Role: Creative Designer (Writer, Installation)
Type: Collaboration with Lauren Carey of Ballet Florida
About: Immersive Performance / Dance
Performance Time: 45 minutes
Sound: Kyle Krakow
Dancers: Lauren Carey, Jin Lee Hanley, Emily Chu, Nicholas Garlo, Melinda Rawlinson
Video Credits: David Hamzik & Ryan Dight
Link to Video: https://vimeo.com/288031757
Video Time: 4 minutes 00 seconds
Medium: Digital Video Projections (2), Wood, Driveway Mirrors, Acrylic Mirror
Dimensions: Dimensions Variable
Time: 8 minutes 44 seconds
Link to Video: https://vimeo.com/281445349
Title: finally TOGETHER
Medium: Digital Video
Time: 4 minutes 39 seconds
Link to Video: https://vimeo.com/256482130
Title: Reframed (Extended Version)
Medium: Digital Video
Time: 7 minutes 04 seconds
Link to Video: https://vimeo.com/275283641
Title: Meditations on Horizons
Medium: Digital Video
Time: 5 minutes 11 seconds
Link to Video: https://vimeo.com/275284448
The foundation of my research is a meditation on the intersections between the female body and feminist theory, surfaces, and interfaces. I am concerned with the interface between our physical world and the heterotopic spaces arising from our world. Interfaces are designed to link our corporeal experience with non-physical information, thus creating a very real, lived experience out of an imagined space. With the limitations of our body, this imagined space is viewed from a singular and limited vantage point. Speaking to the Internet as contemporary history’s most prevalent heterotopia, the Internet demands participation to be maintained; our identities both create and sustain it. But the Internet is not a one-way ticket; our bodies have become so assimilated that our identities are symbiotic with them. The Internet has become another mirror, a surplus manifestation of our own identities and bodies. The result is a split-self that is reinforced by a placeless, non-physical body.
I am concerned with how the body-self, both from within these spaces and outside of these spaces, becomes integrated into and inextricable from this voyeuristic digital melting pot. When we witness an image in our time, when or where that image took place in the subject’s time is not concise. When we look at information, we are singular in our vantage point because the subject is singular in theirs. The result of this witnessing is a displacement in reality; though the viewer is inclined to believe there is something real about what is seen (at least at some point), the method by which this information is delivered makes the image very un-real. Physical information is transformed into computational code, losing reality (time, space, and historical accuracy) but gaining accessibility (a moment witnessed over and over again). In this looking, translucent colors, warped planes, optical portages, and fringe interference patterns intersect the witnessing. Consequentially, there is a tension between what feels like a moment of intimacy between the viewer and the subject, and the reality of the subject’s digital infidelity. Our knowledge of what is seen aims to fast-track intimacy - but this is unsuccessful. This transaction of seeing moves as quickly forward as it does away, revealing nothing but an interface: a surface which mediates multiple points of contact.
Though I use various production methods in my work, ranging from oil painting to sculpture to video and sound, all of my work uses my own body as the first point of reference. This can range from emphasizing some singular perspective from the outside, or from within the work itself. Sometimes, it is digitally translated - and then translated again and again – until it is translated into a painting. At other times, I am more playful in the process, allowing abstraction and alternative materials to guide the work. In the process, some original information is lost, warped, or skewed; other information is, in contrast, ‘found.’ It reveals the backstage, or the unseen. The result is some attempt at verisimilitude; how can we experience the most intimate details of a body or a place while it remains unknown? How can something adhere to truth so strictly that the target of the truth is missed? What is meant to be ‘on stage’ and what is behind the stage? This remains one of the largest phenomenological questions in my work as a strict concern over how we witness Internet space, digital information, and identity. As that applies to Internet spectatorship, we often look within the interface to witness, but rarely address the perception hovering blatantly before our eyes. Light reflects on the surface of images and flickers, dust collects, and the plane itself is warped to our eyes except at a very specific location. As a witness to Internet space, my work traps this transaction, bringing body, space, time, and interface into suspension.
STATEMENT OF TEACHING PHILOSOPHY
As a facilitator, my approach to teaching is fundamentally phenomenological and Socratic. That is, within each medium, each student must ask themselves: what is my response to each material? What am I assuming? How are paintings, as images and objects, performative? How do they engage with the viewer and space? By thinking of the environment as interactive and participatory, students become acquainted with painting, surface, and materiality through space and context. There is no inactive painting; every image, surface, and spatial relationship is prescriptive. Using a combination of techniques and processes, including technical foundational skills influenced by the Atelier, paired with conceptual research development, students must come to terms with their own relationship with materials and imagery through an “uncovering.” This uncovering begins with what is known (how something is done) and moves toward what is not yet realized (why something is done). Interdisciplinary practices, ranging from laser etching, video, sound, performance, and sculpture, are taught in conjunction with painting in order provide insight and clarity into this unknown. As each student is in flux, in themselves and in their surroundings, I prescribe, as a fulcrum in this environment, an openness to change and eagerness to search. By intentionally relating assignments to readings that inform the student of the benefit and limitations of each given concept, their work moves beyond basic visual literacy and aesthetic design, and into informed visual communication and dialogue.
In my courses, I emphasize that the language of art is a cultural dialogue, to which aesthetics, processes, and functions are passed along in a memetic fashion. Each work – as an image and as an object – becomes part of a language the moment it is seen (and, to a certain degree, no longer becomes owned by the maker). As technology speeds up the rate to which information is delivered and consumed, there is more at stake in imagery; it consumes us. I ask that each student remain vigilant in the imagery and objects of their making; that they sand paper against what is known, revealing surface as agents of change. This cannot happen without play and research; it happens in vulnerable stages of making, when honesty becomes essential to the work. It happens when it becomes social.
Getting students to this point involves the development of trust through many conversations; I do not see myself as an authority, but a conduit. It is a sustained, cultivated environment in which mistakes, listening, critiques, and divergent thinking are requisites. I ask them to challenge me in regular class discussions by directly proving or disproving claims about visual language. Students must rearrange space; they must move their work off the walls and into the round. They create shadows and light; they bend space. They use their bodies to hold their work; they must talk to it. The measure of student learning is when a student can manipulate and render paint, materials and objects that facilitate engagement with viewership and properties of space in an intentional way, so that theory becomes praxis.
STUDENT WORK (LINK TO PDF): https://files.cargocollective.com/c37473/StudentWork_Tutwiler.pdf