Through a system of devices, I expel fabricated scent associations related to the habits of my parents. The work in the Surrogate Devices series, are devices that create smells that have resulted from specific human activity allowing me to replace the person in the past with a device of the now. This series strips away the need for the person, and replaces their essence with a device.

Powered by my olfactory system, these objects become time machines. As I indulge in the smells these devices expel, I am transported to specific moments in time.

The Best Smell, 1986-1992 stores and displaces the smell of laundry. The device contains dryer sheets my mother used when I was young enough to be delighted to find the mysterious, scented foam squares hidden in my clean clothes.

The Smell of Him, 1987-2001 recreates my father’s breath, a mix of cigarettes and the cough drops he used to mask the evidence of his habit. I reflect on that period of my life and identify this as a gesture of love and protection.

Click on the thumbnail for a carousel of images, with info.