Steve Brudniak

Solipsistic Coma, 2021
Assemblage with meteorite, synthetic opal, blue laser, distance sensor, and programmed electronics
21 x 13.50 x 3.50 in
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Blue laser light within the piece reacts intelligently as a viewer approaches. The autonomic nature of this work is what must be taken into account if one feels the need to untangle meaning here. The words solipsistic and coma will then lead you down your own path to the opening of the rabbit hole. Just as the following phenomenal description must be experienced phenomenally to be digested thoroughly, so must your understanding be experiential to land: As a viewer moves within 6 feet directly in front of the piece, an opalescent orb will sputter as it lights up with an eerie electric blue glow. It begins to pulse, fading in and out at about the rate of a rapid heartbeat, beckoning the viewer. As one moves closer, the oscillation slows, and the light glows brighter... warming up to the presence of the participant. If the viewer backs off, the orb will speed up again, growing dimmer, and so on. If one leaves the 6-foot range or steps to the side, the light will sputter and shut off, waiting for another visitor. A meteorite boilerplate displays three-dimensional “text” inscribed literally, slowly, over millions of years in the language of crystalline metal. It seems to be what we need to translate this conundrum, but alas, there is no Rosetta stone to pull this thorn with another thorn. What I can tell you is that we have here a “sleeping chamber of the total self”. Which is what the other smaller, brass boilerplate says as written in the world’s oldest script.