The body of Others, (View it Here) is an experimental video that engages the tensions between sexuality, identity, visibility, representation and the body, as it relates to queer subjectivity. The video asserts a dynamic relationship between queer subjectivity and the representation of queer identities presented through ideological systems of representation, as performed by the queer body. The video questions the boundaries and distinctions between the visible/invisible, personal/political, private/public, body/technology, human/animal, interior/exterior and normal/other. The body of Others presents a body that is unstable and drifts over itself into space. The body fuses with the unknown and becomes an amalgam of skin, flesh, fur, textiles and light. New, indeterminate forms move in and out of darkness, in response to reverberating and stark sounds, to establish a fluid embodied space. We are left to question the coherence of bodies, identities and sexualities.
The body of Others, is an outcome of a larger project titled Embracing the Monster: Engaging the Limits of Sexuality, Representation and Embodied Subjectivity that includes elements of costume, interactive media, and performance. The monster is a symbol throughout history that embodies the anxieties, fears and desires of a culture or society. LGBTQ identity, through its difference from heteronormative identities, has frequently been constructed as monstrous and represented as Other. In this project, I used the symbol of the monster to embrace the freedom of remaining independent from the tyranny of the normal. I created an interactive monster costume from wool, fur and electronics that becomes active in response to video, either live or pre-composed. As a person wears the costume, they are monitored by a video feed. The costume is then activated by the image of itself, illuminating the body and in turn activates the costume further. A separate camera records the performance and the footage is used towards a final video, the body of Others.
This project is supported by a Ryerson University Creative Fund Grant. The overall project, Embracing the Monster, has been presented at the Sexuality Studies Association meeting at the Congress of Humanities and Social Sciences in Victoria, Canada. The body of Others has been shown at MIX26 NYC, the New York Queer Experimental Film Festival and at the Twisted group exhibition at the Project Gallery in Toronto, Canada.
Queer Craft: An Exploration of Sexuality, the Body, and the Handmade. This research-creation project explores the conceptual relationship between craft and 'queerness' through textile-based artwork and experimental video.
Queer Remnants: Appropriating Love. This research-creation project engages the dynamic between the cultural construction of love, represented by popular love songs, and the relationship to queer embodied subjectivity. The project involves robotics, embroidery, textiles and experimental video. [SEE CURRENT WEBSITE]
out-in sight: Visibility, Otherness and Coming-of-Age in The Chrysalids. This project takes moments of the discovery of Otherness from The Chrysalids as structural parameters for experimental image-making.