Chris Csikszentmihalyi, Skin & Control

Parallel installations by Chris Csikszentmihályi
“Skin” and “Control”
September 22 through February 26, 2004


see slide show of installation

Skin & Control catalogue
$28 or $65 special edition (signed by the artist, includes CD-ROM)


Rising out of the gallery floor and disappearing into the walls, two large-scale installations by MIT-based artist Chris Csikszentmihályi (cheek-sent-mee-high) will occupy Location One’s space for the Fall Season 2004. The installations explore two central technologies of our late industrial society, the airplane and the control panel, rehearsing our dependence on complex technologies and the vulnerability they engender. “Skin” is an aluminum cylinder, the fuselage of a Boeing 737 that emerges from the gallery floor, stopped in the act of flying. Viewers will feel the vibrations of the plane in flight and hear the muffled conversations of passengers. “Control” is composed of panels, roughly modeled on those used in Chernobyl, that wend their way through the gallery. The visitor will manipulate the puzzling array of buttons, dials, and indicators of this complex technological system, all the while wondering what kind of control he gains by his interaction.

Of his work Chris Csikszentmiháyi writes “my goal as an artist is to understand and intervene into the production of material power–technologies. My day job as MIT professor involves doing that at a very literal level. “Skin” and “Control” do this at a more symbolic level, in the form of installations that operate as immersive environments, walk-in tableaux with everyday drama being enacted moment by moment.”

As with all Location One events, the exhibition will be live-streamed on the Internet. During the exhibition Location One will present a series of conversations, lectures and discussions with the artist and international speakers from many fields to debate the ideas generated by the installations. The installations will be accompanied by an illustrated catalogue with texts by Caroline A. Jones, Professor of Art History at M.I.T. and author of Machine in the Studio: Constructing the Postwar American Artist, by McKenzie Wark, author of A Hacker Manifesto (Harvard University Press) and Professor of media & cultural studies at Lang College, New School University. It will be published by Charta Art Books, Milan and distributed by D.A.P.