Call & Response
Sunroom Project Space 2010 | October 9–November 28, 2010
Jeff Slomba’s recent work is concerned with invasive species and the effects of world trade and industrialization on regional flora and fauna. The sculptures and recorded sounds in Alternating Currents explore the coexistence of the natural and manmade environments in an ever-increasing global market. Slomba uses the imagery of shipping containers, invasive species and discarded technological devices to create a narrative of cultural production merging with natural phenomena.
In the installation, Slomba displays the shell of a veined rapa whelk made of carved wood in which stereo speakers are ensconced. The large sea snail originated in the East Asian seas and was brought to the Chesapeake Bay in the bilge water of shipping vessels. The invasive species has decimated oyster beds and is disturbing the ecosystem of the Bay. A horseshoe crab, also made of wood, holds a music player and represents the indigenous component that is endangered by coastal development. The perforated shipping containers, which appear to have been eaten or attacked by sea creatures, house amplifiers. Together the audio components of these hybrid objects form a closed circuit that produces the acoustically similar but competing sounds of the shore and of highway traffic. The wall drawings of tire tracks made by sea snail sculptures refer to the I-95 interchange and its proximity to the Sound near the artist’s home in West Haven, Connecticut. Slomba’s work questions whether this arrangement is symbiotic or unbalanced or simply part of a continual system of adaptation and modification.
Alternating Currents, 2010, carved wood, polychrome, hydrocal, stereo amplifier, speakers and digital music players, dimensions variable.
Courtesy of the artist.
The Arts at Wave Hill are supported by Lily Auchincloss Foundation, Inc., Milton & Sally Avery Arts Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature and by the Cathy and Stephen Weinroth Commissioning Fund for the Arts.