Magnetic oracles

 1997  5 prototypes for a hypothetical museum of nuclear technology
Cherry wood, hand-blown glass, machined glass, brass, felt, plexiglass, cast foam, copper wire, transformer, and mechanical devices.
Thread Waxing Space, New York, NY

Marguerite Kahrl’s installation, Magnetic Oracles, is a hypothetical museum of nuclear technology. Four mock laboratory stations have been placed one after another on a long table. Each station includes a wooden box with detailing reminiscent of a piece of finely crafted furniture. Atop each of the four stations, a small figure is balanced on a metal rod surrounded by a ring of electromagnets which activate a jerky mechanistic motion …. the implication inherent within our almost sadistic manipulations of the figure is easily representative of the problematic relationship between daily life and nuclear technology. The language of science, in particular nuclear science, has been taken out of the exclusive domain of high technology and placed back into the human realm.

Donna Schumacher, Sculpture Magazine, September 1997, 78–79