C19H28O2/Narrative of Desire
MULTIMEDIA / WORKS ON PAPER: India ink and Pencil on paper, Digital projection, 4-channel sound piece, Dimensions variable, 2011
Physical attraction and sexual desire are among humans’ most primal instincts. Society’s assumption is that physiological, impassioned responses result from external sources. These drawings, video, and sound artworks give visibility to the scientific nature of love. This series, C19H2802/Narrative of Desire, explores the imagery of secreted hormones producing this rapture, and seeks to transmit embodied cognition through its installation. The artworks’ exaggerated horizontal composition references other types of scientific tracking of invisible forces, such as electrocardiograms, seismographs, and audio imaging. The accumulation of marks made over time and the intimacy of the medium of drawing create further tension by channeling this record of physical emotion through my own body as an artist. Translating a mechanical, scientific picture of the body into the painstaking manual process of drawing also brings the meaning back into the psychological and social terms of love, such as commitment and respect.
When the drawings are displayed along with an audio component of layered voices reciting erotic statements, the viewer questions the separation of the material body, its automatic biological reactions, and the infinitely complex circumstances of human love. While listening, the viewer questions, “Is this merely the depiction of testosterone, or is it a narrative of desire?” In the video installation dopamine thermographs are projected onto the viewer like an electronic tattoo. The transmission on the skin brings the internal to the surface. The audience’s synesthetic experience directs their attention to their own embodiment. These works create a multi-sensory circuit in which the viewer experiences an awareness of the invisible forces inside them.