Cosmic rays are invisible, high-energy charged particles that move at nearly the speed of light. Scientists believe that some come from the Sun, while others are ejected from supernova explosions and other energetic events in interstellar space, however, the exact origin has not been confirmed yet. When these mysterious rays collide with the atmosphere of the earth, it shatters into muons – elementary particle similar to the electron, that penetrate our bodies and objects around us. In his 1950 Nobel Lecture, C.F. Powell described cosmic rays as a “thin rain of charged particles”. It is truly a powerful experience to witness the technology that senses the phenomena we neither see nor recognize even though they are endlessly reaching through and around us. The experience feels as though you are given this extraordinary power that lets you expand your senses to a supernatural degree, deciphering a secret message from the extraterrestrial world. All of a sudden, you are able to imagine standing in the waves of rays that surround your whole existence. It was a significant and spiritual experience in my life.
Looking at this high-tech device, I couldn`t help but be overwhelmed by the irony of technology. We have developed a piece of machinery to do things that we cannot do or sense naturally. In a way, although we have the ability to create things to such a high technological level, these creations` sole purpose is all to compensate for the shortcomings of our own species. Technology is the biggest irony of this century. Developed from natural materials, and created by humans, it consummates and destroys our world simultaneously. It is sophisticated and brutal at the same time and poses both problems and solutions.
We are often proud of our technology, and what humans have accomplished with high functioning brains, but does that really mean that we are as “good” as our technology? Perhaps we are so fascinated with technology because we are secretly looking for things to compensate for our vulnerable existence in this world. The newest technology out there directly challenges what it means to be mortals, and what was once left to the supernatural power. From primitive technology such as dams to the recent plans for weather control, humans have consistently tried to control the outer environment to feel empowered.
The purpose of art is to turn our eyes towards the vulnerable inner world, rather than the exterior. Whether the subject is an inner perception of the personal world or societal world is an artist`s choice. However, the technology of the 21st century puts on such a thick layer of armors on our soul, that the only tool to strip off this protective layer is the technology itself. The exploration of this particular irony is my sole purpose as an artist. I constantly look for ways to expose and unveil the human species, with the help of technology.
I often use microcontrollers to program and create conceptual works that reflect on people`s behavioral patterns. In these works, the use of electrical sensors is a big part of the narrative. The sensors work as detectors to expose a certain element of the human and natural world that is invisible to the naked eye. These pieces are often drawn from my reactions to society and meant to expand the viewer`s senses for a dramatic and impactful experience. By exposing what is already around the viewers, the works juxtapose a question that comes directly from the viewers themselves, which results in a more effective. With this process, the works provoke the viewers to be more conscious of our fragility as organic beings in a technological world.