“What Hath God Wrought” was the first message transmitted by Samuel Morse on his newly invented telegraph line in 1844. Curiously ambiguous, the message could be read either as the words of the inventor in awe with the possibilities of his new tool, or as a cautionary message weary of the changes this new invention might bring to society. The doubt raised by this phrase is explored in Jenny Vogel’s installation, What Hath God Wrought, and represented in the fragility of a chandelier transmitting the message again in Morse Code through blinking lights.
Jenny Vogel works in video, photography and computer arts. Vogel’s art explores the world as viewed through new media technology. She received her MFA from Hunter College (NYC) in 2003. She is a 2005 NYFA fellow in Computer Arts and is currently Assistant Professor of New Media Art at the University of Massachusetts. Her work has been screened and exhibited in group and solo- shows in numerous locations and galleries: Storefront Gallery, NYC; The Dallas Museum of Art, TX; McKinney Contemporary, TX; San Francisco Camerawork, CA; Arnolfini, UK; The Siberia Biennial, Russia; The Swiss Institute, NYC; EFA Gallery, NYC; Kunstwerke, Berlin; PS1 Contemporary Art Center, NYC.
ON SHOWING ARTWORK AT FLORENCE NIGHT OUT
This will be the first time that “What Hath God Wrought” is installed outside of a gallery or museum space and I am really looking forward to seeing it in that way. The chandelier’s blinking lights are carrying the main message of the piece and they should be allowed to come into focus slowly, reflecting off of its surrounding. The piece is festive in nature. It is attempting to communicate, to connect through unconventional and perhaps unpractical means. I am hoping that the Florence Night Out visitor will be drawn to the lights, perhaps partially out of curiosity, perhaps partially to decode the blinking. Either way, I hope that the chandelier will add to the magic of an evening spent with your friends or family at this lovely Spring festival.