Julia Scher

June 9 – July 14, 2000
Main Gallery
Installation Views
image
Press Release

-THESE MICROWAVES... ARE NETWORKED...NOW...
-MICROWAVE #2 IS DIRECTING...
-MICROWAVE #1 AND MICROWAVE #3 IS DIRECTING MICROWAVE #4...AND 5 AND 6 AND 7 AND 8
-THESE MICROWAVES ARE CREATING A USER MODEL OF PREFERENCES AND AMBITIONS... RECORDING YOU... NOW!
-THE MICROWAVES FACILITATE YOUR IMAGE-RECORDING, YOUR DATA BANK ENTRIES...
-THE NETWORKED MICROWAVES ARE MAKING YOUR CONSUMING DECISIONS... NOW!

Julia Scher continues her investigation of transformational electronics with the MICROWAVE, an interface designed to do more than excite molecules. Microwaves saturate society, pouring forth from computer screens, cell phones, military armaments.... Unlike the pale fires of television, the microwave must not be gazed upon. A technology that cooks without warmth, yet burns the flesh and eyes, stands at the interface between military atomic watchfulness and the electronic transmission and delivery systems of American fast-food culture.

Julia Scher has worked for three years with a microwave range from M.I.T.'s infamous Building 20 (now demolished)-- the place where radar/microwave technology was first developed. It was there that radar's domestic application was also discovered and ultimately transformed into the familiar domestic appliance-the microwave oven. Once, the hearth was the site of transformation between raw and cooked, nature and culture-situated at the threshold between public and private worlds. The electronic hearth or microwave oven is similarly situated, as it is a site of power whose energy is invisible and unregulated, its door an active screen through which we watch products as they approach readiness for ingestion.

Her newest body of work, "smart" microwave sculptures reflect the shift of electronics from the one-way interface for order-taking and information-delivery to the two-way surveillance structures for data-mining and reconstruction. They reveal the electronic interface of domestic gear whose purpose is to feed food and information, but whose delivery system is ubiquitous.

Julia Scher has always been at the forefront of work investigating systems of technology and their interaction with/action upon society. After pioneering work in surveillance technology, she now teaches a course on the subject at MIT. Although the work in this exhibition is new, it continues Scher's previous explorations with the themes of security and safety while exposing both the deceptions and seductions of our technological era. 'Her 12" vinyl (new release) FEED:CNTRL is on view and available at the gallery, along with new DVD's which compress 15 years of surveillance images and time lapse recordings into 2 hour DATA CHUNKS. Also view assorted microwave news & products at www.scherware.com.