TESSERAE HOT PINK CALI AQUEDUCT, 2009, HD video still. Total running time: 5 minutes. Courtesy of the artist.
West Coast artist Christina McPhee, recently interviewed in the BOMB Magazine blog:
Throughout the ’80s, Christina McPhee used drawing and painting to investigate landscape and its relationship to time through work at archaeological and geological sites. By the mid-’90s, she began new media explorations of human technology and the environment by mining traumatic memory patterns and what they might uncover about geomorphologies in sites such as the San Andreas Fault. Her current exhibition Tesserae of Venus at Silverman Gallery in San Francisco imagines a world simultaneously on the verge of destruction and regeneration. Videos of alternative energy facilities at dawn on the edges of cities—as well as her richly layered photo montages and drawings—inspire consideration of what she describes as “bastard spaces,” places we will reimagine in order to survive the coming carbon storm, when atmospheric carbon concentration exceeds limits beyond our control.
CM: [...] Let’s say science has to put forward images under an assumed rhetoric of objectivity and transparency. I am interested in something alongside this, but something more: in which the visual rhetoric of the image convinces us that something powerful and immanent is happening, something that cannot be fully seen. I put together a kind of poetics of the partial into a montage. But it’s not enough for that just to become a bunch of incidents and accidents; the authenticity, and the audacity, of the image has to reside in the visual record of this attempt to measure the incommensurable future of the melted ice and rising seas. I have to give you something incredibly concrete from my world, from the closest zone of work in my own spaces-yard, shed, deck, interior walls, night studio. On the principle that the global meaning has to be measured in the local and the intimate-in fragments.
[read full interview]
Christina will be presenting a paper next week on "Queer theory and the dichotomies of play and work" at INTERNET AS PLAYGROUND AND FACTORY, a conference on digital labor held at The New School (Nov 12-14).