Scribe is the result of a creative experiment exploring the relationships between texture, movement and sound. Could seemingly disparate sounds, textures and images become unified? We discovered that with a moderate level of consistency between specific movements and sounds, and between particular images and sounds an audio-visual vernacular developed. Analogous to how a child might begin to associate words with meaning, the viewer begins to feel like they understand the conversation, even if they cannot articulate specific audio-visual definitions. Advertising often deploys similar tricks– as we have the desire to assume that simultaneous sounds, images and concepts are interdependent.
Do You Know Her? is an exploration of “female archetypes” that appear in women centered magazines from the 1930s to the present. The semiotics that surround advertisements marketed towards women include: home appliances, detergents, beauty products, personal hygiene products, feminine hygiene products, grocery items, children, household products, wedding rings, pots & pans, and lingerie. The advertisements, originating in printed magazines, layered onto the mannequin, and then onto the window, demonstrates the layered marketing techniques the media/companies use to promote ideas of “ideal womanhood.”
The mannequin acts as an instrument of extraction, to emphasize the body that is imaged again and again. Important to note that the mannequin and the advertisement, the bodies, image the “ideal woman” as “white.” It makes “ideal womanhood” inaccessible to women of color, thereby enforcing a cycle of idealization and struggle to obtain a womanhood that is impossible. “Ideal Womanhood,” then, continues to reinforce ideas of subordination, inadequacy and self doubt and perpetuates the power systems that promote this ideology.
Cyborgs are cybernetic organisms, participating in a cybernetic culture. In our current condition of global capitalism,we are participating beings in a larger networked system. We have a very intimate relationship with technology from the toilet, shower and running water in our bathrooms to computers, surveillance cameras and the worldwide web. Technology is integrated in our lives at many levels. Adopting theories of cyborgs or cyborg culture is a label of privilege that identifies histories of colonizers. The workbook, installation and performance all work together to reveal these ideas through dialogue and interactive activities.
Selling Madonna looks at the history of images of mother and child. Specifically the project looks at representations of mother and child in advertising published in parenting magazines in the year 2005 and looks at similar images from renaissance paintings. Together the set of images presents an iconography of motherhood that is over 500 years old and continues to saturate media images today.
As the viewer walks past the images they morph from images that distinctly read as advertisements to images that reference Christian Renaissance Art of the Madonna and child. The process of morphing creates grotesque images of motherhood that, for me, question reality and the truth of photos and paintings. How many mothers are actually represented by these classic images, or, more importantly, how many mothers or images of parenting are left out? Motherhood is not always romantic, as the classic images might suggest.
Spatial Dialogue investigates perceptions of space, such as the relationships between exterior and interior or public and private space. Creating in the intersection between new media, choreography and set design, the three collaborators were interested in an exploration of the impact of space on physicality and movement and its representation through technology.
Funded with a Sokol Grant from Marymount Manhattan College. Premiered at Marymount Manhattan College’s Theresa Lang Theatre on December 12, 2009. Video documentation available upon request.
- Choreographer: Nancy Lushington
- Light and Set Design: Robert Dutiel
- Set Design Assistant: Catriona Jones
- Digital Media Design: Rebecca Mushtare
- Assistant Digital Media Artist: Jeff Lewis
- Costume Design: Michelle Ferranti
- Rehearsal Assistants: Meghan Rose Murphy, Kirstin Sierer
- Cast: The MMC Dance Company
- Force composed and performed by Armand Amar.
- Sextet composed and performed by by Chris Fitkin.
- Begin Again Again? for Hypercello Solo – Energetic composed by Tom Machover and performed by Matt Haimovitz.
- Concerto in C Major for Two Trumpets & Strings, RV 537: II. Largo composed by Antonio Vilvaldi and performed by Wynton Marsalis.
- A Ramble at St. James’s Park composed and peformed by Michael Nyman
- A Zed and Two Noughts-Film Score (1985) – Prawn-watching composed and peformed by Michael Nyman.
- Machine composed and performed by Armand Amar
Circle Drawings is an exploration transparency, texture, light, layers and drawing with thread on plastic. Each drawing is a study in formal design qualities. I designed a piece of software that randomly generates compositions of three layers of circles. I use that software to generate a number of compositions and choose the most interesting to pursue. I then translate that rough composition into three layers of plastic where some circles are additive and some are subtractive.
I continually add to the Circle Drawings collection. The modular nature of the project allows for each installation to be in response to the specific site.
Low quality plastic shopping bags were layered and heat fused using an iron. During the heat fusing process the plastic shrinks and forms a wide variety of wrinkles on the surface. I developed this drawing in response to those wrinkles by choosing which wrinkles to emphasize and which to downplay as I embroidered. This piece was not pre-planned, as there were a number of “unknowns” that unfolded as the piece developed.
Sn’aap Symphony is a beatbox application designed to work in your desktop browser or on your iOS device. The app allows for up to 8 audio tracks that each have their own sound clip, volume, rhythm and pitch controls. Adding new tracks is easy — just tap the “+” at the bottom of the screen. To edit or remove tracks, simply tap the track you would like to manipulate and its edit window will pop up. The sounds available as beats were originally developed as syllables for Dictionary: A Semiotic Experience. Sn’aap Symphony was developed using Processing.js and the experimental library Maxim.js.
Although not entirely practical as a quilt, Circles on 16 Squrares, is an experiment in using plastic bags in lieu of fabric. This project is partially inspired by 1920s-1940s feedsack quilts that were made from cloth remnants saved from bags foodstuffs were sold in. Plastic replaced many kinds of paper and fabric packaging in the 1960s. Due to the pollution caused by plastics, many municipalities are moving towards laws that limit plastic and encourage reusable materials like cloth. The most interesting quality of plastic bags when used to create quilts and other creative works is its transparent properties.
SIGNal is an investigation of the “Toilet” symbols from the 50 Symbol-Signs originally created in a collaboration between AIGA and the US Department of Transportation. Of the 50 symbols, the toilet symbols are the only ones (although you could make an argument about the nursery symbol as well) designed to represent the “who” of a space or service rather than the what.
Focusing on the “who” of the space is often exclusionary. For example, single-stall bathrooms are often labeled with either a man or woman symbol despite the fact that the bathroom is single occupancy in the first place. Some of these spaces use the “Family” bathroom symbol which reinforces heterosexuality and excludes same sex couples. Signage needs to be standardized for usability but we need to be careful not to make choices that reinforce stereotypes or imply that populations like transgender individuals and same sex couples do not exist in our society.
The fifteen signs in this set explore a a wide range of images, both practical and impractical (complex symbols are hard to “read” from a distance), that represent the “who” and the “what” of the space. The “who” signs include those that are culturally gendered and those that are based on biological sex. The “what” signs include representation of the facilities, as well as the biological processes that result in the need of a toilet in the first place.