Jessica Sara Wilson: Faulty Bulb: curated by Alison Karasyk

February 14 - March 9, 2019
  1. One or more red or combination red and white lights, or one white light which must be revolving, rotating, flashing, oscillating or constantly moving light, may be affixed to an authorized emergency vehicle. - New York Consolidated Laws, Vehicle and Traffic Law - VAT § 375. Equipment, subsection 41: Colored and flashing lights.

  2. It will have been real because it was felt to be real. Whether the danger was existent or no, the menace was felt in the form of fear. What is not actually real can be felt into being. Threat does not have an actual mode of existence: fear, as foreshadowing. Threat has an impending reality in the present. This actual reality is affective. - Brian Massumi, The Future Birth of the Affective Fact: The Political Ontology of Threat

  3. First you must figure out if the problem is faulty wiring or a faulty bulb. - CarTalk Community Forum Member

New York State law and national-industry standards systematize light signaling on authorized emergency vehicles like fire trucks, ambulances, and police cars. Through hardware, color, and flash-patterning, these machines produce what constitutes an affective apparatus of alarm and response. Jessica Sara Wilson’s first solo exhibition, Faulty Bulb, takes emergency-signaling codes—and the codes of conduct they assume—as its point of departure. The artist presents a series of computer generated animations and rigged-up nightlight assemblages, probing the optics of threat, its transmission through virtual and physical materials, and its domestic refractions. Using strategies deployed by Hollywood visual effects studios to create emergency spectacles, she turns the material back on itself: distorting the focal point of the scene by attending to the ambient qualities that shape a state of emergency. Light straddles exterior and interior, public and private, and virtual and physical spaces. Networks of overloaded nightlights reframe the dynamics of alarm inside the gallery. Reflecting on light signaling’s regulatory codes and design specs, the artist untangles opaque yet familiar procedural systems, and anchors them in feeling.


Jessica Sara Wilson (b.1991) lives and works in NYC. She is currently an MFA candidate at Milton Avery School of the Arts, Bard College (2020). Crush Curatorial is delighted to present Jessica Sara Wilson’s New York solo debut.