Mannequins, Bondo, vintage record players, refuse wires, scrap wood, test tubes, medical equipment, neopixels, Arduino
mobilemedic/oracle is an interactive installation that consists of an on-going dialogue among the public and two robotic “service” devices. Both speak to a strange, dystopian future of American society built upon authoritarian control, mindless bureaucracy, occult rituals, and the theocratic worship of pagan deities. A re-imagining of its ancient Greek namesake, oracle provides participants with insensitive and streamlined psychiatric care through a library of randomized voice patterns activated when a hand is placed above the outstretched arm of the statue. Using proximity sensors, oracle delivers unproductive and often absurd therapeutic advice which coordinates to rhythmic patterns of LED lights: the oracle's circulatory system.
Similarly, mobilemedic services participants with seemingly unhelpful voice commands related to health and emergency care. Resembling a paleolithic skull that has undergone trepanation, mobilemedic is activated when participants brush their hands across a series of dangling test tubes filled with black liquids.
Through its playful modes of interactivity, mobilemedic/oracle imagines a speculative future in which highly efficient machines provide citizens with general healthcare and psychiatric services filtered through bleak government control and esoteric mysticism. Through the dark unrealities they communicate, mobilemedic and oracle prompt us to reconsider—in the here and now—alternative possibilities for hopeful futures related to issues of sustainability, artificial intelligence, social justice, and democracy.
Artspace, mobilemedic/oracle, Raleigh, NC, November, 2018.