CHROMATIC SUN DIAL + RISE AND FALL (OF CACAMA) // SUN WORSHIP AND SOLAR MACHINES // FPAC GALLERY @ ENVOY HOTEL
This site-specific installation was built in late August of 2018 in the Seaport neighborhood of Boston. It was created for an exhibition curated by Kari and Max Razdow called Sun Worship and Solar Machines. This piece creates an organic sun dial that relies more on a performative process of trial and error than the calculated mathematics of a traditional sun dial. An assortment of colored theatre gels are mounted to the windows of the gallery so that they catch the sun light along its trajectory across the harbor. The gels then throw orbs of color onto the ledge and floor where natural found objects (stones, bones, shells, coral etc) rest. The objects on the ledge are arranged in such a way that they catch these colored orbs and are spotlit every 30 minutes from 1pm until 5:30pm. Objects placed on the floor are also flooded with color at particular times of day. This pieces is inspired by the work of an Indian, Zoroastrian color healer named Dinshah and is dedicated to the late occult artist Paul Laffoley who was my neighbor. In his will, Laffoley kindly and generously left behind his collection of books to his neighbors of the artist live-work building where I reside. An incredible book on Dinshah called “Let There Be Light” was one of the prized gifts I chose from his studio after he passed.
In the restroom of the gallery, a video called Rise and Fall (of Cacama), also from the Revolving Spectrum thematic series of work was displayed. On this page of my website, I decided to pair these works with another inflatable work by the name of Oscillating Spectrum: Vata-Derangement. A statement about this work explains its relation to color healing:
Ayurveda, a Sanskrit term translating to life-knowledge, is an ancient health science that recognizes three psychophysical constitutions, or Doshas, that regulate all life forms. The three doshas are Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. For most, one or two of these types are found to be most dominant but the goal is to find a delicate state of balance between them all. Each dosha has several differentiating qualities, described by the 5 elements, that also correspond with our seven Chakras. The elements that characterize Kapha are Earth & Water which relate to the root and sacral chakras, whereas Pitta is ruled by Water & Fire and associated with the solar chakra. While Kapha and Pitta share an elemental overlap, Vata is considered the leader of the doshas, exhibiting qualities of Air and Ether and corresponding with throat and heart chakras. Vata is the force that controls all movement in the body, the flow of thoughts, breath, words, images, etc. The central nervous system is governed by Vata which is also the most abstract, unstable and intangible constitution. Vata can easily fall out of balance, particularly in a contemporary society that appears to move at the speed of light and wind. This extreme state of imbalance, prescribed only to vata, is called "derangement" and can affect the (dis)functions of all the doshas. Thus a case of "vata-deranged" may be colloquially described as “stressed out”.
This high-frequency energy and its effects on the full body is performed by a kinetic, inflatable work called Rise and Fall (vata-deranged). A standard oscillating desk fan poses as a source of wind, activating and aggravating each of seven newspaper sleeves. Their spectrum of colors are staged to follow the arc of the wind’s motion and arranged in order from red to violet or from root chakra to crown chakra as they represent the radiant energy of each. Chakras are energy centers or wheels pertaining to certain areas in your body. Thus the full pattern of rise and fall begins at the base of the body’s spine and travels up to the top of the head as such: red/root, orange/sacral, yellow/solar plexus, green/heart, blue/throat, indigo/third eye, violet/crown… and back again. We may associate the everyday materials of this piece with 21st century states of stress and information overload while recognizing the importance of a the vata breath that awakens and sustains all beings.