Tag Archives: light

The Way Out

I am conducting research for my thesis, which is in three parts.
(1) THE SCULPTURE. A pair of euphoria/dysphoria pods (light & sound environments) that you can enter.
(2) THE BOOK. A satirical handbook for utopic living on the moon: The Way Out: A Manual for Lunar Living. It will include photographs (including some photos of previous works as spaces for inhabiting), text, and watercolor embellishment.
(3) THE RESEARCH. Sensory deprivation and the its use to induce bliss (as in isolation tanks at spas) and its use in torture (primarily coming out of Cold War hysteria).


podsMy starting point is a shape inspired by Taybor’s space ship from the Gerry Anderson produced Space:1999. The point at the top points to the out there. The viewer/participant would walk down into each space from a side door and there will be circular seating as below (imagine this stripped of its house-ness).

seatingThe path in my sketch symbolizes the fact I need a path but does not represent what it will look like (to be resolved). I will be working with google sketch up on some basic designs.The Euphoria/Dysphoria pods will be modular such as the shelter below, designed by Broissin Architects in Tepotzotlan, Mexico.

nano_houseLighting for the euphoria pod may be kaleidescopic; I am also entertaining the idea of a nearly blinding bright blue light with the floor a textured green (pointing to the blue sky and grass). Dysphoria will be pitch black. In each case there will be sound design. For dysphoria: sickeningly low frequencies that make your bowels itch. For euphoria, probably a combination of organ, flute, and bells, long tones, lots of layering and reverb.


As mentioned, The Way Out: A Manual for Lunar Living will be satirical–I am influenced by Walker Percy’s mock book Lost in the Cosmos, “the last self-help book.” I’ll be taking some ideas of The Whole Earth Catalog, The Modern Utopian (below), new age and self-help books and shooting them onto the moon (which will be more hospitable to humans as we destroy Earth).

the_modern_utopianFor an idea of what my book will look like (the mashup of image and text), click on the link to Nautofon 1. Nautofon is an artist collective based in Sweden. I am a fan of their publications which look at the ‘mist’ of the unknowable between science and the mystical.
NautofoncoverTHE RESEARCH
Sensory deprivation is a topic that interests me, and provides an easy framework to discuss euphoria/dysphoria as it has been used to induce both. I plan to look at the tragic life of John P. Zubek, a psychologist who conducted experiments in the 50s and 60s at the University of Manitoba (more to come). Going into a floatation tank myself is my primary research and I would like to build up to an overnight session.
My work was published in Make8elieve’s Issue #4: OCD. Check it out.


Your Sanitation: Full Video

Here is the full video from the In Loo exhibition, on display at CCAD this Friday May 10th, 7-10 pm, Design Studios on Broad building, 390 E Broad. Convenient parking at the corner of Broad and Cleveland in Columbus, Ohio. Facebook event page is here if you are into that sort of thing.

Muzak for the eyes and ears in three movements.

I. Douche Pastorale
II. In the Trenches
III. A Day at the Fair

Your Sanitation from Lexie Stoia on Vimeo.

In Loo Teaser: Your Sanitation

In Loo: An exhibition in the bathroom(s). Opening reception is Tuesday April 23rd at 7:30 pm. More information here.
My installation (Your Sanitation) includes affected lights, security cameras, and a video installation in three movements. The video is muzak chicken soup for the eyes and ears. Take a look below for a teaser video.

I. Douche Pastorale
II. In the Trenches
III. A Day at the Fair

bathroom01 bathroom02 bathroom03

In Loo Teaser from Lexie Stoia on Vimeo.

Why this shape?

why_this_shape?As part of a brief critique of The Magic Mountain proposal, someone asked where the shape of the towers came from (see previous entry for sketch). I am making a small field of these welded steel towers. In the moment I stumbled over my words, trying to connect disparate thoughts. But these are all possible answers to the question “Why this shape?”:

1) I drew it in a previous sketch (…but where did that come from?) To be more clear, I changed the design a bit. The original had a square-shaped top but I found that the triangle was easier to balance, being on a 3-rod structure vs. 4. This is the pragmatic answer.

2) It’s connected to childhood memories of staring out the window in car-rides at dusk through Stark County. The Ohio terrain is long and flat except for the tall transmission towers…This is the psychoanalytic answer.

3) Mountainous Banff, Alberta, Canada. This is a place I lived and a place I don’t go a day without thinking about. Despite personal hell I still remember it as ideal. The Banff Centre=fundamentally transformative. This is the nostalgic answer.

4)  It reminds me of The Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann.  Modern in feel, a retreat in the mountains, time stretched out. All things that converge in my piece. This is the literary answer.

5)  And the blue glow that these towers will emit? That comes from the enjoyment I get out of seeing a glowing tv screen through a living room window. This is the voyeuristic answer.

blue glowing tv

How far back do you go looking for an explanation (“why this shape”)? If you don’t believe in free will (which I don’t) you hit a wall. I did not will myself to like radio towers, mountains, and glowing tv’s. These things just happen to intersect in my brain. I cannot take credit for my success or failure with this project; it’s really luck in the end if this thing does work out.

If this sounds like a depressing, hopeless way of looking at things, it is. In his book Free Will, Sam Harris makes a strong case that free will is merely an illusion. This book has stuck in my craw (in a good way?) since August 2012. Unfortunately I don’t think the consolatory section at the end ameliorates the angst bound to emerge while reading it. Thank god for art!

I see a tiny sliver of positivity in our lack of free will on my teaching blog.