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CODEX Accessible Text

Below is an accessible text version of the CODEX virtual gallery. Each artist’s labels and artist statements are listed with a brief visual description of their installation.

CODEX opened January 28, 2021 and ran through March 13, 2021, featuring the artwork of Brandon Ables, Jason Charney, Mandy Morrison, and Adan Rodriguez.

Encompassing a wide range of technologies and materials, their works embody the elements of social practice and community involvement as well as critiques on contemporary culture. The artists are 2020 recipients of MFA degrees in Intermedia and Digital Arts and were to be featured in an in-person exhibition originally scheduled for spring 2020; their works are now presented in a virtual environment. To learn more about the Intermedia and Digital Arts MFA program, visit https://imda.umbc.edu/

Brandon Ables

One Man Trance

In One Man Trance, Brandon Ables recreates his studio apartment, demonstrating how he primes his subconscious by scoring everyday gestures with visual accompaniment.

One Man Trance includes the following five interactive installations—  First, a drum set that is wired to multiple pedals, a whiteboard and monitors. Second, a bathroom vanity with a smart mirror, a motion activated soap dispenser and drum pedals on the doors of the vanity. Third, an interactive bedroom set up with a bed, guitar, nail clippers, and smart mirror TV. Fourth, a stocked kitchen pantry with touch keys on the cabinet doors and computer monitors. Fifth, a red arm chair with hand-held exercise pedaler that wired to multiple monitors. Visitors are invited to interact with each station and, as they do, the monitors that are wired to each installation rapidly display series of words that are meant to positively prime the subconscious.

One-Man Band Self-Hypnosis Station

2020
Interactive installation with computers,
drum brains, drum pedals, TVs, furniture, whiteboards, projector, software, electronics
Collection of the artist

The one-man band self-hypnosis station is designed for active-alert self-hypnosis using the stereotypic man-cave, home-theater, multi- screen setup. Participants can sit on the drum throne and push down on the drum pedals to cause single words to play on the different screens. Pushing down on the pedals also activates the projection of handwritten white- board notes on the erased white- board surface. The center TV displays an onscreen keyboard and text entry program controlled by the drum pedals, while the other TVs display hypnotic text, dreams, or notes to review in rapid serial visual presentation style.

Bathroom Vanity Self-Hypnosis Station

2020
Interactive installation with computers, smart mirror, bathroom vanity, drum brains, drum pedals, telegraph keys, electric toothbrush, motion activated soap dispenser, software, and electronics
Collection of the artist

The user stands in front of the smart mirror and uses hand sanitizer. As the user rubs in the hand sanitizer, they are to tap with their knees against the triggers mounted on the vanity cabinet. This movement activates the visual replay of handwritten whiteboard notes in the smart mirror. The act of using hand sanitizer while standing in front of a sink acts as a placebo or suggestion, enhancing our mental expectations of using the hand sanitizer, making us feel and think we are cleaner.

Bed Self-Hypnosis Station

2020
Interactive installation with bed, wood mount, computer, drum brain, telegraph keys, nail clippers, pinch sensor, guitar, smart mirror TV, software, and electronics
Collection of the artist

In the bed self-hypnosis station, a user can lie down, clip their nails, or play guitar and tap out the beat with their feet while activating the screens in the one-man band self- hypnosis station. When the viewer gets tired of lying in that direction, they can turn in the opposite direction and face the small smart mirror that displays a reflection of the screens, as well as the visual replay of handwritten white- board notes. The notes in the smart mirror can be activated by pinching the nail clippers together.

Kitchen Pantry Self-Hypnosis Station

2020
Interactive installation with computers, drum brains, telegraph keys, TVs, kitchen pantry, food containers, software, and electronics
Collection of the artist

The kitchen pantry self-hypnosis station is designed for psychologically priming the user as they choose something to eat in the pantry. The user stares into the pantry while tapping their fingers on the telegraph keys attached to the upper cabinet doors of the pantry. The tapping triggers single word slides on the screens mounted to both upper doors of the pantry. If the user is staring into the pantry, then they will not consciously register the words on the screen, resulting in priming the user’s unconscious to make a healthy choice from the pantry.

Exercise Pedaler Self-Hypnosis Station

2020
Interactive installation with exercise pedaler, wire, copper tape, computer, drum brain, TVs, chair, and software
Collection of the artist

The exercise pedaler self-hypnosis station is designed for active-alert self-hypnosis using the hypnotic rhythm of pedaling. A user can sit in a chair and pedal the pedaler to activate the screens in the one-man band self-hypnosis station. Each time a pedal arm passes the copper tape flaps a signal is sent to advance the rapid serial visual presentation displayed text on the screens.

 

Jason Charney

reciprocation

a mutual exchange, an alternating motion.

The body is where sound is born. Sound is simply

motion until the body transforms oscillation into

sensation in a messy, subjective process.

From the material sound moves through to the anatomical variations in each ear, auditory nerve, and brain, the chain of dependencies between sound and understanding is rife with distortion and occlusion.

The physicality of sound and the phenomenon of listening are dependent on reciprocal movement and reciprocal intention.

reciprocation consists of the following four installations:

harmonic curtain

Eight speakers hang in a row from the ceiling. Thin silver chains suspended from them in a scalloped pattern and gradually becoming shorter to create a curtain. The longest part of the chain curtain protrudes out into the entrance doorway of Charney’s installation space. To listen to this installation, visit https://youtu.be/ZsP8A3che7U 

2020
Speakers, steel jack chain, paper score, 8-channel sound
1 hour (loop)
Courtesy of the artist

fate

One speaker hangs from the top of the wall and is connected by multiple red strings to another speaker that lays on the floor facing upward. To listen to this installation, visit https://youtu.be/URAxZ-nTmrk

2020
Speakers, macramé thread, monophonic phase-shifted sound
12 minutes (loop)
Courtesy of the artist

trine

Three speakers are suspended by wires from the ceiling, hanging low to the ground in a triangular formation. They are all connected in the center by a triangular web of wires. To listen to this installation, visit https://youtu.be/nID0SPIzUZM

2020
Speakers, wire, 3D-printed plastic, 3-channel conversation
(recorded Nov. 17, 2019)
18 minutes: 8 seconds (loop)
Courtesy of the artist

allegory

Eight speakers hang sporadically on the wall, each with LED lights inside their cone that shines spots of light on the walls. Multiple wires project out of each speaker to create a loose web pattern on the wall and each speaker is connected to a large square-shaped enclosure that sits on the floor. To listen to this installation, visit https://youtu.be/oCIVg841OiQ 

2020
Speakers, LEDs, steel cable, TouchDesigner and Max/MSP software, 8-channel generative sound and light
Courtesy of the artist

 

Mandy Morrison

Spirits of Promise and Loss

Spirits of Promise and Loss is an animation that uses photographic images of the Old Town Mall in Baltimore as a backdrop for the behaviors and movements of ghost-like characters who populate a decrepit model of utopian possibility.
Old Town Mall was one of numerous experiments across the U.S. in urban mall development that strove to bring suburban shoppers back downtown. By creating a thoroughfare developed to maximize pedestrian traffic, these malls placed parking and cars on the fringes of the walkway, providing storefronts that faced one another with an open thoroughfare for pedestrians.
It was to be the antidote to suburban strip malls, which drew customers away from urban centers. Enticed by the communal village experience, which featured a welcoming walkway, free of traffic, the pedestrian mall generated hope for urban revival and long-term sustainability.
These malls had success in the first decades of their introduction, inviting shoppers to congregate and linger in the public space that the walkway provided. But such malls in all parts of the U.S. began to experience decline beginning in the late 1970’s, as deindustrialization exacerbated white-flight.

Spirits of Promise and Loss includes the following installation of a six-paneled monitor. Each panel plays a short animation in succession of animated ghost-like characters, who move across a background of  photo images of Baltimore’s Old Town shopping mall.

In the first panel, you hear the sounds of traffic and an upbeat drum. You see a photo of large, circular concrete steps outside. An animation of loose papers is blown in and out of frame by the wind and a ghost-like drummer character appears and marches to their drum beat. The loose papers fly across the screen again and a drummer ghost-like character marches across the screen, banging their drum. The second screen appears and shows an image of the outside of an old warehouse building. Animated ghost-like figures jump on and around the concrete structures in the image as photographs of old cars and waste fall into frame. Again, the animated drummer character steps into frame to close this scene. The next two frames appear to show images of two abandoned streets. The animation of loose papers blows across the first of the two screens. An animated ghost-like woman walks down the street while the drummer character marches on screen. On the fourth screen a ghost-like figure appears to be smoking and leaning against a telephone poll on the street. The character disappears into their cigarette smoke. The sound of police sirens starts. Then a character, with the figure of a target, walks out on the street. Another silhouetted figure sneaks into frame and starts shooting the target figure with a gun. Old hats start to fly across the screen and the word “bang” appears as the figure shoots. Vibrantly colored shapes flash on the screen and a ghost-like figure soars in and out of frame. The next frame shows an image of a street corner where a ghost-like female character crawls on her knees, gets up, struggles to run around and eventually falls into an animated black hole. The black hole consumes the female figure who then transforms into an animated old man who walks off screen. Finally, the last screen shows an image of an alleyway. A ghost-like woman appears out of the alley way wearing a dress made of papers. A ghost-like figure approaches her. As she walks forward she explodes and a loud bang sounds. The ghost-like figure walks across the screen and transforms into the old man character and then into the drummer, banging their drum as they walk off screen. The screen fades to white.

Spirits of Promise and Loss

2020
Multi-channel video installation with audio
2 minutes: 32 seconds (loop)
4 ft. x 42 ft.
Courtesy of the artist

 

Adan Rodriguez

A Necessary Haunting

“Loketon Station”

With dark tourism and paranormal interests at a high, the short film “Loketon Station” draws legend trippers, paranormal enthusiasts, and screen tourists to Loketon with promises of ghostly encounters and film locations in a small town. Many residents who worked as crew and extras on the film share behind-the-scenes stories, local businesses sell tie-in products, and the Loketon Tourism Office sponsors walking tours that highlight sites from the movie and allow visitors to have engaging experiences that bring “Loketon Station” to life.

Rodriguez’s installation features photograph images, artifacts, papers, and two short films on the town of Loketon, Maryland.

The first wall of Rodriguez’s installations consists of the following five photographs of the town of Loketon and six artifacts within a glass vitrine:

The photographs:

The Sights of Loketon 1 of 5 – Employee Homes

This is a photograph of the employee homes in Loketon, Maryland.

2020
Digital photographic print
30 in. x 20 in.
Collection of the Loketon Historical Society

Employees of Loketon Station were housed near the outskirts of the mainland, with the towers visible from their windows. These homes were refurbished after the island’s evacuation and are now available for new tenants.

The Sights of Loketon 2 of 5 – The Town

This is a photograph of the Loketon post office, a small brick building, on the corner of Loketon Lane in Maryland.

2020
Digital photographic print
30 in. x 20 in.
Collection of the Loketon Historical Society

Loketon continues to thrive after the tragedy that occurred on the island nearby. Our town is haunted by the past, by traumas that pervade the streets, and by a pain that lingers. It might not be apparent as you visit our town, but it lives within every person here. Keep an open mind to experience your fears!

The Sights of Loketon 3 of 5 – The Tunnel

This is a photography of the inside of a long, dirty tunnel.

2020
Digital photographic print
30 in. x 20 in.
Collection of the Loketon Historical Society

The pedestrian access tunnel serves as the only connection between mainland Loketon and the restricted station where the Event occurred. Numerous reports have been made of strange sightings and sounds as citizens travel through the tunnel.

The Sights of Loketon 4 of 5 – Abandoned

This is a photograph of a skyline in Loketon. There is a large water tank with the town name and multiple telephone wires.

2020
Digital photographic print
30 in. x 20 in.
Collection of the Loketon Historical Society

The island was completely abandoned after the Event for fear of further exposure and health risks. As you explore the island, note the remnants of equipment used to research electromagnetic fields (EMF).

The Sights of Loketon 5 of 5 – The Towers

This is a photograph of three towers in Loketon. They are only visible in the distance, as they are viewed from afar across a body of water.

2020
Digital photographic print
30 in. x 20 in.
Collection of the Loketon Historical Society

The towers stand high above the island where EMF once radiated and impacted those in close proximity. The facility was completely shut down 48 hours after the Event and all employees evacuated. The island remains abandoned to this day and is explored as a site of intrigue.

Up against this first wall of Rodriguez’s installation, there is a large, waist-high glass vitrine of artifacts with their attending labels. The artifacts are as follows:

Bloody Rag

This is a small, folded white rag with spots of blood.

2020
Found artifact
5 in. x 5 in.
Collection of the Loketon Historical Society

Adam’s wife had a fatal illness as a result of direct exposure to high levels of EMF.

Ear Wrap

This is a wrap of gauze. There are several cotton pieces surrounding it, some of which are bloodstained.

2020
Found artifact
8 in.
Collection of the Loketon Historical Society

The sounds that emanated from the Event were unbearable. Many took drastic action to end their suffering.

Audio Equipment

This is a black headset and audio recording device.

2020
Found artifacts
8 in.
Collection of the Loketon Historical Society

Adam used these when recording audio of the electromagnetic fields. Sounds of the Event might be embedded in the data. (Note: To protect viewers from the power of the noise, we have decided not to include the audio recorder)

16 mm Camera

This is a long, rectangular manual camera. It is covered in black leather and has a small handle at the top.

2020
Found artifact
8 in. x 5 in.
Collection of the Loketon Historical Society

Adam’s manual camera was used to document effects and levels of EMF without electrical interference.

Five Film Canisters

These five film canisters are thin, silver and circular. Excess, entangled film strips surround the canisters.

2020
Found artifacts
8 in. each
Collection of the Loketon Historical Society

These canisters contain documentation of the radio towers on Loketon Station and the tragic Event that took many lives. People sought these rolls of film to better understand the island’s strange circumstances.

A Haunting in Loketon

This is a hardcover book of “A Haunting in Loketon.” The cover is white, red and black and has an image of one of the Loketon towers.

2020
Found artifact (book)
8 in. x 5 in.
Collection of the Loketon Historical Society

Loketon native Remy Lazarus’s collection of ghost stories set on the nearby island serves as inspiration for the film “Loketon Station.” Lazarus, a life-long Loketon resident, was a historian and lecturer on paranormal and historical mysteries of the Mid-Atlantic region.

The second wall of Rodriguez’s installations consists of the following five photographs of Loketon residents and multiple print materials on a long black table:

The photographs:

Subject: Adam Martinez

This is a photograph of the side profile of a middle-aged man with a black and gray beard who is wearing a black beanie and black clothes. He is outside in a field by one of the Loketon towers and is suspiciously looking out into the distance. The man is holding an old camera.

Male, age 48
Position: Senior Research Engineer
Assignment: Assess and document environmental impacts of electromagnetic fields
Last known location: Unknown
Current Status:To be determined

Subject: Marcy Martinez

This is a photograph of a small altar. There is a photograph of a middle-aged woman who is smiling with long black hair. The photograph is surrounded by multiple candles in a dimly lit room.

Female, age 46
Position: Senior Research Engineer
Assignment: Assess and document environmental impacts of electromagnetic fields
Last known location: Personal residence
Current Status:Deceased (prior to Event)

Subject: Gina Green

This is a photograph of a young woman who is sitting on the floor of an abandoned hallway in what appears to be a research facility. The woman, who is wearing large round glasses, a black turtle neck and gray sweater and black pants is looking forward with an expression of horror on her face.

Female, age 24
Position: Environmental Toxicology Program Assistant
Assignment: Evaluate levels of environmental toxins released by electromagnetic equipment at Loketon station
Last known location: Toxicology department
Current Status: Missing in action

Subject: Phineas Harlow

This is a photograph of a young man who is standing in the middle of the field by the Loketon towers. He is wearing square black glasses, a blue button down shirt and jeans and is standing next to one of the towers. There are trees in the distances and the sky appears to be going dark. The subject looks apprehensive as he stares forward.

Male, age 26
Position: Associate Director of Risk Assessment
Assignment: Evaluate the risk of electromagnetic equipment at Loketon Station
Last known location: Loketon Station parking
Current Status: Deceased

Subjects:

This is a photograph of workers in the EMF research lab. It features a dimly lit room with multiple people working on computers. The most prominent subject is a young man wearing a red polo shirt who is working on his computer at his desk.

Mary Bachman, female, age 24
Richard Shelly, male, age 31
Shirley Blackwood, female, age 25
Algernon Jackson, male, age 33
Anne Chambers, female, age 21
Roberta Rice, female, age 24

Position: EMF Research and Risk Analysis
Assignment: Evaluate levels of environmental toxins released by electromagnetic equipment at Loketon Station
Last know location: Research facility- EMF research lab
Current Status: deceased

The printed materials:

There are multiple printed materials on a long black table in front of the wall of subject photos. The table includes the following objects: Loketon book excerpt pamphlet, Loketon flyer, Loketon brochure, Loketon newsletter, Loketon postcards, and Rodriguez’s production binder for the Loketon film.

The third wall of Rodriguez’s installation consists of a movie poster for Rodriguez’s short film, a monitor that plays a trailer to the film, and photographs and diagrams of the Loketon tunnel and tower that Rodriguez originally built. The full short film plays in the CADVC’s theater.

“Loketon Station” Movie Poster

This is a movie poster with an image of a silhouetted figure in walking through the dimly lit Loketon tunnel. The film’s title, “Loketon Station” appears in bold red text.

2020
Digital print
30 in. x 20 in.
Collection of the Loketon Historical Society

Loketon Station

This short film “Loketon Station” draws legend trippers, paranormal enthusiasts, and screen tourists to Loketon with promises of ghostly encounters and film locations in a small town. Watch as an EMF researcher attempts to escape the mysterious Event that plagues the town and encounters his own fears.

2020
Digital film
16 minutes: 19 seconds
Collection of the artist

Loketon, Maryland – Visit Our Town!

This short film gives a brief history of the town of Loketon. Loketon was founded in 1872, its proximity to the Chesapeake Bay quickly established it as a shipping hub. In 1918, the United States government acquired the island, renamed Loketon Station, to test communication technologies and the effects of electromagnetic fields (EMF). High security at the island resulted in the spread of conspiratorial rumors, which increased after a sudden evacuation of the research facility. To this day, citizens attempt to understand the deadly malfunction known as “the Event” that characterizes the now abandoned island.

2020
Digital film
2 minutes: 44 seconds
Collection of the artist

Diagram of Installed Structure: The Tunnel

This is an outline diagram of the tunnel structure that Rodriguez initially built for this installation. The tunnel structure is based off of the tunnel in Loketon, Maryland.

Audiences are encouraged to walk through the tunnel to simulate the journey from Loketon to Loketon Station.

Installation Photos

These are two images of Rodriguez’s initial installations. One is of the tunnel structure and the second is of the tower structure Rodriguez built. In the photograph, there are red ribbons tied around the tower, which Rodriguez invites visitors to add in order to symbolize their sympathy for the victims of the Loketon haunting.

2020
Digital photograph print
8.5 in. x 11 in.
Collection of the Loketon Historical Society

The final wall of Rodriguez’s installation consists the following Loketon papers:

Confidential Stories of Loketon

These are the stories of Loketon citizens, visitors, and missing persons who encountered strange and unexplainable phenomena due to the Event. Their stories give credence to the validity of the Event and its effects on the physical and the mental.

Archival Photos of Loketon

These archival photos show the history of Loketon and its iconic towers throughout the decades.

Additional Reading Material

This reading material gives insight into the historical writings of Loketon, its research on electromagnetic fields, and references to the iconic author Remy Lazarus.

2020
Print paper
8.5 in.x11 in.
Collection of the Loketon Historical Society