Inherent Truth

PVC pipe, oak, glass, LED lighting and electronics.  15" x 6" x 3"

In this rather phallic sculpture, the green light at the top fluctuates in response to sound levels in the environment (AVI.) The sensitivity is greatest to pitches in the speech range, however it is also highly responsive to sounds such as footsteps. The sensitivity varies depending on the average sound level, and when it is quiet, it becomes very sensitive indeed. In the video, you can see some flickering at the start which is the response to a distant voice only barely audible in the sound track.

This piece is sort of a positivistic rant about the existence of actual, un-socially-constructed reality. While it is true that much about science and engineering is social and constructive, this does not mean that any other socially constructed belief system about the universe we live in is equally valid.

In a cut-away engineering drawing, the non-straight-line boundary around the opening represents an imaginary opening in the surface revealing the interior. In this case, the opening reveals the complex, messy, and socially constructed interior supporting the abstract statement. However, knowledge of physics, mathematics and the properties of electronic components tells us that some arrangements give us a circuit with the desired behavior, whereas others are just meaningless collections of components.

Since the sculpture responds to the human voice, it is in a sense socially responsive, however it also reminds us that our conceptual world is contingent on a physical reality where we can convey thoughts by vibrating the air.

Last update 5 February 2004

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