[ISEA2017] Artist Statement: Lynne Heller — Pillflower App

Artist Statement 


The Pillflower Project consists of scanned images of pills and tablets, digitally manipulated into flowerlike Mandelas, as well as actual medicinal pills physically assembled into miniature flower sculptures. These two and three dimensional pillflowers are then used to decorate both functional and sculptural work to create a veritable pillflower world. The Pillflower App is a gamification of the project where the user can grow, gather, play with, dream with and gift the pillflower designs. The grow function allows user to challenge themselves to recreate pillflowers. The gather function leads to collecting all 200 plus pillflowers that have been designed. The play option allows users to interact with their collection of pillflowers rearranging them, expanding and contracting the individual designs as well as multiplying them. The dream function is a relaxing mechanism in which a meditative Mandela of gently changing pillflowers loops along with music of the user’s choosing. Finally the gift function allows users to superimpose their collection of pillflowers on real world photos and then gift them to others. The app is simple to use with humble aspirations.

  • Lynne Heller, Assistant Professor, OCAD University, Toronto, Canada. Lynne Heller is a post-disciplinary artist, an educator and academic. Her interests encompass material culture, new media performative interaction, graphic novels and sculptural installation. Heller completed her MFA at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2004 and her PhD in 2016 at University College Dublin, Ireland from the department of Gender, Culture and Identity in the School of Humanities and Arts, with a research focus on feminist practice in online culture. Her research was practice-based, with a specialty in Digital Media Arts.  She is an Assistant Professor at OCAD University in the Faculty of Design, as well as being co-director of the Data Materialization Lab. She is also an adjunct faculty member of SMARTlab, Ireland.  Heller has an extensive exhibition record both nationally and internationally and is the recipient of grants from the Ontario Arts Council, the Canada Council for the Arts and the Department of Foreign Affairs, Canada. Recent exhibitions include Slippage at the Robert Langen Art Gallery, University at Waterloo, Waterloo, ON, Chelsea Girls, Gallery 44, Toronto, ON, Homeostasis Lab, The Wrong – New Digital Art Biennale, made and exhibited worldwide, Another Season: An International Exchange Project, Gallery 44, Toronto, ON (the exhibition travelled to the Three Shadows Photography Art Centre, Beijing, the Detroit Centre for Contemporary Photography, and the Hippolyte Photographic Gallery, Helsinki) and Hysteria: Past, Present, Future curated by Anonda Bell, Paul Robeson Galleries, Rutgers University, Newark, New Jersey, USA. She exhibited this past year at WARC Gallery, Toronto, ON, ISEA2014, Dubai, UAE, touring – Salisbury, Leicester, Bristol, London and online, 2014-15. Recent publications include the chapter “Found Objects, Bought Selves” in New Opportunities for Artistic Practice in Virtual Worlds, ed. Dr. Denise Doyle. Heller has run her own communications business since 1997, designing web sites for award winning projects such as Things That Matter: Stories of Living with Colorectal Cancer funded by the Canadian Cancer Society and Virtual Coach — a pain management tool for breast cancer patients funded by the University Health Network and the Centre for Global eHealth Innovations. lynneheller.com