Jane Mulfinger · Exacting Minutia While History Repeats · 2004

3 floor-to-ceiling enclosures, 2.5' x 4' x 16.5'
down, aluminum, steel, plexiglass, hardware, timer, light, energy
Contemporary Arts Forum, Santa Barbara

A site-specific installation incorporating the unpredictable movement of down, simulated daylight, increments of time, and spatial relationships, all of these combining to reflect upon the nature of history.

In the genesis of this work, one of Mulfinger’s objectives was to address an apparent lack, that of light in a space that has an oppressively dark ceiling. Three light boxes, daylight balanced, were installed as mock skylights in the ceiling of the 1600 squarefoot space. Directly underneath each ‘skylight’ are enclosed chambers constructed of aluminum, steel, plexiglass and wood. Each enclosure contains an amount of down feather equal to a standard pillow. Approximately every 2 1/2 minutes, the timer that controls the fans of all three objects, turns on. The feathers resting at the bottom of the chamber begin to churn and rise within the chamber. Over the minutes that pass, the feathers begin to congest the filter at the top of each box. When the timer turns off, there is a pause, then a cumulative feather fall that is slow and graceful to the base of the columns. The luminous rise and fall of matter parallels the sensations of clouds passing overhead.