Skin- Surface Tension

Site specific Installation. Digitally printed fabric, wooden dowels, coloured lighting, electronic controllers. Created as a site specific installation at Curve Theatre as Part of An Indian Summer 2015.

Referencing Anish Kapoor’s installation “Marsyas” (2002) and Jasper Johns’ Study for “Skin” I, (1962), Surface Tension follows on from earlier work (titled “Field Notes”) by considering Alan Turing’s Reaction diffusion theory to focus on marking skin.

The installation considers skin as an organic substrate beyond the context of an object. “There are artists who say that skin of an object is not what defines it. I would disagree, the skin of an object is what defines it. Its weight and mass are contingent on it’s skin” Anish Kapoor (speaking a the Kochi Muziris Biennale 2014).

The installation is site specific in that, it is draws inspiration form the tensile design and construction of Curve. Surface Tension considers the interplay between the the the organic and synthesised and emanate from questions relating to marking of an organic surface (a skin) by foreign means (an external force, chemical or action).

By looking at skin as a social canvas, the motive for the installation is to consider the tension between the layers of skin and marking. Once skin is marked is is still visible alongside the marking or does the marking replace the skin it sits upon.

The installation looks at a situation in which the gaze of the viewer changes and the skin takes on new meaning when it becomes a canvas for a motif. In a human context, the work questions whether adornment becomes meta-skin, imbued with unworldly power or presence and looks at the way in which gaze reacts to the adorned skin in the same way skin reacts to light.

The digitally printed fabric substrates depicts an interplay between analogue and algorithmic forms of drawing. A geometric upper layer of computational drawing reacts with a fluid base layer drawn by hand. The fluid base layer is drawn by hand and transposed to a computer. Conversely, the geometric upper layer is formed using a generative algorithm. The two are reacted using further software scripts to form the final work. The scripts form aberrations in the base layer that affect its fluidity. A visual flaccidity permeates the base layer in turn creating a dominance in the upper geometric layer.

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