Rhetoric Machine
rhetoric machine

Rhetoric Machine is a two-room kinetic installation that appropriates the language of movies, television, radio, and speechmaking. Presidential speeches and emotionally laced pop songs serve as the soundtrack for a sculptural light show that marches through the last sixty years, what many would call the golden age of American history. American icons such as an eagle, a tank, and a television set react variously to the soundtrack, creating what Sergei Eisenstein called an "intellectual montage" where jarring associations between light and sound lead to new meaning constructions, often charged with emotion. With this work Fischer asserts, “the ancient art of rhetoric has not been lost - it has been transformed. We may associate rhetoric with a politician standing at a podium, delivering a speech with which we either agree or disagree. But behind the podium there are the hissing speakers, the buzzing screens, and the rumbling engines of an expansive Rhetoric Machine. This machine has been built to mold around us a persuasive version of reality, one that we accept before we have the chance to examine it.”