Experimental video work using found footage: 

My Body Was  A River, 2018.
Single channel video. 1m11s. + coded text to audio transcript.

This video/text work confronts notions of bodies both digital and physical: bodies of land, bodies of text and bodies in space. The work seeks to explore the connection between the disabled body and the natural landscape, examining the enforced separation of the disabled body from the natural world due to ableist socio-cultural design.

The text to audio transcript (see below) accompanies the video as an image file, copied exactly as it was encoded to speak “naturally” through the apple accessibility system. This coding includes pauses (coded as [[sincXXX]]) as well as incorrect spellings that enable correct machine-pronunciation of certain words. The transcript highlights the human input necessary to simulate humanity through machine-coding, whilst also providing an accessible transcript of the video work.

My Body Is The House That I Live In: Solo Show: SOHO20 Gallery, NYC:

My Body Is The House That I Live In: SOHO20 Gallery, NYC.
227 x 127 x 55 cm.
15mm phosphor coated glass tubing, argon gas, mercury, HT cable, power supplies, bandaids, Arduino module, Wago connectors, DS1307, C++ code.
Photos: Janna Dyk

My Body Is The House That I Live In speaks to my experience of living with a chronic illness and disability.

The installation consists of 7 white neon tubes, placed horizontally, one below the other, on the gallery wall. Each tube corresponds to a facet of ‘wellness’: physical, emotional, mental/intellectual, occupational, sexual, social and spiritual. Every hour, I assign each wellness category a number from 0-10, 0 being no wellness in that category and 10 being full wellness; that number will determine each tube’s brightness for the next hour. At 0 the tube will be off, for each number up to 10 the tube will glow fractionally brighter, with a score of 10 corresponding to full brightness. This is done using a technique that I developed in 2017 that uses Arduino/ESP8266 modules to adjust the light output of neon tubes remotely, using C++ coding. In this way the work will become an ever-evolving portrait of living with sickness, one that views disability as a political issue, moving illness out of isolation and into the public realm.

This work has developed out of a realisation that Western society views pain and sickness as experiences that should be confined to private spaces; as Susan Wendell (2006 p.247)* writes:

The public world is the world of strength, the positive (valued) body, performance and production, the able-bodied and youth. Weakness, illness, rest and recovery, pain, death and the negative (de-valued) body are private, generally hidden, and often neglected. Coming into the public world with illness, pain or a de-valued body, we encounter resistance to splitting the two worlds; the split is vividly revealed.

With My Body Is The House That I live In I create a durational performance of my own disabled experience, inviting an audience to confront the monotonous reality of living with a chronic health condition, and to challenge their own internalised notions of wellness/sickness, disabled/able-bodied binaries. The cold white colouring and trailing cables will echo the sterile medical environment, the aversion of eyes in public streets, and the perceived (and felt) imposition of sickness upon the able-bodied public.

I  invite a different disabled woman or gender-nonconforming person to control the work for each week that it is exhibited. In this way, the gallery space is transformed into a living document of sickness, bringing chronic illness/disabilty out of private bedrooms and sick beds, and into the public space.

*Wendell, S. (2006). Toward a Feminist Theory of Disability. In: L. Davis, ed., The Disability Studies Reader, 2nd ed. London: Routledge, pp.243-256.

New Media work:

Potential Future Performances I, 2018.
Digitally-rendered sculpture, audio performance and coded text-to-audio transcript.

Potential Future Performances is a series of work featuring digitally-rendered sculptures and accompanying performances that will (likely) never be performed. The work points to the absence of the able body, asking the audience to question their own expectations of ability and capacity in relation to performance art.

The series pushes for alternative methods of performance that don’t rely on visible, able and physically present bodies in order to be understood as live-art. 

Publishing as artistic practice:

A Primer on Working With Disabled Group Members for Feminist / Activist Groups and Organisations
12 page, A4 risograph publication, 2018.

This document was produced in 2018 in response to experiences working with feminist and activist groups that were unprepared for working with disabled group members. The primer is an example of publishing as artistic practice; it positions information and education as a tool for change-making that can be embraced within a socially-engaged fine-art practice.

Print copies available from A.I.R. Gallery, NYC, or click HERE for the full PDF document.

Sculptural Work:

Remedial Geologies III, 2018.
613.5 x 446.5mm x 100mm.
8mm clear glass tubing, argon gas, mercury, HT cable, power supply. 

Remedial Geologies is a series of works depicting natural rock formations in clear glass and noble gases. The work seeks to explore the link between natural landscape and wellness, asking whether the landscape can still be remedial if viewed through a digital or abstracted medium.

Utopias (IRL//URL), 2017
Dimensions Variable. Installation view. Fabricated by the artist.
Phosphor coated glass tubing, argon gas, mercury, blockout paint, acrylic housing, arduino controlled sensors, hand-cast concrete.

This installation explores the early cyber-feminist hopes of the internet as a genderless, bodiless utopia. The work asks questions about representation, gender and embodiment in Post-Internet culture. Set-up as a mock utopia, the work asks the viewer to question the effect of the digital/physical divide on how we understand and view sexualised and gendered bodies in online and offline spaces. The installation features coded Arduino modules that interact in real-time with the topography of the exhibition space.