Misplaced Survival Series Artist Statement

May 2009

Misplaced Survival is a series of performative and interactive artworks in which live actions trigger and respond to a technology embedded environment. It activates spaces where we may rediscover our primal self, and equipped by this centered sense, make choices within our contemporary life.

The artworks explore our primal self not as a romanticized original pre-technological entity, but as self bound and informed by its physicality and driven towards its spirituality. The explorations bring forth our ambiguity. While experienced as particular to each of us, our bodies consist of the same elements and processes as the rest of nature. The sounds of air and water within us are no different from the sounds of these elements in the environment from primordial to technological time. While vulnerable we are designed to endure. The instincts to lick our blood or refrain from harmfully loud actions guide us even when we are not consciously clear on how to act. And while the primal self is reliable, we can ignore it, such as when the determination to keep moving as fast and for as long as possible can silence alerting signs of the body in abnormal conditions.

Our primal self is constantly being tested and redirected by the pressures and currents of our contemporary life conditions. The anxieties we feel in the face of constant change make us susceptible to accept established strategies that supposedly assure safety from discomforting change. We put ourselves under such pressures to participate in these strategies that much of what we have to do now is merely trying to survive the consequences of what we began to do in order to survive in the first place. This is a misplaced survival. As the primal selves, we know that there is more to a human life than moving as fast and for as long as possible, because at the end of that move are no fanfares of victory, merely a collapse.

The situations of the Misplaced Survival series face us with the same choices as the contemporary condition, but in a language that bonds the primal self with the technological contemporary condition. In live events technology is used to construct a logic for sonic and visual space so that we are related to the environment by feedback, the basis of intelligence. In interactive installations we can influence what video and sound fill the space and react to the results created. In these experiences of feedback relationship to the environment, multiple layers of our primal self, that is the intellectual, emotional, bodily and subconscious layers, are addressed and activated to fuel a decisive intelligence, which in turn may be the source of developing an alternative to our current condition of misplaced survival.