My newest project work has transformed and evolved well during the research and development phase. The title has changed accordingly. “Vigil” has become “Docile Bodies,” as the tenor of the subject has become even more focused on an aspect of “being responsible for another’s well being.” I’ve had good progress in grounding it within solid ideas and materials, and it continue to feel dynamic and evolutionary to me. It’s conceived of as an iterative work, and I’ll be taking on this initial phase of “Docile Bodies” with a goal of Fall 2017 for its exhibition readiness.
Docile Bodies is the first of series of interactive, animated narrative environments. It is formed as a spatial narrative that examines a viewer and their viewed subject’s potential agency, or lack of it. Video gaming culture, fairytales and queer narrative provide a storytelling frame with which to examine representation of body, gender, power, the gaze, and sexuality. The project asks for the involvement of the viewer’s physical, mental and emotional states, using their own body, processing and decision making, and empathy for another being in distress. If the viewer can determine what the subject needs, and is willing to commit to the effort, they can help. Using technology to track the viewer’s engagement through body and gaze location, the media they are viewing is affected and responds, as narratives come to life, skins speak and bodies transform. This installation is using sensors and a gaming engine system to craft an interactive, animated narrative environment.