotiaBank Nuit Blanche, The Drake Hotel, Toronto, Canada, 2010
Art Basel Miami Beach, Bridge, Miami Beach, Dec. 2007
Art Basel Miami Beach, Conflux, Dec. 2007
Conflux Festival, Brooklyn, 2007
New Langton Arts, SF, 2003