Installation in three parts at the University of Iowa's Porch Gallery, Printmaking Staging Space, and Sculpture Installation Lab.
The series of installations offers a proposed fiction involving the use of a time machine designed to travel back in time as a way to examine regret with the hope of making better decisions in the present as to produce an ideal future. This work was generated out of the anxiety arising out of the desire to live a good life as exemplified by good decisions.
The rooms are accompanied with a series of wall texts explaining the orientation of the rooms (different points in time) and points of reflection in the hope of providing the viewer with varied understandings of the problem of choice.
Part 1: The Time Machine
The tool used to travel back. This room consists of two wood wedges shielding a series of lightning bolt-shaped holes cut out of the wall, each lit with a specific color (left to right: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple). A control panel with switches located on the adjacent wall consists of a series of switches and buttons that are color-coded and labeled (left to right: fluction, hydropacity, compression, time oil, flame, and chrometer) each necessary components to time travel. In addition there was an "on/off" switch that controlled the peripheral lights and 'sound of the machine'.
Part 2: The Armory
The first stop on our journey back through time. This room consists of a collection of 180 toy guns cut out of scrap pieces of wood. Viewers were invited to touch and interact with the guns. This room in particular was slightly autobiographical - as a child I often played with these kind of toys, and while they potentially point to innocent, little boy play time; they also possess a very serious dark and tragic weight.
Part 3: The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil
This room consisted of two parts of a apple tree trunk planed down to expose the inner parts of the tree's flesh. The faces of the logs are buffed to a mirror-like finish. Each log rested on steel shelves, and paired with a collection of rotten apples on a fabricated slide. Juices from the apples ran down the slide, discoloring the steel into 5-gallon buckets hung on the edge. Viewers were invited to touch the apple logs and consider them as a magical entity - the tree from Paradise that possessed the fruit that could provide humans with the ability to understand the difference between good and bad with the belief that we understand apples aren't much good for providing a handle on these important issues, maybe the magic is in the tree itself.
We all have things we may regret, whether that is betting on the loosing team in the superbowl, hurting those who we love, or any decision leading us down a "bad" path. What if you could relive past experiences and set yourself down a different fork in the road?
The title of this installation "You're Just Not Thinking Fourth Dimensionally" is a repeated lesson Marty McFly learns from his friend and mentor Doc Brown in the Back To The Future films. The title in this case offers the absurd and seemingly simple solution of a time machine to be a playful possibility of a useful tool capable of allowing one to see through time and to make better decisions in retrospect.
It is my hope that this time machine actually functions – not as something that dematerializes your atoms and spits them out in a different time; but as a symbol, metaphor or opportunity to understand the consequences of our actions with hope that it can provide a brief moment of unclouded foresight.