"I expect to photograph thoughts... I am convinced that a definite image formed in thought, must by reflex-action, produce a corresponding image on the retina, which might be read by a suitable apparatus... with the optic nerve being a part of earth."
-Nikola Tesla, 1933
What is it that draws us to a place, or person or an idea? A feeling, a moment of some kind of recognition?
My third earth acupuncture/needle insertion takes place in Newburgh, NY, on the west side of the Hudson River, representing the solar plexus. I am inserting into the earth, copper spikes wrapped in iron wire, along several chosen locations up the river representing acupuncture meridian points of the human spine. I am giving the Hudson River a Jin Shin Jyutsu energy-healing treatment called Main Central Vertical Flow (see first post).
My selection process of where to place the needles develops into an historical tour of the Hudson Valley, and of place finding me, drawing me to it, by its sheer nature of energetic interest...and its ability to hold onto to something that draws attention and people to it. And so I discover in Newburgh the place where Thomas Edison's very successful Electric Illuminating Company opened in 1884. Imagine electrifying and lighting up an entire city for the very first time.
The building then....
|Edison Electric Illuminating Co., Newburgh, NY 1884|
|Edison Electric Illuminating Co., Newburgh, NY 2012|
On this abandoned, boarded-up site, I set out to find a location to hammer my copper acupuncture spike/needle into the earth, without causing too much notice. I need soft earth and find my way to the back of the building.
I like the quiet, somewhat anonymous aspect of this project, creating an invisible network of copper needles in the earth; transmitting energy, thought, intention...all those conditions I hear and read so much about regarding mindfulness and quantum healing. I think of my copper spikes as "nerves being a part of the earth."
41º 30' 14" N, 74º 0' 29" W
It is impossible referencing Edison without an understanding of Tesla, and their well-known intellectual and commercial debate over AC/DC. Tesla won but died broke and alone. And Edison, known as the inventor of the light bulb, did not invent the light bulb. He improved upon a 50-year-old-idea with a more practical light bulb, using lower current electricity and a carbonized filament.
Edison did invent the phonograph using tin foil. He noticed when playing the tape of a telegraph machine at high speeds, it resembled the sound of spoken words and this caused him to wonder if he could record sound. The ability to record sounds was by the gramophone, invented by Emile Berliner, and actually the first record player as we know it.
Inventions and ideas about sound bring me back to John Cage, to his term non-intention, and his idea of allowing chance and indeterminacy to develop a plan of action..."to diminish that kind of activity of the ego and to increase the activity that accepts the rest of creation." It was by chance, and paying attention to weird unknown sounds, that drove and inspired Edison to end up holding a world record of 1093 patents.