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The Night is Filled With the Harmonics of Suburban Dreams – 2011

Sound and mixed media installation (splash pool, 3/4 hp pool pumps, PVC pipe, piezo mics, bass transducers, instrument amplifiers). Installation view, Lawrence Art Center, Lawrence KS.

The Night is Filled With the Harmonics of Suburban Dreams provides an Indigenous critique of water, energy and sustainability policy discourse. It offers an absurd metaphor that mimics the unbalanced feedback loop generated by markets and consumers locally and globally, where an economy driven by the Judeo Christian Western scientific worldview simultaneously produces scarcities and an industry of “sustainability.” The work poses an important, but overlooked question regarding the historic and contemporary roles that dominant worldviews play in the evolution of trade policies and expansion of economic markets, as well as their respective devastating impacts on Indigenous land, communities and culture. The Night is Filled With the Harmonics of Suburban Dreams is an amplified hydro-feedback system in which two pool pump motors and circulatory systems, working with and against each other, generate meditative harmonic oscillations. The PVC pipe containing the hydro circulatory systems are shaped into a series of geometric patterns that tune the oscillations of the pool pump motors. The work recreates the sonic environment of suburban backyards where ubiquitous pool pumps sing through summer nights.