Air Looms (2022), a project supported by SAHA Studio, utilizes infrared bulbs with local heating features where each bulb is adjusted to emit light and heat at different intensities. Each frame creates a distinctive, low-resolution, motionless silhouette of a body through the red light emitted by these bulbs, which are placed like pixels within the frame. The viewer’s body is heated to different degrees at different areas depending on the bulb’s intensity as it encounters the frames that are dispersed across space.
The project is named after the machine that a patient named James Tilly Matthews believed in the existence of, which was allegedly able to control thoughts and emotions remotely, triggering the patient to see images, as described by John Haslam in Illustrations of Madness dating to 1810. The design and functioning of the work are based on a completely different point of view and uses topological maps that relate body parts and emotions, based on the findings of a research group in Finland (Lauri Nummenmaa, Enrico Glerean, Riitta Hari, and Jari K. Hietanen).
Departing from mass media and the manipulation of emotions, Air Looms has been designed with a minimal approach, adopting an open-ended and slightly ironic sensibility instead of commenting directly on the aforementioned concepts.
(Photos: Kayhan Kaygusuz)