Six channel video projection on painted mesh satellite dishes, 3 steel tripod stands. Each dish 10ft. 2in., 5 min.loop
"World Without Sun" is titled after Jacques Cousteau and Louis Malle's underwater documentary of the first sea colony; a bubble or "flying saucer" manned by oceanauts. Filmed in 1964 this breathtaking glimpse of a world beneath resides within the imaginary of another era. In Davis' rendition the underwater world collides with its exterior-- planes, stars, stones and protest -- as the work grapples with the radical interdependencies of life on this planet, a world fueled by human cycles of production and consumption. Drawing from 19th C. biologist Jakob von Uexküll's concept of umwelt, or the perceptual world in which an organism exists and acts as a subject, "World Without Sun" considers our perceptual world as that of communication.
Sculptural projection, 9 x 16 ft wall, diamond dust, 16 ft brass pole, HD projector. 5min. loop. A video projector is clamped to a brass pole projecting on to angled slab with glittering surface.
“As if his throat opened into the void of stars,” (2010) layers footage of volcanic eruption with pole dancing through a symbiotic digital interface. The moving images are set within a sound collage mixing DIMI synthesizer, Funk, Hildegard von Bingen, and helicopter blades. Along a path at once apocalyptic and serene, mystic and scientific, the work weaves a world where myth, daily news, distance and natural disaster are interconnected. Propelled by Ovid’s story of Erysichthon’s insatiable hunger (from which the title is derived) the project traces the predicament of a highly connected world environment where participation and alienation feel like the same thing. The unlikely conjunction of banning strip clubs in Iceland and subsequent activity of Eyjafjallajökull is both absurd causality and something far more disturbing in the technological sublime.
"Knowledge of Life, or the Imagination is a Function without an Organ" is a serial collage work that began in 2003 with the unbinding of a rare 19thC copy of "Euclid's Elements". The page -- or immutable mobile -- is explored as a space open to "speculative infection." Speculative infection is a term (from Isabelle Stengers, philosopher of science) the artist adopted and adapted to describe her distinct methodology of colliding different forms and modes of knowledge; a recurring process found at the inception of many projects. Mobilizing the Euclidean text as a transformation/abstraction device the project in its entirety weaves a cosmology that includes subjective human values and scientific propositions. The resulting morphological process of abstraction fails to distinguish geometric space from anthropological space. The project is a work-in-process.
RECTO: Collage, "The Elements of Euclid" by Oliver Byrne. London: William Pickering (1847); 73 panels, 14.25in x 19.24in each
VERSO: Collage, "The Elements of Euclid" by Oliver Byrne. London: William Pickering (1847), gouache on wood, 73 panels, 15in x 22.5in each
Title: Euclid/Canguilhem; Knowledge of Life
Introduction: Euclid/Euclid; Introduction
Book I: Euclid/Ovid; Metamorphoses and The Four Ages
Book II: Euclid/Mallarme; L'Apres midi d'un faune
Book III: Euclid/Ovid; Erysichthon
Book IV: Euclid/Bataille; Language of Flowers
Book V: Euclid/Borges; Library of Babel
Book V/VI: Euclid/ Malabou; First Incision
Book VI: Euclid/Arendt; Being and Appearance
"Tlön, or How I held in my hands a vast methodical fragment of an unknown planet’s entire history", 2003. Slide dissolve projection onto suspended screed of Morpho Didius butterflies; honeycomb aluminum, cork, velvet, pins, Ektapros, Stumpfl Event Controller. 145 x 305 x 5 cm. 4min.loop, ed. of 2
The work is based on a Borges story, “Tlön, Uqbar, Orbius Tertius”, which recounts the invention of a virtual cosmos, Uqbar, and its idealized knowledge system called Tlön, attributed to "the conjunction of a mirror and an encyclopedia." A dissolve sequence of 24 astronomy slides is projected onto a suspended screen of Morpho butterflies pinned into a grid. Documentation of the heavens and classification of wildlife are overlaid in a system of ordering and symmetry that is at once mystical and sadistic, absurd and universal. In constant metamorphosis, light from stars is registered, projected and finally reflected by the tiny scales of the wings. Through micro and macro forces, "Tlön, or How I held in my hands a vast methodical fragment of an unknown planet’s entire history," explores the concept of time as transformation of change.
Etched steel and thread, 67 x 31.5 in each
The letters abbreviating nucleotides, A, C, G, T, that map the DNA sequence are individually etched on metal squares. Drawn from a neural (homeobox) sequence the squares are sewn into grids shaped like armor. This work explores a shift in biological science from a mechanical model of blood and guts to one based on communication. Linking knowledge, language and war, for this project the artist worked in a genetic lab, examining microscopic DNA (which looks like spaghetti) and followed its rendering into a string of letters. Focusing on this process of abstracting "the invisible life of life" by first reduction and then recombination, gene splicing is related to film splicing - making the body conform to the economy of the film strip - an animate narrative of inanimate parts - neither porous nor messy. The sequence sewing is ongoing, in pairs, and will be comprised of 20 forms once completed. The artist chose to work with a homeobox sequence (found in humans and animals) as it is a regulator - a sequence that exists solely to inform other parts of the code when to switch on and off.
35 mm colour film loop, copper cloth, 365cm wide x dimensions variable, 1min 12s loop
Joining a 35mm film projector with a 19th century sewing machine, a short film loop of a veil dance choreographed by Loie Fuller is projected on a suspended screen of translucent copper mesh. The image blazes with electric intensity. The dancer is surrounded with spiralling sheets of white silk manipulated by poles attached to the body. Creating forms that twist and fold in space the fabric appears to move the dancer in an uncanny spectacle that defies the laws of gravity. Image and screen meld in hybrid materiality; screen and space are inseparable as the copper cloth hits the floor and continues to roll out towards the spectator. The black and white film is intercut with flashes of dazzling red pure light - morse code.
Mixed media slide dissolve projection onto suspended screen of buttons, 2 mirrors, 4 projectors, 18min.
Words are projected in dissolve onto a screen dense with collected buttons of diverse shape, colour and era. Mirrors are suspended on either side of the ornate surface. The words above perform a segment of Beckett’s play, “Not I”. The passage below, from Simone Weil’s “Gravity and Grace”, is fragmented precisely like Beckett’s stuttering speech. The work moves through both French and English, with the translated text always projected in reverse. Different word pairings erupt within each language forcing points of intersection and disjuncture. The ornate words glittering in the dark are punctuated by the rhythm of the projectors.
Mixed media slide dissolve projection on screen of giant silk roses suspended with wire, 229 x 305 x 114 cm. 3min. loop
Endura Metallic Print, Edition of 3, 90x120 cm
Through slow slide dissolves a woman methodically eats the pages of a book, Alice in Wonderland. Her performance is documented with slides, edited to 24 frames and projected onto a cube sculpted of giant suspended roses on stems. The material density of the screen both forms and deforms the image. Through this work the artist continues her exploration of the projection apparatus as a living assemblage where support and image meld in a process of thickening that slides between perception, hallucination and cognition.
Slide dissolve projection on suspended screen of feathers, 230 x 345 x 1 cm. 5min. loop
The work reflects the artist's ongoing interest in Mallarme, in this instance the mechanical act of chance as a trapeze act is re-choreographed by slide projectors. Executing a twirl mid-air, the trapeze artist’s routine is sliced into stills and projected as a dissolve sequence onto a suspended screen of black feathers. Rupturing the integrity of the projected image a surface emerges whose plastic hybridity is in constant metamorphosis.
Hand-blown glass, steel harness, wire, theatrical spot light. 60 in.
Molded directly from a 1970’s Judy, a dressmaker’s dummy is hand-blown out of glass. The singular act of expelled breath creates a form arrested at its moment of inception. Paradoxically the dummy, intended as an instrument of mass production, is imperfectly materialized as a transparent and non-functional object that acquires a life of its own. Conceived from the artist's interest in the history of the automaton, and insistence on probing a relation between animate and inanimate, this work is a reflection upon "L'Ève future," by Villiers de l'Isle-Adam.
Installation, light box set into wall of cell shaped room.
The 308 contact lenses of the index are placed within a lightbox recessed into the wall of a small, cell-like room.
Twelve light tables, laser etched contact lenses, 111 x 34 x 34 cm.
An index of 308 words laser etched onto a series of coloured contact lenses is divided into pairs (right/left) and organized into 12 chess games that are displayed on light tables arranged in a circle. The words are taken from a dictionary published in Valencia during the Spanish inquisition. Mapped into a new historical relation by the operation of chance and prosthetic appearance the words are vividly modern and not easily dismissed as "of the past." The contact lens is like a skin-film on which trauma is condensed as both process and product - linking truth to the production of the visual. Paradoxically, the word is no longer readable if the lens is worn and, the inscribing laser is blinding if looked at. Like the prisoner in Kafka's "Penal Colony", the judgement is incised on the back of the victim and she/he can feel it but not read it. The work was produced in response to the rise of live televised trials ie. Rodney King and a sense that the artist/viewer is implicated in the process.
Endura chromogenic print, 180 x 112 cm, edition of 3.
Black and white slide projection, satin tufting, gilt frame, rope, pulleys, 203cm x 348cm. Photograph: silver-print, steel rulers, neon light, 46 x 61 cm.
Photographed during a screening of Pasolini’s “Salo,” a still subtitled "il n'ya rien a faire" is projected onto a suspended screen within the gallery. The brilliant white satin tufted surface of the screen melds with the chateau interior and ambiguous action. The work probes the relation between physical and moral space implicit within Pasolini's staging of fascism. Opposite is a small photograph of the artist standing on a book – Sade’s "les cingt vingt jours" opened to the passage the film portrays.
See "Configurations of the Gaze," Christine Buci-Glucksmann, Exhibition Catalogue
Silverprint, Carved Silverleaf Frame, 22" x 28", ed. of 3
Silver Print, Stainless Steel Rulers, 22" x 28"
Chromogenic print, 122 x 81 x 8 cm, edition of 3.
Endura Metallic Print on Aluminium, 36" x 60", ed. of 3
97% Carbon Ink Print on Japanese Paper, 48" x 72", ed. of 3.
Endura Chromogenic Print, 28cm x 41cm. ed of 3
Slide projector, orchid, sketchbooks.
A page from Euclid’s “Elements” is projected onto a potted orchid. The plant rests on a stack of blank books and is kept alive by the light of the projector - and intermittent sun. A fragile experiment in photosynthesis, the act of projection is materialized -- it sustains the orchid which in turn forms the image.