Productive Bodies


Installation image of Project Bodies featuring a back-projected black and white graphic image in a xerox style.

Installation shot of Productive Bodies at Abel Contemporary Gallery (Paoli, WI), 2019


Overview

Productive Bodies explores transgender identity in relation to questions of visualization as violence, technology in relation to the body, and how we conceive of the boundaries of the self. In order to explore more deeply these concepts, I am looking to another body caught up in similar questions, the river, more specifically: the Mississippi. The river I grew up next to, the Mississippi has long been subjected to technologies of seeing and modification in order to make it more productive for militaristic and economic purposes. Using archival maps and audio, found video, and original video and sound, this project draws the viewer into an affective exploration of what it means to inhabit a fluid body subjected to colonial logics of visualization meant to fix, delineate and, stabilize.

The installations feature procedurally generated works, writings, artist books and more. Procedural generation in this case refers to a computer program written to layer video, video effects, and audio, all of which takes place in real time, drawing from a library of over 50 media files edited and curated for this installation. This creates an effectively infinite number of possible variations, resulting in the work having not specific beginning or end point but rather a focus on the perpetual and endless nature of the labor to organize, know, and fix that which is unknown, unproductive, misunderstood, and fluid.

First installed at Able Contemporary Gallery in 2019, Productive Bodies has since been shown at the Kohler Art Library (Madison, WI), The Fed Galleries (Grand Rapids, MI), and The Neon Heater (Findlay, OH) as well as other venues.



Links

Source code for the project:
https://github.com/cthompto/ProductiveBodies

Video documentation:
https://vimeo.com/showcase/8989968

Sound art samples:
https://soundcloud.com/cthompto/sets/productive-bodies-sound-samples



Additional Documentation



Installation video of Productive Bodies at Abel Contemporary Gallery (Paoli, WI), 2019

Installation image of Project Bodies featuring a non-linear artist book.

Installation shot of Productive Bodies artist book at The Fed Galleries (Grand Rapids, MI), 2019

Installation image of Project Bodies featuring a non-linear artist book.

Detail of Productive Bodies artist book at The Neon Heater (Findlay, OH), 2020




For additional documentation and/or information about this project, please feel free to contact me at:
[email protected]