Heat Signature

Video Documentation (3 mins)

Heat Signature, 2018
Mixed-media installation with FLIR military-grade infrared camera. X4 industrial heaters, condenser microphone, 10 x 10-foot live video projection, drop ceiling and audio testimonies. Commissioned by MINI/Goethe-Institut Curatorial Residencies Ludlow 38, New York.

Heat Signature juxtaposes a design for the Great Seal of the United States that was unsuccessfully proposed to Congress by Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin in 1776 with a FLIR Systems Inc.

In this installation, Jefferson and Franklin’s rejected design—which depicts the biblical story of the exodus of Israelites from Egypt wherein America serves as the “New Zion”—is   brought to life with an infrared camera and electric heaters. Temperature shifts translate into a black-and-white video feed from the thermal camera; as the heaters turn on and off, the image of the seal, which is embedded in the ceiling unseen to the eye, heats and cools, appearing as a ghostly live transmission and then fading away.