Equipment: small folding bed, speaker wire sculpture with 5 lcd screens (three 5.6" screens and two 2" screens),
5 dvd players, fabric media, overhead spotlight
Gallery Requirements: 2 electrical outlets. A dim or darkened space is preferred but not required
Setup: The speaker wire sculpture will rest on top of a long sheet covering the bed, hugging a long pillow
that lies beneath the sheet. Speakers emitting low vibrating sounds will be embedded in the body pillow.
The sheet will trail as far as it can beyond the bed (preferably a few yards). Embedded in the speaker
wire are 5 lcd TVs, playing a progression of 'poultry' videos. The last two screens (towards the sculpture's head)
will also feature abstract animation composited on top of the video. Reddish-brown paint will be smeared underneath
the sculpture, bleeding onto the sheet. Dimensions: 8' Long, 2.5' Wide, 1.5' High
Solitude and solitaire... the subtle, obsessive puzzles we examine when we are alone.
BED is the first in a trilogy of kinetic sculptures exploring spacial notions of isolation,
instability, and vulnerability. Using imagery of poultry and slumber, BED explores some of the issues I faced as a
stranger in many new places-- a new city, a new residence, a new bed.
A year ago, I thought that moving to New York might be a sort of experiential awakening. Little did I understand
the extent of this prophecy-- around the time I moved last summer, I developed insomnia that is only now beginning to ease.
I felt overwhelmed by many alien issues: the sense of displacement from the close-knit community I left behind
in Baltimore/DC (my hometowns), the strain of maintaining a long-distance relationship, the sensory overload of
living alone in New York, the self-pressure to artistically and professionally "self-actualize" (whatever that means), the general
instability of the times and locales in which I've lived. At night, I would unwittingly turn these issues into puzzles
and try to solve them, twisting the possible outcomes around and around. This 'puzzling' coalesced disparate issues into hours of insomnia.
The progression of video channels in this sculpture reflect the progression of my
own insomniacal thought: from reviewing a situation moment by moment (Process, Channel 5),
to slowly filtering out the most active moments (Light Series, Channel 3),
to stretching out the most significant sensory moments (Tactile, Channel 1).
To reflect the way I repeatedly reconstruct these moments, I will eventually composite small, subtle 3D-animated
abstract forms on top of the clips Provocative and Tactile.
(For an example of the aesthetics of these 3D forms, see EarComp
on this website.)
Weaving speaker wire into a sort of "worm" form and using video of poultry both stem from youthful activities
I most often performed with the goal of making something-- I did a lot of crafts and cooking as a kid. I hoped
that drawing from these familiar physical activities would ground my first attempt at constructing
a video installation. It is also an attempt at a personally meaningful fusion
of technology and physicality: when I was younger, I used computers just as much as I made crafts and cooked,
but only recently did I really begin to understand how the computer can be integrated into the art-making
practice. In this piece, I was curious to explore how crafts and cooking could be integrated in this way.
Cooking can be great stress outlet, and this year, it often helped relieve
insomnia by engaging me in an activity that was not school-, work-, or media-related.
I chose a chicken as an avatar since it is from the most common group of animals that we eat whole, and its skin and
cavities even resemble us a bit. The way that poultry is prepared for the market
(de-feathered, beheaded, inner organs separated) endow it with a network of visual metaphors that evoke
the vulnerability of solitude, and the heightened sensual/sensory awareness of that vulnerability.
Stills from 4 of BED's video channels, nicknamed "Tactile," "Provocative," "Light Series," and "Paint."