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NEURAL: SOUL JUNK

Michelle Jaffé

NEURAL: SOUL JUNK is an installation that immerses its audience in sound, video, and sculpture. It places participants inside a metaphoric mind at work, mimicking synaptic circuitry firing in the brain. Using extemporaneous performance clips, NSJ juxtaposes emotionally raw insights and confessions about family trauma, love, and loss with meditations upon how corporate interests drive contemporary politics.

Details

NEURAL: SOUL JUNK is a 3-channel video & audio installation that explores raw emotions, power & intent conveyed & betrayed by the human voice & facial expression. NSJ places people inside a metaphoric mind at work.

I splice & overlay close-up video clips of my face. Emotionally raw confessions about family trauma are juxtaposed with observations about the cocksure attitudes of those in power. Narcissistic & patriarchal behavior is probed in an effort to shed light on how decisions of power brokers in government or corporations, prevail at the expense of individuals, families, & communities.

Special speakers focus sound in a physically disorienting way. The experienceis felt viscerally in the body, as well as aurally. People engage an environment where videos are projected in a sculptural way. The projection exceeds the height & width of the materials; creating a fractured image. The visual & sonic structure amplifies the narrative juxtapositions expressed by the persona in the video. Participants wander amongst physically dynamic channels of sound. The project is composed in space as they traverse it. Navigating the space is akin to witnessing synaptic firing in the brain.  Opposing ideas are hurled against one another in rapid fire. New neural pathways are forged.

NSJ exposes the limits of personal choice as they intersect with the collective choices made by a society. For example: the BP Gulf Oil Spill. While BP’s intention was not to create an environmental disaster, the damage was the result of cost-cutting decisions made by Management.  Insufficient funds were allocated, safety was gambled upon & the local population was terrorized by the loss of their livelihood.

When & Where are the borders between terror, abuse & negligence blurred & crossed? How do personal behavior, corporate & national interests, & armed terrorist groups drive politics? I expose my pain, doubts & frustration in an effort to make sense of the world we live in,  & to stimulate conversation for change. NSJ is a catalyst for social justice.