Jennifer Gradecki: IRB# G10-02-066-01
Over the past six years, Jennifer Gradecki's work has pulled from the histories, methodologies and values of both social science and art, often mining the darker sides of human behavior. Utilizing techniques traditionally employed by social scientists, she provides a framework that enables people to reflect on their perceptions, while questioning the belief that science and art should be exclusionary to one another. Through staged clinical lab settings, scripted performances, sculptural installations, data visualization, and both hidden and explicit data collection techniques, she investigates and displays the viewer/participant's behavior as well as systems of power relations.
IRB# G10-02-066-01 is a participatory installation that questions the boundaries of ethics in psychological research, explores the possibility of exchange between the fields of art and psychology, and examines the social relations that a shock machine may represent or produce in a gallery setting. The piece consists of an Institutional Review Board (IRB) application for a study entitled Social Interaction as a Function of Voluntary Engagement with a Shock Machine, letters of correspondence with the IRB, two chairs flanking a small table that holds a shock machine, and a sign that explains the guidelines for participation. The letters of correspondence on display contain Gradecki's efforts to convince the IRB that she is producing meaningful information and preserving participant autonomy. Viewers are invited to use the shock machine, which has two electrode leads and two hand-held push buttons to allow for two people to shock each other simultaneously.