Stokes’s study of human ecology within place is central in her body of work, particularly the relationship between social patterns and time within the Southeastern region of the United States. Atrial Systole references the land as the installation is connected to both the macroscopic and microscopic. The physicality of the installation’s paper construction is inherent to its message as it consists of local and regional plant and insect matter, ranging from the cotton plant to the cochineal bug. This physicality is also relevant as the construction disintegrates during the duration of the installation. Along with the construction, the rhythmic sound of the artist’s heartbeat suggests time. These cyclical properties are synonymous with life as the reconstitution of the pulp will create yet another construction in the future.
Atrial Systole. 2014. Paper construction, water pump, screen, pond; sound file.
Atrial Systole is an installation that discusses the conflation of place and time within the human experience.