Aether was created in March of 2007 at New York’s MoMA PS1, as a part of Thierry Geoffrey’s Emergency Room exhibition.

Aether sought to answer: what is the imagined opinion of the subject regarding the artwork?  What is the collective voice and political energy found in the gallery aether, where art and public meet?


  • aether_slide03
  • aether_slide04
  • aether_slide05
  • aether_slide02
  • aether_slide06
  • aether_slide01
  • aether_slide09


Various gallery visitors volunteered to don wireless microphones, then secretly select and perform a voiced projection of another gallery visitor’s thoughts regarding the artworks on display.  Simultaneously, the selected subjects were recorded on video.

Later in the editing stage, the video footage and projected thought audio were merged to create the work shown above. In addition, Holga and Lomo cameras were used to double expose thought narrator and subject onto one frame, then printed using cross processing.

The video and experimental photography with these cameras was installed within a few days of the production, in the Emergency Room space at PS1.


In a separate but related project for the Emergency Room opening night, adding on to Thierry’s conception, I created a live audio mix mixing MP3 files controlled by vinyl, using live samples of people sharing their thoughts on the present moment.  These were written on cotton fabric pieces and then worn as bandanas:


The song is Lee Scratch Perry’s Such is Life, with the vocal samples coming from visitors lining up at that mic which fed into my turntable setup for live remixing.

Photos were taken by either Kristian Holm or Ian Tong (sorry, not sure who took them!)


Seth Carnes  | concept, camera, edit, photography
Gallery Visitors  |  thought narration
Miriam Lerkenfeld Smith  |  project assistant
David Sebastian Buus  |  audio
Ayana Jackson  |  photography
Jawbone  |  bluetooth headsets
Lomography | lomo and holga cameras


To Thierry Geoffrey, the Colonel, I love how you work and appreciate the encouragement and support for creating within the Emergency Room.  Thanks to David, Miriam, and Ayana for help making a live production within the gallery possible.  To Lullu Brandt for the invitation.  And to Jawbone and Lomography for the equipment,  Yurika Nakazono and Marie Saeki PR for making that bridge.