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Installation thoughts

18/02/2021 – New installation space, new installation ideas!

I had a very exciting installation experimental day at the gallery space last week! I worked with the materials very intuitively and loads of ideas emerged and solidified. This is me trying to put into words what I discovered!

I started to have a play around with MRI visuals. There is something beautifully strange about it! It has a time lapse quality to it – which as Timothy Morton says, reveals the uncanny qualities of lifeforms… (let me look at the reading wall…) : “ It reveals (in things that seem natural) something natural or artificial, an uncanny morphing flow.” This connection to Morton’s writing reassures me in incorporating MRI visuals inside my practice!  

My knee injury happened in a time in which my art practice was flowing strongly… and I think that for that reason my physical trauma found refuge in my art practice as a way to process what had happened. Something germinated there during these strange times and my drugged brain fog. Now, with time and distance I can feel how they became deeply intertwined as they grew together. These unlike companions came together in my thought, in that strange moment when everything fell apart. As I started rereading “The Mushroom at the End of the World”, I can’t help comparing this unexpected companionship to the Matsutake mushrooms and the Pines in deforested forests. If I go deep into this comparison, I could say that my art practice grew mushrooms in the ruins of my body and my surroundings.  

MRIs are beautifully uncanny. You get to see inside something. You are not supposed to see inside things, it’s so strange! The mesmerizing shapes steal your gaze. Alien and hypnotic, an untrained eye wouldn’t be able to pin down the abstract shapes into anything from the real world. The untrained eye feels the shapes with faces (I bit like those ink stains phycologists make you interpret) faces that are in the valley between the human and the non-human, maybe silkworm faces. With it ambiguous shapes and movements, when projected on top of an uneven textile surfaces, it creates the amazing illusion of the material moving.  

Hand threads video – entangling detangling silk threads. That’s a motive I started to explore at the (early) end of my final year. The threads responds to the light, shining, it works really well. Visually very interesting. It relates in a very simple way to the topic of silkworms: the human hand the non-human’s work to create their own materials; unweaving worm cocoons to weave human clothes. Long story short: capitalism/colonialism, nature’s work is a resource for the human.  

But also, it represents this idea of chewing through thoughts…It reveals something unfolding….  I look up at my studio wall and there it is “UNDO THINGS DONE”, it’s a poster that has been on my work space for a long time. It’s almost like a command, ordering the artists to undo things, but not in a destructive way, but in a creative way, doing by undoing, creating by taking apart? Isn’t that what it feels like to be an artist? Sorting through a tangle? We were talking during a group crit about how something special that artists can see is “the negative space”, how things are also made out of what they aren’t. How things outlines are drawn by their difference with other things, going a bit into Derrida there.  

There is an interesting parallel between the shapes in which silkworms weave the cocoon (in 8s) and the way the silk threads fall on the floor – the floor threads were once shaped in 8s. All threads that fall on the floor into 8s have previously been shaped into 8s by silkworms, before they were unraveled by humans. There is something there I would like to follow up. It could be interesting to layer both kinds of silk threads with projection… 

Silk coming from cocoons. I solidified this idea of making the silk threads come out of the dried cocoons. Visually sooo interesting. I was put away from trying it because it felt “too obvious”(something contemporary art must avoid apparently) but when I was at the installation space last week, it was so visually effective I had to go for it.  Both the silk and the cocoons would respond really well to the projection light. If I stuck the cocoons on a line on the wall it could almost become a cocoon loom, aligning with the loom visuals I was exploring.  

Things are moving and slowly coming together! I’m so grateful I have renewed this excitement for my art practice. I look forward to photographing some good visuals  of these ideas in the next few days when I go back to the installation space. Can’t wait for the next update!  


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