Compressed and looping screen capture of The Fog: Act 1, 2023 (SJMA Commission)
The Fog is an ongoing body of work centered around the politics of knowledge making, data collection, and trans visibility through an exploration of fog as a common subject/trope of horror narratives as well as metaphor used in military strategy. This work asks:
Why has fog been figured as a menace in the popular imagination? Can fog be an aspirational figure for trans embodiment and resistance? What would embodiment styled after fog feel and look like?
Drawing on work by Susan Stryker (My Words To Victor Frankstein…) around the idea of trans identity and the monstrous, the work will question how subjects are perceived as monstrous and what the process says about the societies that produce them. Instead of investing in assimilation as a goal, this work seeks to imagine new trans futures constructed outside of cis-centric models of being.
This is an ongoing area of research, the current outputs of the work can be viewed below.
San José Museum of Art - Digital Project Commission
November 3, 2023 - Ongoing
The Fog (2023) explores our relationship to fog as a society and the potential for fog to serve as a positive role model for trans embodiment. Each scene is built as a procedurally generated 3D space using three.js. The work has been designed as a website without ads or tracking and with intentionally open source code. Sustainability and accessibility also informed the design choices for the site.
The work makes extensive use of ASCII art stylization. This style is used to break away from an emphasis on graphic fidelity as an indicator of quality/value, to further accentuate the computational nature of the scenes, and because of the way ASCII art changes subtly across browsers and resists standardization documentation via screenshot.
This project has been separated into 3 acts. I am calling them "acts" because each composition has been structured as a stage of sorts, each with its own mode of interaction and set of relational elements. Some elements in each act are procedurally generated, meaning that their shape, position, content, or other features are generated via code every time the page is loaded. This allows the work to have an element of controlled randomness which I find useful for creating these stages meant for contemplation over narrative.
This piece was curated by Juan Omar Rodriguez.
The project can be viewed on the San José Museum of Art website here:
The source code for the project can be found here:
Demo videos for each act can be viewed here:
Screenshot of The Fog: Act 1, 2023
Screenshot of The Fog: Act 3, 2023
A sample video of screen 1 (digital screen capture) can be viewed here:
Fog Lights, 2023
Detail of Fog Lights Screen 2, 2023
Fog Pill (2022), the first on the subject of fog, focused on imagining a future form of embodiment that meshes human corporeal form with that of fog. This speculative design work imagined a pill that could be ingested in order to turn one's sweat glands into fog producing glands. The result of this invention would be the ability to produce one's own fog layer at will as a form of visual resistance, personal expression, and potentially rehabilitate restoration. Focusing on the choice of when and how to be seen, this work imagines a future where these choices around visibility can link up to broader ecological concerns around reduced fog coverage due to climate change.
What would it mean to be able to shroud one's self in fog? To be able to hide from view, obscure ones presence? What would this mean in the context of a world in desperate need of more fog? If a walk in the woods could be restorative to your body and the bodies around you?
This work takes the form of a 2D document in the style of a patent or schematic drawing that outlines this speculative design. It also includes a 3D AR animation that illustrates the design in action.
The document can be viewed as a PDF HERE.
Fog Pill, 2022
There is more work to come in this series, including sculptures, artist books, and more coded works. Below is an in-progress image of a cast bronze “fog self portrait” made by melting down a bronze self portrait I made in 2015. The berlow image shows the bronze form and the 3D printed model it was cast from.
Work in progress Untitled (Self Portrait as Fog), 2023-