the periodic table series
Since 2013 I have been making a series of works called the Periodic Table. In these works, I explore the journey from rational thought to intuitive knowing and back to the rational again. In the preparation for the performance I study the properties of a particular element to know about its uses, properties and the history of its discovery. I surf the internet, intuitively allowing myself to be led by what interests me without rationalizing my choices. This is a way of engaging with not-knowing that relates to a state of openness and attentiveness that I liken to the Daoist concept of Wu-Wei. It is also a way of engaging with random information from the internet that can yield unexpected yet surprisingly pertinent results. The short performances that come out of this process explore the connection between mind and matter, consciousness and artificial intelligence. Inevitably the elements, as the building blocks of our physical world, can be employed for both creative and destructive purposes and I look at both the metaphysical aspects as well as the Geo-political implications of matter and material; ‘mater’ or mother being at the root of both words.
parallel worlds series
Each work in the series begins as a drawing, a view of our planet from the perspective of each of the oceans. Porcelain sheets are hand-sewn to the cloth on the areas of land. The map becomes a cape, a temporary border between my skin and the earth, felt in my bones through the vibration of breaking porcelain. The Inuit have a word for the fear of unpredictable violence; kappia. It is different from the kind of fear that accompanies awe. This is called ilira. ‘Watching a polar bear is ilira. But having to cross thin sea ice is kappia’ (Lopez 1986). In the destruction of the porcelain cape, there is a reference the kind of apprehensive fear that accompanies the unpredictability of violence and sudden change. The process of constructing each cape takes about two months and in the performance, all this work is destroyed in a few minutes. I roll backwards and forwards, the porcelain breaking under the weight of my body. The map becomes a temporary border between my skin and the earth, the vibration of breaking porcelain is felt in my skull, in my bones.
In this series, I use fired porcelain as a material to make clothing for each performance. The porcelain costumes are made to be destroyed or broken during the action, adding a sonorous element to the works.