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The Lacking Gear

When we speak about expression, we think machines are more rational and humans are more emotional. That is a big difference between machines and humans. The machines lack an important gear that we humans have, emotions. However, somehow, we block our feelings from others, in order to protect ourselves; sometimes, we forget the string of emotional communication in between us and the world. When we humans forget our emotional gears, this looks like machines communication. But could the emotions be coded like machine gears? Or we can encode our emotions? Like how Rebecca Horn encodes her emotions into kinetic installations and art pieces and projects them outwards.

- Taking off the human shell, letting our emotions extend and speak...

The senses can be a helpful example to detail and understand what an extension of the body is. Our body wears invisible sensorial layers as an extension for receiving information from outside and also allows our body to communicate inner feelings with the world. Besides, Rebecca Horn's art pieces are an emotional extension of the body for me. At first glance when looking through her works and performance, her body is imprisoned in reality and emotionally framed. Her works resonate in my body; I feel the fragility and pains on from that body. The emotions of her pieces are in between the seen and unseen, similar to mechanisms of protection. When we feel hurt, we consciously build a high wall around our body to protect ourselves, but we desire to reveal these emotions toward other people at the same time. Like how she described her first piece she made: "you always see a kind of cocoon, which I used to protect myself. Like the fans where I can lock myself in, enclose myself, then open and integrate another person into an intimate ritual. This intimacy of feeling and communication was a central part of the performances6.” Emotions always are very personal, and often held in private, but the way to build communication with others and to embody intimacy requires emotional connection. It is not easy to take the camouflaged mask off, to show the real and fragile you. That reminds me, sometimes, I can feel the pieces I had made before, it was kind of armor, layer by layer, and heavy fabric-covered closely through the whole piece, yet it would like to express many things but it is afraid of speaking out meanwhile; and hiding my emotions in the interwoven in beauty, waiting for others to discover these secrets and start our intimate interaction. From this point of view, I use my emotional gear to imbue my works with feeling, being a sort of body extension, emotionally. Because I think somehow, I act as a defective human who loses a way to link the emotion gear function, so I have to use other mediums to express and find the fixed way back. So although I cannot yet encode machines with emotional gears, I can create machines that act as gears to relay emotions between myself and my audiences, and in this way, the machines are part of an emotional process.

Paradiese Widow, 1975, Installation, Rebecca Horn (Left).  Measure Box, 1970, Rebecca Horn (Right)

The pieces I made before, these are like armor, layer by layer, and heavy fabric-covered. 2011-2012

6. Rebecca Horn, Quotes, https://www.azquotes.com/author/67979-Rebecca_Horn