#rocks is a multi-channel sound installation, of approximately 30 minutes. It presents a recorded reading of Vilém Flusser’s 1979 essay “Meadows”,¹ through fifteen rock-speakers placed within the exhibition space. The sound travels through each speaker in a never-ending, hypnotic loop.
The installation reconstitutes the history of nature, or ‘natures,’ outlined in Flusser’s essay, by presenting the text through a quintessentially artificial, ‘disneyfied’ media object: the plastic rock-speaker. (These are commercially available, manufactured in China, and most often used for camouflaging outdoor audio systems in theme-parks, landscaped gardens and suburban backyard pools.) #rocks places these manufactured objects centre-stage, revealing their artifactual and artificial constitution: an all too human object, intended to pass invisibly as natural. #rocks betrays our intention to camouflage culture as nature. Perversely rendered explicit here is artificial natural-ness, the hashtag reference to an out-of-doors that never existed, placed into a most fitting setting: culture.
¹ Vilém Flusser, “Meadows”, published in Natural:Mind, Univocal Publishing, 2013