Rain, 2019, Synchronous motor, Passive-infrared sensor, rainstick

The collective unconscious, a term coined by Carl Jung, is an abstract concept wherein our minds have already this established structure and pattern of thinking which was developed from generation after generation. This structure only becomes concrete and observable through manifestations – what Jung would call archetypes. 


The piece Rain was inspired by a YouTube lecture I’ve watched which was delivered by May Britt-Moser, an awardee of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine: for discovering cells that constitute a positioning and coordinate system in the brain: place cells. I became very interested with this revelation that the brain already has this built-in system of coordinates wherein cells “fire” or activate to send an electric shock when the body moves and navigates within a space; and with all the movements in the certain space, a noticeable, invisible pattern resembling a grid is formed  within the space where the cells would usually fire. This helps the brain with creating and recording memories from where the grid cells fire.


I find the relationship of both the collective unconscious and Britt-Moser’s lecture of grid and placement cells to be similar in a way that they both exhibit an invisible, abstract pattern within our minds. Within the gallery space is a mechanism with a rainstick attached to it. The mechanism activates through a PIR motion sensor. The sensor, mounted somewhere in the gallery space, is blocked by a surface where its detection system could only sense certain places within the gallery. I chose the auditory sensation of the sound of rain to be produced every time someone would enter a spot where motion can be detected by the sensor, symbolically amplifying the “electric shock” produced by the grid cells in the brain.


This idea of having us recognize and create our own abstract patterns within our minds is similar to how we make sense out of everything we encounter in our daily lives. This piece becomes my own kind of formulated/makeshift “thought experiment” as this piece aims to become a trajectory to more propositions regarding questions and methods to how we can practice individuation – one of the main goals of analytical psychology.