Being and Seeing

Out of Space at Kyozon Gallery, Tokyo | 2013

Collaboration with composer, Yas-Kaz

A drawing performance with live drumming by Japanese composer Yaz-Kaz Sato.

Materials: Paper floor canvas (3m x 3m), charcoal, turmeric, natural pigments, sound.

Surrounding a large paper canvas illuminated by a bright light are multiple ‘observers’ – the audience, a wall-sized mirror that reflects the audience, a camera suspended from the ceiling, which relays a live feed to the adjacent wall. The artist wants to enter an altered state under these intense conditions of being seen.

This situation is an embodied experiment into the quantum mechanics paradox of wave-function collapse: when the act of observation brings the quanta to rest in the particle state. By creating a space of intense visual pressure, the artist’s body becomes the lab. Under the inescapable gaze of the viewers, she tests out affect and sensation on states of consciousness.

Through a number of tasks – a blindfold, a mirror, turning until vertigo, using coloured pigment powders to blind and disorientate herself, while the insistent drumbeat drives her to keep going further. In this state between delirium and trance she marks the space, the canvas becoming a recording device, documenting the experience in real time. In this multi-layered experience of body, sound, drum, materials , observers, you can feel the urgency and danger of the altered state in the moment of overwhelm: but is that the wave or the particle state?

Initially developed with artist Frank Gambino .

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