[ISEA97] Artist Statement: Jessica Irish – Projection

Artist Statement

Projection is a 13-minute loop, a re-constructed nature video with a constant audio track and fleeting images of mundane urban landscapes, corporate icons and underwater footage. The voice over was recorded from an edited script, taken from several nature video programs on underwater sea life, and then digitally re-mixed. The voice over actor imitates the typical booming narration of the all-knowing male authority. While the nature video is the subject itself, the re-constructed voice over is limited to the underwater sea drama: specifically, death and sex. Like that of outer space, the sea is a space we cannot access without the mediation of technology. Similarly, it is a space steeped in great cultural and scientific mystery, and is subject to continual probing, in efforts to shed light upon our land based existence. Nature video, as a genre, is a two way fiction: one must create a narrative to accommodate the film footage, but must then edit, as fiction, the footage according to the story.The existence of the nature video is sustained by our physical absence as viewers, hence upholding the traditional nature-as-separate schemata. If the audience were indeed part of this nature, we would not need such informative videos./n Projection, the re-constructed nature video is mostly black, requiring the viewers to create the continuance of the narrative structure, all the while constantly reminded of its own apparatus. Furthermore, it is bad-video practice (as still a media that cannot shake its relation to television) to allow for such spaces, for, as Baudrillard notes,…the screen must always be filled, the void is not permitted …”The re-created nature video combines industrialist urban footage with corporate icons as characters and elements within the narrative, occasionally layering them with more exotic underwater images.The video itself fluctuates between cynicism and humor: here a harlequin shrimp (the jowls of a business man) wrestles with the leather star (the Carls Jr. icon).The narrative episodes continue in a seemingly related fashion, though never achieve the closure of a story, as they remain in perpetual anticipation. While this script is indeed the projection of our own fears and desires, the urban footage is our natural landscape.The omnipresence of the corporate icons and cables serve as our feeding mechanism, both as television sponsors/structures and as the means of ownership. Video: Projection

  • Jessica Irish (U.S.A.) is a Los Angeles-based artist and educator working in digital, video and installation media. Her cur­rent work addresses issues of technology, corporality, gen­der, industry and information. Recent exhibitions include: The Fifth Annual Digital Salon, School of the Visual Arts, NY; Techno Seduction,The Cooper Union School of Art, NY; Stimus Transmit, Bay Area Video Coalition, San Fransico; and LA Freewaves, Griffith Contemporary at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. She is a lecturer in the art department at University of California, Santa Barbara.