boiler 12. HEAT

An overzealous oil-burning boiler in the basement of the building provides steam heat to the radiators in the gallery in prodigious volume. The boiler is supposedly activated by a temperature sensor somewhere outside the building. This archaic heating system is the most authentic part of the gallery and is only forgiven its character because of its necessity. The fussy, atavistic form stands in stark contrast to the clean lines and clinical minimalism of the walls, light fixtures and door hardware of the gallery. The drafty windows and overactive radiators conspire daily to disrupt the consistency of the temperature in the gallery, which generates by turns lethargy and chills. For the purposes of the exhibition, the pipes leading to the radiators have been accessed to operate a miniature steam engine of a form common at the time of the construction of the building. This engine runs a pump which supplies water to the cooler for the fountain.

The operation of the steam engine is attributed incorrectly to James Watt who got the mechanism from an employee named Murdock about 200 years ago. One thing that James Watt did invent was carbon paper, which led to the Xerox machine in the storage area. Murdock of course gave rise to an enormous media empire which so thoroughly intercuts entertainment with fact that neither one could be imagined without the other. As Ronald Reagan's Interior Secretary, James Watt succeeded in stalling action by environmentalists to study the hole in the ozone layer discovered during his tenure. The hole is allegedly produced by chlorofluorocarbons, which constitute most refrigerants, such as the ones found circulating in the water fountain's cooling system. Controversy surrounds the unusual temperature fluctuations in the past couple of years worldwide, and debates over humanity's role in the permanent alteration of global weather are increasing in urgency. By extremely elliptical and oblique connection, the aberrant temperature in the gallery is compared to that in the world at large, and once again it is discovered that there is no dearth of facts and meanings, but one of interest.
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