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HAPTIC SKIN 2019

 

I’m desperate to feel something, but not just anything, in fact, often I want to feel less in order to feel something better. My skin is the receptor of sensations, but lately, it has been doing more. I can feel more with an illness that heightens my sensitivity to pain, and in fact, my body invents pain: my hands are burning right now. I feel my skin as an excessive layer, its thickness amplified like a glove. The glove is a barrier to touch, while it also provides opportunities for protection, or it even becomes a fashion accessory. I think through barriers, where touch can manifest in one place, and affect us in another. To build a digital, second skin, provides opportunities of transformation, while also of exploitation. To enter into a network among others, and to feel the need to transform ourselves in order to simulate the dominant popular culture. We enter into a stream of desire, where we are guided along the way to want what others want. Being a part of this digital stream of desire, it is easy to forget the embodied world, where bodies still suffer, where people have been made to feel their skin is a problem. I commend the practices within the stream that reach out to our embodied self, whispering into our ears, so the backs of our heads prickle, squishing slime that relaxes us and makes us feel more comfortable in our bodies. These practices are refreshing encounters that give warmth to the cold stream and remind us of the tactile body and the pleasures and suffering we face together. 

FEAR AND ALLUSION 2018

 

Fear and allusion is made up of a number of sequences in which the viewer’s eyes are led across surfaces, with a focus on upholding this evolving motion, never letting the eye to settle or become complacent. The surfaces are bright and saturated, although tainted by forms of manipulation, they are ambiguous as to whether referent to bodily or earthly terrain; cracked, eroded, crumpled and undulating as expected of organic matter, yet obviously residing in the artificial domain of the virtual. The gloved hands, attempt to control, smooth, erase or destroy these signs of wear, playing out tensions of the destructive permutation of temporality on the surface. The imagery in each clip fades into one another, varying in intensity, some providing relief from the aggressive saturation and uncomfortable sound effects; unpleasant crackling or impending rapid breath, while other clips sooth with running water or abstract melody. The work deals with an anthropocentric desire to control, suppress or glorify nature, and inevitable reminders that float to the surface, of destruction and decay completely out of our hands.

ARTIFICIAL RUIN 2017

Against the backdrop of pulsating surfaces, we follow a set of transitioning objects. The objects might appear to be natural in formation, but are entirely saturated and artificial on the surface. The cracked hands attempt to control and manipulate these objects, while the clips continuously shift from one surface to another. The work follows a series of faux rock sculptures that give the appearance of smoothly eroded forms, but are painted in bright saturated colours in order to highlight their artificiality, destabilizing distinctions between authenticity and the artificial.

ORGANISM 2020

 

"It is in the [body without organs] that the organs enter into the relations of composition called the organism. The BwO howls: “ They’ve made me an organism! They’ve wrongfully folded me! They’ve stolen my Body!”” 1 


My body is full of horror. It has been working against me, and I feel like I’ve lost control of it. Being ill, you begin to rely on others more: the state and its healthcare dictate your survival. So reliant on these rigid systems, I wonder, how do I become a body without organs?  Conveniently, the drugs I have been given have disorientated me, they have become a necessary distraction from this body. I think of other bodies, how they move together, how their skin also shrivels, and the horror when they fail. Despite all this, there’s a part of me that enjoys this drama, like we might be drawn to the glossy fake blood in a horror film or suppress a laugh when the gore in a scene appears so absurd and unrealistic. I got distracted by watching DIY special effects makeup tutorials on Youtube once. The content maker gave instructions on how to make fake flesh using liquid latex and other materials from around the house such as flour and even cornflakes. I made a hunk of flesh. I hope that we can all relate to being flesh, it’s scary but humbling and this is where I see some positivity through this body horror.

Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia (London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2013).

COLD SWEATS 2020

 

The doctors said it would be trial and error to find a drug that might help with my symptoms. I spent far too much time online researching different drugs, many “miracle cures” were only available at private clinics. I was overwhelmed by the myriad of people online saying if I changed my diet or took a certain supplement all would be well. The physiotherapist said my pain was normal and some squats would help me, I asked her “what about all my other symptoms” and she just repeated herself. I decided to try the drugs first. The first drug I tried made me too dopey and only helped a little, the second helped more but lost effect after a while, the third had the most side effects, and like the second lost any effectiveness once my body got used to it. I was told I would need to ween off this one before trying something else, which took some time, finally when I was ready, I stopped it completely. Three days later I couldn’t sleep all night, I felt nauseous and had crushing anxiety. The next morning I tried to get ready, I was supposed to be attending a symposium about sickness, but ironically it turned out I was too ill to attend. I had chills and couldn’t stop sweating. The sickness and anxiety were overwhelming. By the evening it was too much, I took the drug again and felt better. I’m still taking that medication, but I’ve given up gluten.

HAPTIC SKIN 2019

 

I’m desperate to feel something, but not just anything, in fact, often I want to feel less in order to feel something better. My skin is the receptor of sensations, but lately, it has been doing more. I can feel more with an illness that heightens my sensitivity to pain, and in fact, my body invents pain: my hands are burning right now. I feel my skin as an excessive layer, its thickness amplified like a glove. The glove is a barrier to touch, while it also provides opportunities for protection, or it even becomes a fashion accessory. I think through barriers, where touch can manifest in one place, and affect us in another. To build a digital, second skin, provides opportunities of transformation, while also of exploitation. To enter into a network among others, and to feel the need to transform ourselves in order to simulate the dominant popular culture. We enter into a stream of desire, where we are guided along the way to want what others want. Being a part of this digital stream of desire, it is easy to forget the embodied world, where bodies still suffer, where people have been made to feel their skin is a problem. I commend the practices within the stream that reach out to our embodied self, whispering into our ears, so the backs of our heads prickle, squishing slime that relaxes us and makes us feel more comfortable in our bodies. These practices are refreshing encounters that give warmth to the cold stream and remind us of the tactile body and the pleasures and suffering we face together. 

VIVID LIVING 2019

 

The slogan Vivid Living plays on the dual meaning of ‘vivid’ to be both brightly coloured, and the bringing to mind clear, powerful and affective imagery. Vivid Living mocks the assertion, that there is a clear and best possible life narrative, a nod to recent trends in popular culture of the phrase “living my best life”. Vivid living suggests there are varying degrees to which we can live, or are seen to be living, a prospect that our life should be vibrant, exciting and exhaustive of the values of normative cultural narratives. The slogan is paradoxically set against a background of dark water, it is translucent and sinister, it acts as an omen to the possibility our lives are not vivid enough. The imagery constantly flickers between backgrounds of organic terrain, images from a collection of desktop wallpapers, portals to a “better” idyllic world, of tropical sunsets and dewy green grass, punctuated by images of ambiguous organic tensions and the return of grasping gloved hands. All the while, throughout this chaos, the non-human life of the snail continues to move, at a notably slower pace alongside and in contrast to the chaos of a pursuit towards a vivid human life and inevitable disappointments.