Electrical Box

Nathan Shaw – Electrical Box


Electrical Box first presents you with a silent room. The gallery is ordained with over 1000’ of unbalanced instrument cable hanging from the ceiling; woven in and out of the rigging grid. Dim light pulsates from small white LEDs at the ends of the cables. After your eyes adjust to the dim lighting, you notice two faint beams of light illuminating headphones hanging in the far corners of the gallery. You decide to head over to one of the corners, pushing the hanging cables out of your way as you walk through the silent gallery. As you approach the corner, you see that the headphones are plugged into the sides of round metal tins about the size of your hand resting on clear glass shelves nestled in the corner. You put on the headphones and pick up one of the attached metal tins but can only hear faint static. You decide to walk back through the cables to investigate one of the particularly bright LED’s in the middle of the gallery and as you do, you start to hear music in your headphones. You hold the metal tin up to one of the cables and realize that the sound is being emitted from the cables themselves. You begin to sonically explore the installation with your eavesdropping gear; finding that different cables hold different sonic secrets. In practice, the visitor becomes the “mixer”, composing their own unique experience with the piece through their position in the gallery and the orientation of the EavesDropper. The installation explores the transmission and reception of audio data through different mediums as well as the nature of electro-magnetism. The installation used minimal signage but maximum suggestive placement of light and object to guide the gallery participant into an experience of discovery.

Electrical Box was installed in the WaveCave gallery in the Fall of 2016 from September 9th-19th .

Nathan Villicaña-Shaw creates installations that explore and question our ever changing relationship with technology. Interested in defining new boundaries for human-circuit interaction, Nathan’s previous installations have featured armies of circuit bent toys, circuit bent Super Nintendo’s as well as relay grids that sonify global weather data. Nathan spends most of his time creating interactive installation art, building mechatronic instruments, composing, hacking and working as a software developer.