Visually complementing this issue’s theme is featured artist <strong>Liz Lessner</strong>’s sculptures, which combine traditional fabrication techniques and emerging technologies to create novel sensory experiences.
Lessner, MFA and Fulbright Scholar, explores physical computing, materiality, built environments, responsiveness, and interactivity to engage with contemporary discourse communities on the body, agency, and conceptions of self. Influenced by Lygia Clark’s sensorial and relational objects, which ritualize and focus on gestural performances to reframe the processing of memories, inter-personal interactions, and conceptions of self, Lessner’s interactive sculptures call on our embodied knowledge and temporal sensibilities in a new process which builds on the suggestion in Clark’s work that relational objects can be transformative and therapeutic. Sensors and those algorithms which interpret their data allow for a sustained immersion in the embodied experience of intimate communication. The viewer’s participation is actively invoked by this sensory attunement and the attendant association of personal embodied memory. The use of computing as material attempts to open viewers to novel variations in sensory language, prompting them to devise new engagements with its syntax. By provoking new associations, the sculptures arouse the possible mutability of the viewers’ narrative consciousness. A critical aspect of this work is the possibility of expediting an embodied response to stimuli that is usually passively processed. Through amplification and sustained interaction these sculptures experiment with a collaborative process of play and exploration which facilitates ways of knowing that are beyond logic.