the perception laboratory

performance, video, videosculpture

From January through May of 2013, I produced an experimental video project with a group of local teens through Southern Exposure, a non-profit arts organization in San Francisco. OUT-OF-ORDER, a multimedia exhibition, was the culmination of these four-and-a-half months of experimental processes and exercises across different media, exploring means of challenging and jamming the routines, systems, and languages that structure the nature of our everyday experience. This final exhibition presented ephemera from these processes as well as a screening of my students’ work, a few of whom were on the autism spectrum or had other social issues.

In negotiating our human experience, we order our reality and express meaning through several languages: the spoken and written word, moving images, time and physical space. Behaviors that begin quite naturally can easily become formulaic. How do these limits affect our perception? Through the absurdist spirit of DADA– and, conversely, an emphasis on process– the class explored experimental video as a tool for interpreting and subverting conventional modes of perception, while developing tools and parameters within which artists allow their minds to roam free. They learned how to see standardized languages as malleable, reorder them, and present them anew.

The exhibition showcased a focus on our experimental processes and its products. Parameters, Disruption, and Interpretation: students developed sets of basic working principles, exercised those structures across different media, then deliberately reordered and reinterpreted those structures using video. OUT-OF-ORDER was presented as a way to remind ourselves of our habits of thinking and of our agency to reorder them, and to challenge our minds toward new visions.

It was my extraordinary luck to have Jon Weisburst as my assistant on this project.




OUT-OF-ORDER Installation Views