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marble, pvc foil, mattress upholstery/headboard, Powerade, Gatorade, Monster Energy Drink, Mountain Dew, transparent hoses, aquarium, submersion pump, aquarium crystal LED light, immersion heater, earphones

(300 x 200 x 35 cm)

An array of flavored energy drinks are pumped sequentially through a wall-mounted mattress. The fluids continuously circulate through an embedded system of rubber hosing. The fluids act as a source of external stimuli to an isolated, unchanging environment. The ever changing flow of energy prevents a monotony of stimulation. This monotony could otherwise cause a dangerous shift of heightened inward attention. We need such external influence so as to avoid the perils of isolation.

"Alone in an unchanging environment, the sensory information available to us, and the ways in which we process it, can change in unpredictable ways. For example, we normally spend most of our time attending to and processing external stimuli from the physical world around us. However, monotonous stimulation from our surroundings may cause us to turn our attention inward, which most of us have much less experience handling.

This can lead to a profoundly altered state of consciousness. We may begin to question what’s going on in our surroundings: Is that creaking sound upstairs just your old house pushing back against the wind, or something more sinister? This ambivalence leaves us frozen in place and wallowing in unease—especially if we’re alone. When we’re uncertain, the first thing we usually do is to look to the reactions of others to figure out what is going on. Without others with whom to share information and reactions, ambiguity becomes very hard to resolve. When this happens, our mind can quickly race to the darkest possible conclusions."

Frank T. McAndrew Ph.D., The Perils of Social Isolation