Infinite Sympathy
March 2011

Infinite Sympathy is a sculpture consisting of a dual kaleidoscope—a kaleidoscope with an eye opening on each end.

It is mounted on a table between two chairs, inviting two viewers/subjects to simultaneously look through and see each other’s eye reflected into infinity.

The kaleidoscope consists of three mirrors within a brass tube. It is mounted to the table with steel struts.

Twelve LEDs line the inside of the kaleidoscope on either end, illuminating the viewers’ eyes.

The title “Infinite Sympathy” is inspired by a passage from Buckminster Fuller’s Nine Chains to the Moon:

Common to all such “human” mechanisms—and without which they are imbecile contraptions—is their guidance by a phantom captain.

This phantom captain has neither weight nor sensorial tangibility, as has often been scientifically proven by careful weighing operations at the moment of abandonment of the ship by the phantom captain, i.e., at the instant of “death.” He may be likened to the variant of polarity dominance in our bipolar electric world which, when balanced and unit, vanishes as abstract unity I or O. With the phantom captain’s departure, the mechanism becomes inoperative and very quickly disintegrates into basic chemical elements.

This captain has not only an infinite self-identity characteristic but, also, an infinite understanding. He has furthermore, infinite sympathy with all captains of mechanisms similar to his.

Infinite Sympathy was produced in Marina Zurkow’s Project Development Studio at ITP.

Thanks to Igal Nassima and Nahana Schelling for encouragement and support. The piece was first shown at their gallery 319 Scholes.

Special thanks to Jeff Howard for his fantastic photographs of the piece, from the ITP Spring Show 2011.