Tonight I was able to go to the opening of Joyce Hinterding’s Simple Forces at Breenspace Gallerywhich considers the aesthetics of our electromagnetic environment through a series of conductive graphite drawings and installations. Hinterding’s work finds a compelling balance between physics and aesthetics, a practice immersed in the strange territory between a field and the force it is able to generate. Hinterding’s work articulates and responds to iconography, philosophy and deep science – transforming matter into ideas, and ideas into matter.

I got to have a chat with Joyce regarding some interesting aspects of her work - particularly the ethics of energy theft and the appropriation of power both bio and electric, specifically in regards to her sound table which was powered by surrounding ambient electromagnetic energy. Joyce pointed out that, despite all the discussion of energy conservation and renewable energy, the major source of loss actually occurred at the source - literally along the cables themselves. This overflow of excess and wasted power was an issue she wished to highlight with her work and that, in line with standard ‘commons’ laws like the sort that cover vegetation and found objects, this power or energy was technically available to anyone who had the means to harness this.

All with which I completely agree. But my thought was turned towards how private energy - the energy of the body, and the mobile phone too which apparently was also used to charge the sound boards - was accessed and in a way maybe even transgressed? Where does data and energy end/begin? Did we, by attendance, give tacit agreement to be ‘harnessed’?

(yes, that’s my hairy forearm touching the art)

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