A Thousand Points of Light for al-Mansur, 2005
MDF, electronics, felt, oil, 24" x 30" x 17"
al-Mansur was the Abbasid Caliph who founded Baghdad (originally called al-Mansur) in 762. He planned the city as a perfect circle, a fortified perimeter with a palace and great mosque at its center.
A Thousand Points of Light for al-Mansur is a large speaker in the vernacular of the contemporary automotive subwoofer built in the shape of the great mosque of al-Mansur. The plan of al-Mansur's round city is projected from above into an upturned speaker filled with oil, which muffles what would otherwise be a booming broadcast of the Iraqi national anthem. The surface tension of the oil occupying the concavity of the speaker is broken by vibrations emanating from below creating interference, disturbances, which distort the projected image into "a thousand points of light." The project encourages it's audience to scrutinize the historical effects of oil on national identity in the mid east region.