mobilis in mobili
Mobilis in Mobili
plaster, hand-dyed silk gauze, water, light, oil, wooden rings, collages, drawing on mylar
variable size, large basin is 50″ in diameter 28″ tall
photo credits Lauren Molina
Mobilis in Mobili, a large-scale interactive installation, stands as a handbook for the digital castaway longing for connection. The project consists of five large hemispheric- basins that fill a dark space lined with hanging screens of dark-blue silk gauze. The white plaster-cement basins are filled with light and water, the surface is veiled with a floating layer of indigo-blue oil resembling the cosmos. The surface of the oil is shared with wooden rings that hold back the oil to act as circular “portholes” to view collages and text within the basins. The invitation is extended beyond merely looking, to also touch and direct the rings.
This is a place of errancy. Mobilis in Mobili (“moving amidst mobility”) is the motto of the underwater vessel in 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. Captain Nemo maintained a vast library and museum collection, which he considered in its entirety to be contemporary works. When we let go of the expectation that everything must sit in linearity, we open up to the truth of ourselves as fragmentary beings. The fascination for the sea’s inky depths in Verne’s era is perhaps, superseded today only by our yearning for outer space. This work alludes to both.
Within the space of the room whose outlines are fractured by silk panels, I invite you to gaze into illuminated basins where at last we may gaze beyond the firmament of stars. Your body remains in the space while gazing at and into outer and inner space. Your hand and eye explore the various basins as the porthole-lenses float on the surface. Your path is marked by swirling wakes—palimpsests which reform at each viewing. Unlike divination, this experience does not propose answers. Together or alone, we wander. What we are left with is residue from even the briefest contact.