The models express the myriad of exquisite forms and mating practices found in the animal kingdom which are often invisible to the naked eye. We often imagine what life is like on other planets, other worlds, yet what is present right under our noses is stranger than we can imagine, far more ‘alien’.
Working with collage, internet scavenged images and constructed symbolism these lightboxes show a myriad of forms present within the natural world. Bodies of animals, fauna and scientific photographs are entangled together to represent the different ways in which humans percieve, understand and order lifeforms.
This video shows the process of sculpting a 3D model of insect genitalia of ‘Ambunticoris sulawesicus’ which was discovered and documented in 2014.
Magic and animal symbology
Installation: Digital prints, Lightboxes, fish tanks, silicon insect genitalia, earth, driftwood
The Greek word khthon is one of several for “earth”; it typically refers to that which is under the earth, rather than the living surface of the land.
Reproductive forces are present throughout the work. The imagery in both the prints and lightboxes are created using ‘Artbreeder’ an online AI which mashes together photographs by multiple users to produce endless variations through infinite combinations.
Creating hybrid visions of chimeras, phantasms and abstractions, the Artbreeder AI uses a biological labelling system for it’s creative process – you can ‘edit genes’ and crossbreed, as well as view the family tree of image histories and relationships. Computation strives for biological variety.
Contained within the tanks are silicone models based on the formations of insect genitalia. The models express the myriad of exquisite forms and mating practices found in the animal kingdom which are often invisible to the naked eye. We often imagine what life is like on other planets, other worlds, yet what is present right under our noses is stranger than we can imagine, far more ‘alien’.
‘Mana’ is the name given to a force or power which is said to permeate the entire universe in Austronesian language and culture. It is an intentional force and something which is cultivated and possessed.
The piece takes the form of an altar with embedded symbology: a combination of hexagrams, sacred geometry and references to the Major Arcana Tarot cards – The Tower and The Sun.
Throughout the video are a series of ‘sigils’ which are a type of symbol used in magick.
The video was made using text fragments from ‘The Book of Pleasure: Psychology of Ecstasy’ (1913) by Austin Osman Spare, who’s commonly regarded as the first “chaos magician”.
Using Spare’s words and methods, positive affirmations have been abstracted which are scattered throughout the film: “Life is a search for your truth, Sexual sorcery, Returns and unites, Free at any time, Revealed by all systems, Forget dependence, Somewhere unlearnt, What you wish to believe can be true.”
The symbols are layered over footage of sacred diagrams and twisting, squirming eels, snakes and nematodes that seem to be forming the shapes of the writhing symbols themselves.
The moon is layered over the composition, referencing the eight phases of the lunar cycle, that’s important for the timing of rituals and spells.