...and the Synapse Sweetly Singing

When Bernie's mother was very ill, he could only communicate with her over long distance via the telephone. Towards the end of her life she became increasingly frail and her voice was difficult to understand. Bernie wanted to make a work in re- sponse to this, so he created a tin can telephone system. When his mother died he added a coffin to the piece, from his desire to continue communicating with her beyond the grave.

Visitors are invited to wheel themselves inside of the coffin and talk to people outside over long metal springs. The tin can telephone system transmits and distorts the sound vibrations around the gallery. Despite the grave origins of this work it is also inherently humourous, absurd and a delightful commentary on how communication is often a mis-communication.
Bernie thinks of the interconnecting springs and canning jar lid speakers as a model of the brain and believes that consciousness of mortality is essential for creative thought.