The Artist’s Institute
163 Eldridge Street
New York, NY 10002
April 1 – May 11, 2014
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Sean Raspet, CCCCCCCC=O CCCCCCC(=O)C // (Phantom Ringtone), 2013-2014, fragrance formulation in Propylene Glycol, 15-gallon HDPE container. Courtesy of Société Berlin…
The script of the two chemical compounds in this fragrant solution, Octanal and 2-Octanone, differ only in the location of a single oxygen molecule. Together they form a synthetic scent capturing the minimal difference between two nearly identical artificial odors used for flavoring and perfume.
Such an admixture is in constant chemical vibration, as the incessant back-and-forth of a single molecule produces a commensurate olfactory experience that is both intense and fleeting: redolent of familiar plants and foods but without ever settling into specificity.
If artificial odors are typically used mimetically, that is, to stimulate easy recognition, here their convergence here produces a prototypical encounter with abstraction––the halting experience of falling in and out of apperception.