Beaming Baudrillard: A Foray into the World(s) of Furniture and Other Things (2013-2015)

Beaming Baudrillard: A Foray into the World(s) of Furniture and Other Things is a multi-channel video installation involving animation, sound, and computer-assisted fabrication. The project began in response to two texts: Simulacra and Simulation (1981) by cultural theorist Jean Baudrillard and a 1981 reproduction of The Catalog of Roycroft Furniture and Other Things (1906) both which have been translated in various ways through digital technologies. The installation addresses themes of reproduction, translation, and transmission as images from an early 20th century furniture catalog are reproduced both virtually and physically, allowing for various modes of function and interactivity.

The installation changes each time it is exhibited, and each version of the installation is photographed and used as a backdrop for a new animation. Currently the installation includes 15 animations, 22 sculptures, and an evolving sound track.

The animations depict several constructed worlds populated with images from the Roycroft Furniture Catalog as explored by a mysterious figure in a red jump suit. Within the animations the furniture-images act both as functional set pieces and active characters. 

The same Roycroft Catalog images used in the animations are brought into physical space in the form of faux-furniture sculptures. The sculptures are created by digitally tracing the original image, enlarging it to human-scale, and laser-cutting the image into ½ inch sheets of plywood. The original shapes are spliced and hinged together allowing them to be bent at angles that resemble the warping effects and scale shifts that take place in the animations. The original catalog image is enlarged and applied to the laser-cut wood so that the sculptures appear as flat images warped to fit within a three dimensional plane.

The soundtrack is composes of passages from Simulacra and Simulation and The System of Objects translated into Morse code. Each media device is equipped with a different audio track so that the overall soundtrack changes over time.