An interactive sound sculpture installed as an extension to a disused drainpipe stub on a busy urban sidewalk. Its silhouette is that of a Pipe Bomb, a culturally-laden signifier of danger. But cutting against the grain of this association, PIPE BALM’s electronic circuitry (clearly visible, as the piece is cast in transparent resin) offers soothing, calming verbalizations, enticing pedestrians to approach and engage. PIPE BALM throws into sharp relief—and more importantly, begins to defuse and heal—our common, conditioned fearfulness, pernicious and pervasive residue of a Post-9/11 Age.
Mark V. McDonnell is a multimedia artist based in West Palm Beach, FL. He trained in anatomy and life drawing, landscape painting, and sculpture at New York's Art Students League, School of Visual Arts and Sculpture Center. An artist and Buddhist, in both practices he strives to relieve suffering.