Media Installation

“Today after more than a century of electric technology, we have extended our central nervous system itself in a Global Embrace, abolishing both space and time as far as our planet is concerned.” – Marshall McLuhan


Mori is an Internet-based earthwork that engages the earth as a living medium. In this installation, minute movements of the Hayward Fault in California are detected by a seismograph, converted to digital signals, and transmitted continuously via the Internet to the installation. The title links the Japanese term for “forest-sanctuary” with the Latin “reminder of mortality.” In Mori, the immediacy of the telematic embrace between earth and visitor questions the authenticity of mediated experience in the context of chance, human fragility, and geological endurance.

Mori was created in collaboration with Ken Goldberg and Gregory T. Kuhn. Commissioned in 1999 by the NTT InterCommunication Center (ICC) in Tokyo Japan. The work toured the US between 2001 and 2003 as part of Telematic Connections: The Virtual Embrace, an exhibition presented by the Walker Art Center and Independent Curators International (ICC), curated by Steve Dietz. Mori was also exhibited at the Kitchen Art Center in New York City in March, 2003, as well as the Arlington Art Center, Virginia, in 2005. In 2006, we received a commission from the San Francisco Ballet to create a new version entitled Ballet Mori. In commemoration of the 100 year anniversary of the San Francisco earthquake, SF Ballet principal dancer Muriel Maffre performed the work on April 18th, 2006 at the San Francisco Opera House.



Mori Installation

Installation walkthrough at the Arlington Arts Center in Arlington VA. The video documentation enters into the installation, spiraling to the center, where the handrail and seismic display is situated. Here, a five-channel sound system surrounds the viewer, including a sub-woofer, installed beneath the floor, which activates the space with vibrations from the real-time fluctuations of the earth.

Technical Installation Details

Technical Diagram

Ballet Mori

Performed by principal dancer Muriel Maffre of the San Francisco Ballet at the San Francisco Opera house on April 18, 2006. This is an excerpt from the performance, in which Maffre performed to a musical score consisting of real-time fluctuations of the earth’s activity.

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