The Anesthesia Quartet is a collection of four video works by John Sanborn. The works explore the formation of self - the concepts that tie us to an idea of self and the everyday challenges we must face to maintain a sense of self. The works express self as both a fragile construct requiring constant work and a powerful structure through which to navigate and process the world.
I don’t want to put it into words. I don’t want to talk about “meaning” or intention or exemplification. I just want to state how it feels to be alive - right now. Nothing seems to matter anymore. We live on the brink of detachment and insignificance fashioned by a chattering world whose noise level has reached an intolerable roar.
All the grand narratives have collapsed resulting in billions of competing, vehement subjectivities- all fragmented and adrift. So, how does a 3-pound lump of dendrites, axons and sodium channels create a loving, sorrowing, self-knowing self? How do we survive and find joy enough to continue living each outrageous day?
We fashion a daily reality of our own making, as ambiguous as transactions in a foreign currency, and as real as a slap in the face. Our genius for storytelling and manifestation exceeds understanding and stretches beyond consequence as our techniques for self-representation mutate.
Then something immaterial is added – fate, love, forgiveness, redemption – and the magic trick of consciousness is complete.
- John Sanborn