new-york

Perry Hoberman

Postmasters

Perry Hoberman’s new interactive installation, entitled Faraday’s Garden, featured dozens of used household appliances, arrayed across a waist-high counter. Spanning an entire room, the platform was cut through with a circular path, carpeted with mats equipped with pressure-sensitive switches. As viewers made their way through the “diorama,” their footsteps automatically triggered appliances ranging from hair dryers and electric knives to film projectors. Turned on inadvertently, the appliances seem almost autonomous, inspiring the childlike fantasy of a living garden of consumer goods.

Electricity is reinvested with magical powers, yet the suggestion is only partial,or, rather, propositional; the artist left all the wires, mats, and switches exposed. The implicit behaviorism of the setup ultimately fell flat on its face; instead of a convincing illusion, what Hoberman courts is the viewer’s

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