Object Acquisition # 77-285.1.3 Magneto-Electric Machine

 Documenting objects from The Hunt Show:




Object Acquisition # 77-285.1.3 Magneto-Electric Machine
Object Interpreted and Statement by Marilyn Joyce


“I am busy just now again on Electro-Magnetism and think I have got hold of a good thing but can't say; it may be a weed instead of a fish that after all my labour I may at last pull up.”         

Michael Faraday (1791-1867) contributor to the fields of electromagnetism and electrochemistry.


Through the turn of a crank, rotating magnets generate an electric current, passing through cloth-covered wire and metal handles. The surge, an electrical force penetrates the skin, then deeper into the tissue, reaching the place of stored pain.  The buzzing sensation professed to be the magical force of the ‘cure’ pulsates through the body of the anxious patient…

This piece references the nervous system that was treated by the Electro Magnetic Machine during the mid 1800’s, my object for The Hunt. I was attracted to the types of disorders that people suffered from and sought treatment for: exhaustion due to overwork, insomnia, melancholia, poor circulation, female and male weaknesses, head pains – echoing what so many people struggle with in our contemporary culture.

The materials selected, thin paper on which a transparent print of my back rests, veils a second paper with marks built in layers, waxed and ink stained - an internal world that lies underneath, felt but hidden from view -  vibrations, agitation, short bursts, pulses, rhythmical beating -  a network of energy as it  flows through our nervous system.

As I marked, I reflected on what people may have experienced prior to treatment: vulnerability, isolation, shame and fear  -  laced with hope for a cure and the freedom of life without pain - which ultimately did not transpire with the use of this 
machine.




This image was printed from the body 
and had an amazing drawing underneath. 
This drawing illustrated the internal nature.
This photo doesn't capture the 
feeling of this image in person.




Closer detail.


Curators note:
This pieces was thoughtful and provoking into the inner workings of the human body and feelings. Very powerful.

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