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Bernie Lubell Since the 1980's he has been making interactive wood mechanical installations that explore the conflicted relationship we have with machines -- machines upon which we have become so dependent and in which we often see ourselves.  Although his installations are interactive, his work is adamantly low tech. Lubell’s installations use no computers or motors and are powered entirely by visitors to the show.

Some of his pieces are theatre like settings such as Sufficient Latitude (2000) which takes three people to simulate being lost and adrift on a black plastic sea. Other installations are communication networks such as The Furtive Ear (1995) -- a speaking tube phone booth confessional.  More recently he has been engaged in creating mechanical analogues for the human body; Etiology of Innocence (1999) -- a mechanical pneumatic heart simulation,  A Little Breathing Room (2007) -- a Rube Goldberg sort of homage to my mother's last breath, ...and the Synapse Sweetly Singing (2003) is a model of the brain that invites you to crank yourself into a pine coffin where you can communicate with those outside over tin-can telephones.  With the Conservation of Intimacy (2005) he has applied homemade pneumatics to focus on the nature of intimacy between participants.

Although his subjects can be life and death, these serious issues are examined with handmade wood machines that both mock and applaud our scientific methods.  They are playful in their ad hoc complexity and they are fun to play with.  One thing that has run through all of these works is way that people form relationships -- like children on a playground -- in order to get the pieces to work.  

Bernie Lubell, Niche of Desire,  2009, wood, paper, $10,000

Accident Report, 1991, pine, nylon, music-wire and paint, $9,000

January 9  -  February 7, 2010




Hanna Regev

& Steven Lopez

One great revolution of Marcel Duchamp's art was to fasten onto the world outside of art for inspiration.  It was not just the subjects and concepts that Duchamp drew upon, it was also the language -- the visual and spoken systems of expression that he incorporated into his work.  Borrowing from science and technology (radio, x-rays, electricity & magnetism, machinery etc...) and the world of commerce (department stores, display cases mass production and ...) Duchamp crafted pieces that not only commented on our societal creations but also probed the invisible connections between our desires and our creations.

The Niche of Desire, which is in this show, is like an inverted Duchamp readymade.  Instead of appropriating and repurposing a commercially available object my questionnaire stand is a handmade version of an object which doesn't actually exist but could be a commercial item.  And the stand holds a questionnaire-- a scientific instrument-- to probe the invisible world of our concepts of heaven.  And it does this through language -- playing with psychology and demographics. (Another of Duchamp's influences was his word play).  My questionnaire invites you on a playful, journey of self discovery that ends with a Freudian barb.

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