My artwork explores the intersections of "big-science" and contemporary culture,
explicating questions and concerns about how these domains relate to the individual as
subject. What is our relationship to machines and machine-like processes, and how do they
effect our relationship to others and even to our own bodies? How do broadcast media,
telecommunications and bio-technology impact our desires and needs, and, conversely, how
do these subjective impulses impact the meanings, operations and development of such
information systems? Such are a few of the broad issues informing my work. I frequently
take a sociological approach to these issues by creating interactive artwork contingent upon
viewer response and participation. However, unlike much traditional sociology or critique
following the entrenched condition of "objective research", my work does not seek clinical
detachment from its foci.
"Latent Figure Protocol" takes the form of a media installation that uses DNA samples to create emergent
representational images. The installation is centered upon a live scientific experiment, the result of which is
videotaped and repeated for the duration of the gallery exhibit. Employing a reactive gel and electrical
current, "Latent Figure Protocol" produces images that relate directly to the DNA samples used.
Item 1-2000, 1996, interactive installation. 600 pound wax block, live performer,
Macintosh computer, barcode scanner, 2 monitors, misc. electronics.
The work seeks to contextualize work in anatomical imaging, using the Visible Human
project as an example, with the social issues of American medicine. Participants interact
with the work through a stainless-steel barcode scanner (wielded like a scalpel), slicing
horizontally across a wax-embedded performer (laying atop a 600 pound wax block) to
reveal the hidden target organ on the room's monitors.
Paradise Reconfigured, 2000, Interactive installation. Paul Vanouse
(described in sample work form)
Cult of the New Eve, 2000, performance and public intervention. A collaboration between
Paul Vanouse, Faith Wilding and the Critical Art Ensemble. The Cult of the New Eve
reacts to modem biotechnology as manifested in its promises of salvation by practicing a
New Eve Cult aimed to unmask the utopias. In varied performances, an intermeshing of
electronic information systems with performative theatre practice, the cult members explore
and provoke the discourse of life science.
The Relutive Velocity Inscription Device, 2002, interactive installation, Paul Vanouse.
(described in "sample work" form)
Latent Figure Protocol will utilize DNA sequencing technologies to create representational
images in which there is a tension between that which is portrayed and the DNA materials (from the
specific individual or specific species) used to generate it. Not simply images of a sequence of DNA in a
gel (like a standard DNA fingerprint), but rather a gel containing DNA sequences specifically chosen to
create a recognizable, quasi-photographic representation. For instance, using a 16-lane electrophoresis
gel, it is possible to generate an iconic image by treating each lane as a row of pixels analogous to how
early computer images were built using ascii characters. Inserting DNA of known sizes into the
beginning slot of each lane will allow for a sequence of DNA bands in each lane to migrate at different
speeds when voltage is applied, thus creating a 2-dimensional grid of DNA bands resembling a low resolution
The Active-Stimulation Feedback Platform is about networks and flows, consent and
resistance, desire and aversion. It is a global simulation, extruded from the computer onto a
physical interactive platform, a circle 16 feet in diameter, densely covered with arcade-style
push buttons. Viewer / participants will interact with the simulation by walking, crawling
and rolling across these buttons. Their movements trigger and bias playback of audio
samples ("yes" or "no") recorded from 2000 people across the globe.
Make a deposit on eCommmons
Please sign in with your Cornell NetID to continue.