This artwork is produced as an edition of one (1/1). It is a digital 7-color print on an aluminum base, with a 0.12” Dibond backing. This image will not be reproduced in any form. It is derived from a series of video artworks exploring human neurobiology. Each neuron in our body (there are over 80 billion) consists primarily of a cell body (or soma), a nucleus, an axon (for outgoing signals) and one or more dendrites (for incoming signals). Neurochemical activity in the soma activates an electrochemical process whereby an electrical pulse (or action potential) travels the axon from the soma to the axon terminal (and synapse). When the potential reaches the synapse (near instantaneously) the electrochemical signal is translated, without contact, through neurotransmitter chemicals to the dendritic receptors of other neurons, cells, or tissues of the body. This incoming signal may be similarly transmitted from the receptors along dendritic channels to the soma of other neurons for further processing. This process, repeated at near lightning speeds, continuously, and system-wide, forms the neurologic wonder of our sentience—all that we think, feel, dream, see, hear, and experience.
The series from which this image is derived is not intended as an illustration of a neuron (though there are structural similarities), but as the product of my curiosity and wonder as I learn how our neurobiology forms awareness, consciousness, and subconsciousness. The bio-architecture of our neurons and the manner in which they function (or, in the case of disease or injury, malfunction), is of great interest to me and forms the inspiration for my 2D and time-based work.
Narrative Threads (excerpt below) continues screening through July 27 at IA&A @ Hillyer in Washington D.C.
Narrative Threads (excerpt)
I just went to see Narrative Threads…Alan, I am so impressed (though not surprised) … I was so moved— it felt tortured and exhilarating at once.
There are narrative threads that bind us, those that unite us, and those that obscure our inner selves. These threads run through our psyche and impact our perceptions and how we are perceived. Those threads that bind us help us feel whole and secure. Help us feel in control and in command of our destiny. Those narrative threads that obscure our inner desires and our inherent rules for behavior tend to make us suspicious, untrusting, feel vulnerable and alone. These threads coexist and interact with each other, sometimes strengthening confidence, and sometimes weakening it. This art is homage to those threads. Threads of sexuality, disability, logic, intelligence, fear, loss, hopelessness, hope, biology and psychology, pride, happiness, joy, anger, and pain. My pieces, each of interest to me for what they represent alone, are merged, juxtaposed, layered, and each changes the layers above and below in time. This is an allegory to my experience of life and living and struggling and loving and feeling and thinking.
World premier of Intersectional Sparkle as part of “Artscape 2019: Animation on the Big Screen” happens at the Parkway Theater, 5 W. North Avenue in Baltimore Maryland 1-2:30pm and again 3-4:30pm Sunday July 21st along with 25 other short animations.
Note: An earlier version of this post had preliminary venue information which has been updated in this post with the correct location, date, and time.
On display at Studio 1469 in Washington DC through July 8th, 2017, In the Blink of an Eye: Faith is an installation piece assembled in my friend Faith Flanagan’s memory. It shares the gallery with works by nearly two dozen other artists as part of a memorial exhibition titled, In the Eye of Faith Flanagan.
With a footprint of about 15″ x 15″ x 36″ (46″ with the laptop open) the laptop atop the custom pedestal displays a 2 minute, 20 second audio-video loop, screening at this exhibition for the first time. This specific device was chosen because it was used over the past few years to review work in-progress with Faith and was used last fall to project photos from Faith’s life at her memorial gathering.
Although it returned from that event “broken,” the laptop can still play video, though it struggles to do so. For me, that struggle has a kind-of perfectly meaningful quality to it and was a fitting way to share this particular composition; that despite whatever hurdles and challenges life throws us, art must go on.
The complete installation piece: laptop, video, and pedestal, form the entire work. In this form, and with all these parts, it is an edition of one. The video clip above shows a short excerpt (video portion only) of the full installation loop and simulates the actual performance of the file used on the “hobbled” installation device. For comparison, if you like, the same clip is displayed at its original 24 frames per second here.
Washington Post’s Mark Jenkins review of “The Eye of Faith Flanagan”