Joseph Morris


     I make emotive machines.  My work is occupied with the affectual space of somatic relationships between our bodies and physical space.  I am immersed in the creation of machines that resemble the body through the gesture of breathing.  The works represent artificial lungs; viduous membranes surrounded with moving structures, with scaffolding that supports the action of inhalation and contraction.  They consist of rigid and flexible materials; pushing and pulling against thin films of plastic or silk, creating literal and metaphoric tension between each cycle of breath and the subtlety of soft materials against hard surrounding structure, conflicting with how sculptures are normally perceived.

     Through this tension of soft, ephemeral gesture with hard, precise machinery exists intangibility, and it is this relationship between the intangible and the reality of our perceptual bodies that I am interested in. Through my work, I craft a correspondence between air, breath, machine, and body.  It is a concept that rests on presence and the ambiguity of the works’ metaphor and materials.  I use these concepts in conjunction with light and darkness to explore subtleties of perception between the body and space; the what and the how it means to be in a space. 

     My work engages with ephemerality, perception, movement, space, and time to generate subjectivity, and through that action creates a sensorial relationship with gestural presence.  I am trying to craft an experience that goes beyond the works physicality, and toward inter-subjectivity.  I want to impress rather than express affective sensations to my audience, and in that space, open the potential of becoming a different person in relation to the work.