The Norm is Monstrous

Kevin Karol (2016)

The Norm is Monstrous by Kevin Karol :: Supported by FRFAF from STUDIO for Creative Inquiry on Vimeo.


“I believe there are monsters born in the world to human parents… And just as there are physical monsters, can there not be mental or psychic monsters born?… To a monster the norm must seem monstrous, since everyone is normal to himself.  To the inner monster it must be even more obscure, since he has no visible thing to compare with others.  To a man born without conscience, a soul-stricken man must seem ridiculous.  To a criminal, honesty is foolish.  You must not forget that a monster is only a variation, and that to a monster the norm is monstrous.”  – John Steinbeck, East of Eden

Art galleries and theaters can create arbitrary divides between art’s presentation and the world it represents.  The Norm is Monstrous by Kevin Karol used technology to create automated installation experiences integrated with the Carnegie Mellon Campus.  A custom Android app guided audience members around campus.  Upon discovering an installation’s location, the app was used to trigger an automated lighting event synchronized with audio playback on the device.



The norm is monstrous was installed across Carnegie Mellon University’s campus April 25th – March 6th 2016.

Made possible with support from the Frank-Ratchye Fund for Art @ the Frontier.