Nowhere Manifesto Revisited

Linda_and_Lexie_Loungin'Our latest earcatcher video made us think about the earcatcher philosophy.  Midwesterners are always worried about how the rest of the country views us. We tell them, “Look at all the cool shit happening here!” Yes indeed there is a plethora of great underground projects going on. But we also think that a lack of identity is freeing. Time to revisit my Nowhere Manifesto which ties into what we do. It’s also a friendly nod to other artists who live in off-the-radar cities. You can download poster sizes here.

NOWHERE MANIFESTO

Making art is a comment on time and place, even if it is an unconscious one.
We (Humans of Earth) are shaped by our environments and experiences.

Then what about the artist who lives in the bland pancake of the American Midwest?

Columbus is a city known to be a cross section of the United States if it is known at all.
Every type of person is represented here.
Test Market USA.

We are a marketer’s wet dream.
We live together in relative harmony.
We have no body of water and the tallest point in the county is a landfill.
Not even a lake on which to be a mistake.
Endless flatness in four directions,
all corn and soybeans.

We cancel each other out!
When you mix all the colors of paint together you get mud.
We are in touch with the void.

Shitty is pretty.
Lint & dust in the corners of a sprawling campus dump hole:
more interesting than the top of the empire state building.

What we do here will never be co-opted by the mainstream art world.
The lack of pressure to succeed is freeing.

An incubator for weirdness.
Embrace the nowhere-ness!


dedicated to d.a. levy (RIP)

The Way Out Press Release

ian_with_tankPhotos and a PDF version of this press release are available for download at www.findthewayout.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The Way Out: a sensory deprivation art installation
on view until April 30th, 2014

The Problem Isn’t You. It’s Earth.

The Way Out is a community we’ve established on the moon in response to our planet’s terminal illness. Earth is a lost cause and living on it leads to permanent brain damage.  We’ve developed specialized sensory deprivation tanks that will free you from your Earthly neuroses and realign your senses.

On this rare occasion The Way Out has allowed the visual deprivation tanks to be on view at the Columbus College of Art & Design’s MFA Thesis Exhibition, All This Happened More or Less, until April 30th, 2014, in Columbus, Ohio, USA, Earth. Though we do not deny the objectness of this work, the focus here is on the aural. The sounds emitted in the chambers allow you to reconnect with your body’s primordial reptilian instincts. Later this year, The Way Out: Tenets, Rites & Rituals will be published, furthering the public’s understanding of our ways.

This is an invitation.

###

The Way Out is Lexie Stoia’s MFA thesis project at Columbus College of Art & Design where she also teaches in the Cinematic Arts Department. Stoia earned a BA in Music/Audio Recording Technology from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. She continued her studies at the Banff Centre for the Arts in Alberta, Canada. Stoia has exhibited nationally and lives and works in Columbus, Ohio.

###

Contact Information:
Lexie Stoia­­
614-462-0615
info@lexiestoia.com
http://www.lexiestoia.com

 See more images at www.findthewayout.org

Beautiful Brainwashing Machine

tanks_installed  The visual deprivation tanks are installed. They are still a work in progress, a baby requires constant care! I have installed a handle and hook inside the tanks so that participants can shut themselves in without an attendant there to lock them in. This will change the entire way people interact with the piece. Having an attendant there is anxiety inducing because people might feel odd with someone hovering. If people have the freedom to come and go they will linger more with the piece which is the goal.the_way_out_people_in_line

On opening night of our MFA thesis exhibition Ian (assistant) was a space druid usher, letting people into the tanks. “Would you like some booties?” A genius opening line to make people comfortable in the shadow of this intimidating art beast. Since I wanted that night to be a spectacle it made sense. There was a long line of people who increased my confidence. Some people came out of the tanks wanting to meditate longer; others were disturbed by it. Success! Sometimes when I talk with faculty I don’t think they don’t get what I’m doing or even like it very much. Any bit of positive feedback helps.

This is a one minute clip of the sound design. The birds-eye view of the tanks reveal a setup reminiscent of the human head (left ear/head/right ear). The soundtrack is stereo with ‘euphoria’ on the left and ‘dysphoria’ on the right. The center of the tunnel is the crossfade. This clip simulates moving from left to right in the tanks. Using these extremes of sound 1) makes for an engaging soundtrack, 2) references the range of human states of mind, and 3) points to the extreme uses of sensory deprivation (historically, for torture and therapy).the_way_out_install

Toby (industrial designer) and I changed the hydraulic lifts so that they match the doors’ weight better. The other lifts were for a door weighing 136 pounds–they were difficult to lift and split the wood on the sides.  There is light leakage around the doors. I wanted to see if I could get away with that and be happy. I’m not. The advanced sculpture class that I TA in came by and agreed–for my concept of visual deprivation to heighten the senses I must seal all cracks of light. Greg (assistant) and I are finishing this up Wednesday and then finally I can call it done. Er, ‘done.’

visualization_card_frontvisualization_card_back

I created visualization cards. Take a look above and try it out! These are inspired by religious ephemera that you find in small town diners and snuck in library books. Usually you see Jesus.

I need feedback on The Way Out community. Does it need a god-like thing to worship, a ‘face’ to the void representing the stuff of the universe? I was thinking of creating something called Space Face, the energy in everything. What do you think?

My thesis paper will be the beginnings of a collage style book I am writing called The Way Out: Tenants, Rites, and Rituals. I will focus on the tenants of The Way Out community in this paper. Here is an idea of what I will do but it’s rough at this point. That should be telling that I haven’t started my paper.
01) Introduction (outline of the project and research)
02) Sensory deprivation –> sensory activation
03) Towards a utopic information system
04) A dismantling of Earth’s surveillance machine
05) Peaceful anarchy?
06) The importance of play
07) Spirituality without restriction (SPACE FACE?)
08) Leaving a small footprint: the cult of nature
09) Social rituals define our human-ness
10) Language with meaning
11) Places and spacessun_and_moon

I will use the framework of new religious movements (Scientology, Mormonism, etc.) but with theories and ideas I believe in. I like the confusion of using their methods and critiquing them simultaneously. Through their methods I gain a respect for them, for their ability to tap into peoples’ psychological needs, even though some have done awful things.

Here’s my artist statement as a reminder of where I am coming from.
—–
The problem isn’t you, it’s Earth. The Way Out is a community we’ve established on the moon in response to our planet’s terminal illness. Earth is a lost cause and living on it leads to permanent brain damage.

The Way Out awakens our senses and deprograms Homo sapiens of neurotic behaviors, freeing us. Our greatest lunar development: specialized deprivation tanks. The sounds emitted in the chambers allow you to reconnect with your body’s primordial reptilian instincts. This is an invitation.
—–

realign the reptilian brain!

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