Pure Phenomenality was a site-specific pop-up installation in Kingston, Canada that explored how sleep is perceived and measured in research compared to the individual experience of sleep. I also wanted to explore the more social and emotional parts of research that are considered noise and aren’t reported in papers.
Research offers a “special kind of intimacy [that] is established between researcher and researched . . . later gets extracted as artefactual noise’.” – Simon Cohn, Making objective facts from intimate relations: the case of neuroscience and its entanglements with volunteers
Visitors were invited to go up the stairs and explore two spaces: a small nook with a light at one end and a mattress on the other, where I recorded extracts from Intimacy in Research: Introduction by Miriam Fraser & Nirmal Puwar for visitors to listen to while lying down; and a second room with videos of an EEG recording of a nap, Matthew Stewart setting up electrodes on my head for sleep recording, and a video of me sleeping in my bedroom cross-cut with me sleeping in a sleep lab.
Special thanks to Hans Dringenberg, Matthew Stewart, Julia Krolik and Owen Fernley for making this exhibition possible.