Civil Divination explores the decaying power of desire in arenas of power such as corporate and political life. The symbol of the divining rod is investigated from the point of view of the practitioner and the practiced upon.Historically the divining rod has been used to seek what is valuable. The practitioners of divination are seen as mysteriously powerful.
Hundreds of rust covered divining rods swarm the gallery pointing toward a steel ladder-like form with a gut-covered stretcher hanging from it.A video projection of figures swimming upstream interacts with the texture of the gut as slowly and purposefully they move up and away from the camera, potentially evading the divination source.Below the stretcher, weighing it down, is a small monitor with the rhythmic thrusting sound of an old machine keeping an insistent beat. The audio and video of the monitor grate against that of the projection to create a jarring pulse that is both enveloping and disturbing.However, in order for the physical experience to be complete, viewers must enter the forest of divining rods.They follow a narrow opening allowing them to approach the stretcher until they are enveloped and when they turn to leave, they become another target of the rods pointing in their direction.
Civil Divination was exhibited at the College of Wooster Art Museum 1998 and SPACES, Cleveland in the fall of 1999.