Jennifer Thoreson, Multidisciplinary Artist

Bell Tower, from the project Manus (2023)

This video documents Bell Tower, an installation commissioned by 516ARTS in Albuquerque, NM. This piece is a further elaboration of the greater installation piece, Manus. I worked with computer programmers to create an interactive viewer experience. Cameras installed inside the space detect the presence of viewers, specifically monitoring the hands of people seated at the table. When four hands appear on the table, programmed audio clips of recitations, vocal meditations, and mantras are played in response to hand gestures and interactions. Audio continually shifts as people touch and interact, ranging from the voice of my mother reading from The Velveteen Rabbit, to young children attempting to read Latin phrases from the Book of Common Prayer. Nearly 1000 tin bells are suspended above the table, which are attached to a pulley system activated by two antique foot pedals on the floor. Visitors press the pedals to sound the chorus of bells, activating a massive musical instrument.