Hype Cycle, MOCA, Los Angeles
USA, 2013

Hype Cycle 2013 The Kitchen Table at Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles.

This Kitchen Table, a project originated in 1993 by artist Eugenia Butler, will focus on the path of 'hype' within our culture. It is a path that can be likened to a game of telephone in so far as the momentum of the message is far more important than the message itself. A phenomenon so often seen in the art world in which the buzz or critiques outweigh the presence of the art itself. Technology has radically increased the extent to which an original act can be externally propagated through the crowd as an echo, or a mime, or a sonic murmur as it gradually moves from intellect to sensation to noise.

18 participants are divided into 3 tables of 6. Each of the 3 tables has a 4 ft diameter disc that stays in constant rotation throughout the 45 minute conversations. Each participant is individually mic'ed and each mic is connected to a moving UV diode that registers their voice pattern in terms of dominance, volume and tone. The UV light fixes a UV sensitive translucent paint into a specific color that is coded to each of the participants. The result is a visual echo of the conversation where participants can see in real time how the dialogue is progressing in terms of fair participation or unfair dominance.

This kind of real time feed-back could be most useful not just in art sypmposia but in major government summits where conversations often work at cross purposes and no results are achieved, as there is no clear picture of how the underlying path of the conversation evolves. This is a tool to reverse miscommunication in social situations such as these.

Project with:

Corazon Delsol, Richard Whitney