menagerie

gun triggers, 3D printed parts, motors, mechanical components, metals, plastics, electronics, cables

Inspired by the collective behaviors associated with biological swarms, this piece repurposes the deconstructed gun trigger as an autonomous sound object to evoke the repetitive nature of gun-related violence. Using data taken from occurrences of gun related violence from each US state, the 50 triggers are subject to various self-organizing and behavioral algorithms where they align, synchronize, and devolve to generate highly emergent and polyrhythmic patterns in their wake.

Positioned in the glass enclosure like a flock of birds, the triggers call to mind the taxonomical habitats often displayed in menageries and natural history museums. The kinetic mechanism itself problematizes the nature of intention and premeditated action associated with gun violence where the act of “pulling the trigger" has taken on an autonomous role independent of human engagement and volition. By interrogating the cultural anxieties surrounding firearm ownership, this installation points to a future in which technology, automatization, and a persistent military-industrial complex have created the ideal habitat from which these mechanisms can reproduce, proliferate, and swarm.