Black Lung

Black Lung, an interactive sculpture, responds directly to the technological restructuring of the body. This piece consists of a compressor and a motor driven valve system which allows the artifice to simulate a working lung in the human body. Additionally, a motion detector is added to the compressor to emphasize the need for social approval in order for the machinery to successfully augment the body. This motion detector is hooked solely to the compressor so that without the reinforcement of an audience (the masses) the machinery continues to control the physical body but grinds away unproductively. The single lung expands and contracts inside a human rib cage, pointing to the simplification of the current biological system. The entire work is mounted to the exterior of a steel box, a sign of the industrial revolution. The body becomes the skin of the machine.

Black Lung disease is a morbid condition of the lungs caused by inhalation of coal dust. A disease in the pneumoconiosis family, black lung afflicts many coal miners and causes total disability or death. Ironically, the human body is unearthing energy to drive the technological advancements, while becoming more dependent on that technology to survive.

Bill Hill


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