Jorge Misium refers to his works as mirrors, “playgrounds antagonizing visitors.”
Adapting unconventional materials to spaces is a principal interest of Jorge Misium. His interactive installations often engage visitors in various states of play and experimentation where meaning and purpose are found through discovery. The elements he often chooses - steel cable, chain, cardboard, salt crystals, silicone rubber, motion detectors, sound and light - are used to create complex systems of connectivity and communication. As a way of establishing a participatory experience, visitors to his sites often find their physical activity somehow reflected in the work. Sensors may cause changes to the environment and materials based on one’s movement or sound. Lights flash, images document movement, and engagement is recorded as the work responds to slight and obvious behaviors.
In Misium’s sculptures and installations visitors are given only minimal instructions for how they are to experience the work. This may be found in related drawings posted on the wall, the tactility of the artist’s manufactured surfaces, or entirely by chance. Discovery and recognition trigger reflection which leads to personal revelation. This is true in his early 2009 project, Skunk Works, an installation involving light, sound, and sensors, where visitors find themselves drawn into a web of lines and lights that appear to document their journey through the environment. Lights flicker and flash based on sound - both live and prerecorded - and movement is captured and projected in the space above the ceiling, only visible through openings made by the removal of tiles. Upon making these discoveries, visitors often find themselves dealing with a complex array of emotions, describing the experience as unsettling, playful, or comforting. The work ceases to exist once the journey is complete. Misium does not concern himself with the conversation of permanence. The art is in the memory of experience.
David Willburn is an artist and blogger working and living in Fort Worth.
Text by David Willburn