Vision is the primary and predominant form of perception and information transfer in our everyday lives. Since the beginning of Western culture scent has-been relegated to a back seat behind sight and sound. Why do we continue to submit to the hegemony of an occularcentric paradigm? Can our perception of the world around us change and expand by introducing a more scent-dominated culture?
Science shows us, humans are responsive to chemical signals like other members of the mammalian species. One clinical trial applied the emotional tears of women to the upper lip of men. These men experienced a decrease in testosterone levels without visually witnessing the act of crying. Accepting this as truth concludes that in our everyday lives we are constantly receiving information on an invisible and olfactory basis. Is it possible in the near present future to mass-produce chemosignals that can be used to decrease aggression in humanity? By uncovering invisible infrastructures and undetectable aspects that surround us on a daily basis, we discover the potential of what already exists within ourselves.
In the future, in a world where emotions of sorrow are valued high, tears are coveted for their use as means of pacification. The demand for copious quantities of emotional tears has pushed scientists to recreate human tears within the context of a laboratory. Although the ability to manufacture tears has allowed manipulation to the compound to heighten its potency, it is not to say authentic tears are seen as any less special.
If You can Smell it, it has Mass is an installation of a future clinic for the production and testing of emotional tears. It is composed of three parts. A glass sculpture that simulates human tear production; a tear chamber that is a misted room describing how tears can be diffused as air born sedatives; and a Sad Cinema that uses film to induce tears and a collection apparatus. My intension with this project was to use science as inspiration and the ability to speculate on potential futures. I am also interesting revealing invisible infrastructure [chemosignals and the subconscious] and using scent as information.