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1 JE NE SAIS PLUS [WHAT IS THIS FEELING] By KRISTIN REEVES A PROJECT IN LIEU OF THESIS PRESENTED TO THE COLLEGE OF FINE ARTS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENSTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MATER OF FINE ARTS UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2012
2 2012 Kristin Reeves
3 To pediatric research subjects, also known as kids.
4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I thank my thesis committee, Roger Beebe, Katerie Gladdys, and Craig Smith, for pushing me to think in ways I had not thought possible. And I thank my husband, Charley Pond, for his generous support of my work and love.
5 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 4 ABSTRACT ................................ ................................ ................................ ...................... 6 CHAPTER 1 CONTURES & PARAMETERS; BODIES & SPACE ................................ ................. 8 2 THE GRID ................................ ................................ ................................ ................ 13 3 JE NE SAIS PLUS ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 16 4 [WHAT IS THIS FEELING] ................................ ................................ ...................... 19 5 PROCESS: PROJECTORS AND FILM ................................ ................................ ... 21 6 MECHANICAL SOUND ................................ ................................ ........................... 27 7 CONCLUSION ................................ ................................ ................................ ......... 30 APPENDIX LIST OF REFERENCES ................................ ................................ ................................ 34 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ................................ ................................ ............................. 35
6 Summary of Project in Lieu of Thesis Presented to the College of Fine Arts of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Fine Arts JE NE SAIS PLUS [WHAT IS THIS FEELING] By Kristin Reeves May 2012 Chair: Katerie Gladdys Major: Art Bodily delineations are not fixed, but rather expand and diverge in cycles of synchronization between the mind and the physical body. Je Ne Sais Plus [What Is This Feeling] makes visible the relationship between bodies and structures of power through a performance model that is based on the application of regulatory interventions upon material bodies. A grid of nine 16mm film projectors provides a mechanical structure that stages the parameters of this poetic and diagnostic inquiry. The corporeal space of this critical investigation includes the arrangement of the grid, the resulting composition of projections, the soundtrack of the projectors and physical media, the hand of the projectionist, and the participation of the audience. I play this instrument to unpack the mysteries surrounding my own origins within the clinic. Due to a rare genetic mutation, the metabolism of phosphorus in my body was impaired from birth. This resulted in bodily structural abnormalities, and I was often used as a subject of medical research as a child, a clinical experience that has transformed my developing body and psyche itself. By making my investigation of the research clinic visible through the presentat ion of this work, I am contributing to a
7 bioethical dialogue as well as producing visible models of identity construction and system critique.
8 CHAPTER 1 CONTOURS & PARAMETERS; BODIES & SPACE Figure 1-1. Nine-projector still. Your souls upon the screen live lives that might have been, live lives that ever are. -H. D. "Projector II"1 Our bodies, ourselves; bodies are maps of power and identity. Cyborgs are no exception. -D. Haraway A Cyborg Manifesto 2 When Im asked, What is your medium? the a nswer is that I work with bodies in space. Now Im going to start adding contours and parameters to that list because of this project, Je Ne Sais Plus [What Is This Feeling]. We perform within the confines of bodily contours and along a trajectory set by the parameters of forces from science as well as the poetics of art. Bodily delineations are not fixed, but rather expand and diverge in cycles of (mis)understanding between dualities such as the mind and the physical body, as well as the clinic and the i ndividual. These movements take place in 1 Doolittle, H. (1925) Collected Poems of H.D. New York: Boni and Liveright, 357. 2 Haraway, D. (1991) Simians, Cyborgs, and Women New York, Routledge 149.
9 discrete moments of tension staged by opposing binaries. This cyclical development creates new personal boundaries that break apart and overlap affecting a lifes performance and use. Sutures of identification and s ubjectivity attempt to hold this developing body together against gaps in understanding that tug at its seams. Je Ne Sais Plus [What Is This Feeling] employs a grid of nine 16mm film projectors to perform a poetic and diagnostic inquiry into the relations hip between individual bodies and the clinic as an establishment of power. Clinical institutions are structured to operate as purely objective systems.3 I am arguing that it is not possible to completely remove human subjectivity from this space. The clini cs subjective gaze speaks for the bodies it contains and redirects the identity or personhood of the subject. In Birth of a Clinic (1963)4 Michel Foucault describes the gaze of the clinic as a way to listen to the patient. The question that dominates clin ical discourse since the 19th century, Where does it hurt? is directed toward the physical material of the body and answered with optical diagnostic tools such as the camera5 to map and locate pain and suffering. The apparatus of the clinic deprives its subjects of other ways of speaking, which shifts the power within this space to only those who operate and thus control through the clinical lens. Butler states that identities are constructed by a cyclical relationship between the mind and its understanding of the material body.6 Applying this cyclical developmental model of identity construction to the clinics translation of its subjects material body 3 Foucault, M (1973) The Birth of the Clinic New York: Vintage Books 4 Ibid. 5 Cartwright, L. (1995) Screening the Body Minneapolis, University of Minnesota Press, 4. 6 Butler, J. (1993) Bodies That Matter. New York: Routledge, 36.
10 reveals the potential of clinical discourse to alter the subjects internal dialogue. A doctor, using an expert voice, trumps the internal voice of the subject creating a gap in how the subject understands his or her bodys corporeal contour (fig. 1 -2). A break between the synchronized internal dialogue of the mind and the body via the application of an e xternal power results in new trajectories of identity guided by the repressed understanding of the new dialogue being enacted. Figure 1-2. Sketches produced to visually understand Ju dith Butlers model of identity construction.7 I illustrate and stage this power shift within Je Ne Sais Plus [What Is This Feeling ] by creating a space that performs differently based on the skill level of those who operate the projector instrument. The audience is not attending a film screening, but participating in displays of power based on the parameters established by the 7 Butler, ibid. 36.
11 clinical institution. Je Ne Sais Plus [What Is This Feeling] offers two things: The ability for the audience to participate and become complicit in the subjectivity of the clinic by operating the controls with minimal proficiency; and for me to make visible the need and possibility to trump the clinics gaze with my subjective operation of the optical system during the live performances. The audiences opportunity to operate the installations various machines produces an action of complying with the system I have structured within the installation. They control projectors by pushing two buttons and they direct the score by selecting one of five records within the confines of a listening station. These limited controls result in limit ed outcomes within the space. The audience is restricted to perform the work within the preset rules, which results in a stagnant narrative, a continuation of the status quo both enacted and visualized within the frame. When I perform Je Ne Sais Plus [What Is This Feeling], which includes the attempt to change all nine projectors film loops twice within the ten-minute audio score composed of a dialogue between pop songs and clinical conversation I am making visible the idea that it is necessary and possible to redistribute power within the clinic. My operation of the projectors allows the space to speak with a much larger vocabulary. With this act my voice trumps the speaking of the clinical apparatus. The performances are not seamless executions of film projection, but a negotiation between the machines and myself. My goal is to end with a nine -projector composition that appears as one whole image constructed with parts that appear congruent rather than nine separate imag es held within the grid. As of this time, I have only successfully completed the task once publicly as a result of technical snags such
12 as film loops breaking, projector gears locking in place, and other unexpected hurdles. When it becomes clear that I will not complete the feat within the allotted time frame, I change my approach. I improvise solutions that will come to an end where the audience can imagine a congruent composition as well as opportunities for synchronicity between the films and the audio score.
13 CHAPTER 2 THE GRID Figure 2-1. Four nine-projector stills. The grid's mythic power is that it makes us able to think we are dealing with materialism (or sometimes science, or logic) while at the same time it provides us with a r elease into belief (or illusion, or fiction).8 R. Krauss I am not only working in metaphor against the clinics subjective gaze, but formally against the grid. When the nine-projector image acts as a single framed image with nine components, the grid becomes a window opening up into a slice of narrative that trumps the modular appearance of the grid. In her essay Grids (1979)9 Rosalind Krauss speaks to the power of the grid to reveal the tension between its objectivity and 8 Krauss, R. (1979, Summer) Grids October, Vol. 9, 5 6 9 Ibid. 5064.
14 elements of subjectivity wit hin the composition. The visual models produced from my projector grid perform a diagnostic inquiry into the clinic. The grid acts as a structural metaphor to contain the concept of an objective clinical institution and this institutions effects on bodies within its fixed parameters. The constructed system forces the cycling filmic bodies that have flexible contours to yield to the systems fixed parameters. The filmic bodies that I reference are the film loops made useful by the apparatus of the projector where the original frame of the individual films lose their autonomy to the larger frame formed by the nine projections The figure(s) within the film are forced into new arrangements of display. The visual material resulting from these pairings reveal bodies breaking apart and coming back together by and within a system that diligently holds its rigid structure. Butler states regulatory schemas are not timeless structures, but historically revisable criteria of intelligibility which produce the visible bodies that matter,10 Through an investigation of events over time, the positioning of power within a structure can change the direction of the bodies within it. My projector instrument unpacks the mysteries surrounding my origins within the clinic. My personal narrative unfolded like a science fiction story. It begins with a mutated x-gene and ends with me controlling time and space with an invention built mostly from outmoded machines and the zap of powerful laser to operate upon my films. Under the unsuspecting cover as artist, I use the University of Floridas research one facilities to pursue the truth surrounding my origins I now reveal his this truth in an effort to fight against invisible forces of power that are in fact, controlling us all As a creature built from science and now entangled in machines, Donna 10 Butler, J. (1993) Bodies That Matter. New York : Routledge, 36.
15 Haraways utopic body described in the Cyborg Manifesto (1985)11 seems to have been written for me. In addition to employing her text as a strategy to frame my biography and place my work within the discourse of feminist theory, her use of irony is valuable to my art practice. There is irony in our need for the mass distribution of medical care and the desire to avoid being engulfed by its structure. Also, at the base of my work is Immanue l Kants bioethical theory, which states that an individual should never be used as a means to an end but only as the end itself.12 Je Ne Sais Plus [What Is This Feeling] is a serious and personal investigation of the clinical structure. By staging this investigation publicly I contribut e to a bioethical dialogue staged between the power relations of the institution and its research subjects as well as producing visible models of identity construction and system critique. In his essay Obscene, Abject, Traumatic (1996)13, Hal Foster speaks to the use of trauma within contemporary art, which I find useful to my art practice: [the art work] register[s] its points not only of breakdown but of breakthrough, [creating] new possibilities that such a crisis opens up. By emerging from a traumatic experience the subject becomes an expert.14 Having passed through the clinic successfully, I can now perform my critique as expert. This subjective extension of power expands the critical possibilities that my work can perform 11 Haraway, D. (1991) Simians, Cyborgs, and Women New York, Rutledge 12 Kuhse, H. & Singer, P. (Eds.) (1999) Bioethics: An Anthology Malden, Blackwell Publishing, 61. 13 Foster, H. (1996, Summ er) Obscene, Abject, Traumatic October Vol. 78 109 14 Ibid 106.
16 CHAPTER 3 JE NE SAIS PLUS !Figure 3-1. Nine-projector still. My projector instrument examines the appearance of a trauma within the body and how the fixed system of the clinic contributes to the dysfunction. A psychological trauma involves a disruption between the mind and the bodys synchronization due to the minds inability to process information the material body holds. To make this examination possible, I modeled my instrument upon Judith Butlers construction of identity presented in her text Bodies that Matter (1993)15 (fig. 1-2.) Material bodies are described by Butler as moving through a projected psychological schema, that is developed based on the psyches understanding of the history, use, limitation, and structure of the material in question. If the re is a gap in understanding, the schema will be changed and will permanently alter the cycle of the exchange forward from that point in time. If a clinical voice defines the understanding, use, and/or history of a body via its diagnostic tools, the n narrative of the subjects body 15 Butler, op. cit. 36.
17 is pushed in that direction. This model can also be applied to the clinic as a corporeal body that houses individual bodies within it. The pop anthem of emancipation made famous by Lesley Gores 1963 recording, You Dont Own Me, is presented in two formations. In the audience driven version, the participant is given the choice to play one of five versions on a record player foregrounding the irony between bodies trapped within the looping need for the mass distribution of medical care and desire to avoid being engulfed by its structure. Lesley Gore is the vocal performer in two of the versions within the work; one is her original 1963 recording, and the other is her French version recorded in 1964 Je Ne Sais Plus. Je Ne Sais Plus translates literally into English as I do not know what I once knew, a mistranslation of the ideas embodied within the original lyrics. There was an alternative French version recorded in 1964 by Michle Richard, Je Suis Libre, which translates into English, I Am Free, a more authentic interpretation of the original lyrical concept. By using this lyrical conundrum in my title Je Ne Sais Plus [What Is This Feeling] I am not only setting up the concept of mistranslations, which I investigate an d map between the clinics purely objective system operating on and for a subjective body, but also in the dysfunction of future use that occurs when there is a gap in understanding, a trauma, within the body itself. Lesley Gores proclamation, You Dont Own Me is replaces with lyrics that embody the idea of cognitive dysfunction, I do not know what I once knew. The understanding that there is a new meaning created in this translated version is repressed by the almost identical musical structure as well as its repeated performance by Gore. It is not presented as a cover of the original song but as the French equivalent of the originals concept.
18 The mistranslation changes and even ironically represses the self -empowering statement sung as the chorus and transforms this statement into an anthem constructed from and communicating the inability to grasp at something that she once had. The song no longer performs in the manner of its intended conceptual use but rather its new pulse opposes the idea of emanc ipation. There is a tear in the songs bodily contour; the trauma owns its original meaning. This yields to my larger agenda as is visually echoed in Je Ne Sais Plus [What Is This Feeling] when my individual films loops yield their original utility to the system created by the larger nine-frame system. As the film material is appropriated content from medical films, the films themselves are also yielding to my hand.
19 CHAPTER 4 [WHAT IS THIS FEELING] !Figure 4-1. Nine-projector still. My title, Je Ne Sais Plus [What Is This Feeling,] denotes the confusion of a cognitive systems breakdown by the use of bracketed text. Indicating a need to communicate an explanation. The bracketed text declares the presence of a translation and the implication that meaning has been lost. My interpretation of the titles brackets is not the translation French to English, but from cogitative language to meaning reliant on the physical limits of sensation. The brackets formally resemble the rectangles composing and recomposing the images within the works frames large and small. The concept reflected by the formal strategy of the cutting out and restructuring of the nine film loops is to highlight the consequences of missing information as well as the relationship bet ween sensual experience and logical methods of thought.! The text within the brackets, What Is This Feeling, are lyrics appropriated from Van Morrisons single Be As Two.16 What is this feeling? is exclaimed when singer songwriter recognizes the sensation of being as two. Throughout Je Ne Sais Plus 16 Van Morrison. (1965) If You and I could Be as Two . England: The Decca Record Co. Ltd
20 [What Is This Feeling] there are references to dualities and shifting borders that suggest a need to negotiate an existence of binaries, or dualities. The work unexpectedly interjects pop songs within the cr itical analysis of the clinic as a strategy to ironically hold together the various dualities a la Haraway.17 I conduct this subjective duet as a composer who has lived within the clinic as a subject and now dissects the clinic as an expert who has gained c ontrol over its operation via my art practice. Both songs that have been appropriated are love songs. You Dont Own Me is a declaration of self -love and preservation, while Be as Two is the revelation felt when a two transforms into one couple. It is not my intent to suggest that the relationship between the clinic and the individual be broken up, but rather examined in a way that allows these two different bodies to form a healthy coupling where the individuals within the clinical system own themselves 17 Haraway, op cit., 149.
21 CHAPTER 5 PROCESS: PROJECTORS AND FLIM A B C D Figure 5-1. A) Still of nine projections, B) light from nine projectors, C) laser cut 16mm film loop detail, D) nine-projector grid installed in the University Gallery. Je Ne Sais Plus [What Is This Feeling] uses a nine 16mm film projector grid as a performance apparatus The resulting nine projections create a gridded rectangle of slightly overlapping film images (fig. 5 -1A). The effect produces a composition that is simultaneously a whole as well as fractured speaking to bodily contours and the unfixed body.18 Depending on the films being projected, there are moments when the composition prioritizes one state of being over another. This grid structure allows for 18 Butler op. cit 6.
22 formal, conceptual, and metaphorical relationships to develop regarding institutional systems, and the bodily material that occupy them.19 The projectors are operational, however, they project moving 16mm film with visible and auditory glitches. The projectors reveal past use, many with institutional stickers and painted stenciling, some with missing parts, and most with a buildup of dust and hair that is seen on their mechanical bodies as well as in their projected frames. These machines were acquired using the online auction website EBay, and the Alachua County School Boards public surplus store in Gainesville, Florida Their history bestows an institutional authenticity as educational tools. The projector apparatus holds historical authority as a diagnostic tool since its invention in 1895.20 These machines perform the task of distributing information in an institutional capacity previous to their role in Je Ne Sais Plus [What Is This Feeling], I repurpose them to distribute information within an art institution. With the support of six portable projector stands, the projectors are arranged in rows of three: three projectors wide, three projectors tall; dimensions wi th the projectors and stands are 36 wide-by 72 tall-by 19 deep (fig. 5-1D). Three Bell & Howell 2580s are supported by the middle row of stands; the floor and the top row of stands support the six, Eiki SSL 3580s. 19 Krauss, R. (1979, Summ er) Grids October, Vol. 9, 50 64. 20 Cartwright, L. (1995 ) Screening the Body Minneapolis, University of Minnesota Press, 1
23 Figure 5-2. Nine -projection still on the left is an enlarged version of the single film still pictured on the right. I organized the Je Ne Sais Plus [What Is This Feeling] into two durational forms: a continual looping installation operated by the audience; and a temporal performance with a flexible duration that I control. The temporal performance involves continually replacing the film loops by threading a different film into the projector by hand. The audience operates the instrument by pressing two labeled buttons that turns on all the projectors. The projectors run until a gallery patron pushes the buttons back to the off position. There is a sign on a black wooden box: PUSH both buttons to start. Turn off when finished. This box matches a black box supporting an IV stand holding physical film loops, a schedule of the live performances on a chart, and a pink surgery gown that has been altered t o a short length to fit my physical frame, and embellished platform sneakers. When the next audience member triggers the projectors, the projectors will start in the place that they previously stopped. I wanted to include the audience in the work as performer to produce two varying models of participation within the installations structure, and to display how limits of control directly contribute to the performance of
24 the body within time and space. When they operate the machines the figure within the nine-projector grid is seen struggling within and conforming to the grid that is creating and destroying it. When I operate the machines the possible direction of the filmic bodies open up and I am seen controlling the grid from within its structure. The film loops are physical 10-second loops of 16mm film. The ends of the 240frame strips are taped together with splicing tape. In the installation version of Je Ne Sais Plus [What Is This Feeling] the nine film loops, one per projector, are 1/9 of a single 10-second 16mm film strip of a woman, seen in a profile and cropped at her shoulders, bending her head forward while a probe penetrates the side of the frame opposite to her head touching her on the back of the neck (fig. 5 -2). Within this action there is an animated line forming a square inset within the larger frame over the course of 2 -seconds. After the rectangle is complete, it becomes a flickering inset. By physically replacing every other film inset by hand with an image other than the original content, a visual flicker effect is created when the filmstrip is projected (fig. 5 -1C). This visual effect refers to the external force applied to an individual, which creates changes to the individual and that the meeting point between internal and external border s are sites of transformation and trauma.21 The external force is visually sutured into the filmic body. The nine -projector composition has been enlarged using an optical printer. An optical printer is a film production tool devised for reshooting existing film content. It consists of a film camera and a projector. Each frame of the original is reshot frame -byframe by projecting frames of original content into the receiving camera. 21 Butler, op. cit 49.
25 The film content in Je Ne Sais Plus [What Is This Feeling] is constructed from found medical films from the University of Floridas film archive and online EBay auctions, as well as by camera-less techniques such as using the laser cutter on film leader. All of this content is reshot using an optical printer. Sometimes the reshoot ing manipulates the found material with techniques such as cropping, blurring, and shooting film sprockets not normally in view during a projection. I also apply colored filters to black and white footage, and compose animations by holding pieces of variou s filmstrips together by hand. These visual effects refer to the medical gaze as a transformative force22 as well as make the dated film material a product of the present. The animated line discussed previously was produced using a flatbed laser cutter and the software application Adobe Illustrator.23 This direct animation technique makes it possible to melt images such as lines, text, and logos directly into the film material. Each frame of film is individually manipulated creating a stop -motion animation e ffect. Even when the image being melted into the film is identical from frame to frame, the visible variation of the melted edge creates a form that holds a tension between the mechanical and the organic, the fixed and the unstable. This tension is at the basis of the conceptual framework of the piece at large. Like the found 16mm films, all my audio is from physical media. I made digital recordings of this media using a variety of record players and at times physically manipulated the resulting recording s by changing the speed of the record as well as including the sound of the players needle dropping onto the vinyl. Any instances of 22 Foucault, op. cit 64. 23 This technique was developed in collaboration with Dr. Roger Beebe, spring of 2010 at the University of Florida; http://www.reevesmachine.com/blog/16mmLaser.html ; Illustrator creates vectorbased graphics.
26 skipping, popping, and scratches are in the real relationship between the record and the player. The content has been edit ed down into sections with audio editing software.
27 CHAPTER 6 MECHANICAL SOUND Figure 6-1. Nine-projector still. The body haunts space applying the hand like an instrument to inhabit space not like an object.... the body is our expression of the world.24 -M. Merleau-Ponty Je Ne Sais Plus [What Is This Feeling] emphasizes the projectors visually by positioning them in the center of the installation. They are not hidden by a projection booth but are seen as the visual and performati ve crux of the installation. This is a referent to the optical power as voice within the clinic as well as the history of the projector within the lab as a diagnostic tool. Lisa Cartwright25 describes the scientist, projectionist, and the technician as appl ying their hands to their instruments and playing them in a way that allows their medium (body or film) to exist in the world with new possibilities not bound by the physical limitations of the object. With the invention of the moving image projector in 1895, the clinical lab moved from using cadavers to examining and recording live moving bodies. Just as the projector technology produced 24 Cartwright, L. (1995) Screening the Body, Minneapolis, Univers ity of Minnesota Press, 49. 25 Cartwright, op. cit 1
28 a new voice for the body within clinical space at the turn of the 19th century (understanding the body speaks through th e gaze and the gaze is composed from optical technologies), my optical instrument produces a new diagnostic voice. I am not opposed to digital techniques, and I use them throughout my process. Instead I use physical media to limit the choice of the avail able content. These restrictive rules recreate a performative reality similar to the restrictive form of the grid and follow Judith Butlers model of performativity where the performance is fabricated by the limits enacted upon body, [performativity] consists in a reiteration of norms which precede, constrain, and exceed the performer and in that sense cannot be taken as the fabrication of the performers will or choice.26 My use of found dated material is not a desire for nostalgic idealization, but a way to map the future. If bodies are culturally constructed and the institutions of the clinic speak with visual models, then it is important to examine the media culture produced for and within these spaces. I look for the dysfunction within history as vector points of change. I present examples of real points in time on a cultural and scientific map that have a capacity to construct ideas of what the future might look like. Also, I believe that using found footage of subjects already performing as medi cal material within the films keeps my work ethically inline with the Kants bioethical theory that people should not be used as a means to an end but be the end themselves rather than utilitarianism, which advocates for the good of the greater whole over the use of the individual. I do not want to critique the production and use of individuals as subjects while at the same time creating them for my own use. Instead I perform the surgical 26 Gade, G & Jerslev, A. (2005) Performative Realism London: Museum Tusculanum Press and the authors, 184.
29 technique invented by Dr. Frankenstein27 and suture together the dead media bodies found within the catacombs of the film archive. So these bodies work in aesthetic synchronicity with their audio counterpart, I produce the corporeal composition with sounds and machines that hold the same dated fate. 27 Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft. Frankenstein or, The Modern Prometheus Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1984.
30 CHAPTER 7 CONCLUSION Figure 7-1. Nine-projector still with identity construction sketch. Je Ne Sais Plus [What Is This Feeling] employs the grid, the loop, and the sound sample to stage a creative and critical project that comprehensively examin es clinical discourse. These three formal tools have been cast from theoretical models that include Krauss, the grid; Butler, the loop; Foucault, the sound sample. Together they enact an objective investigation outside of my subjective voice. I believe cri tical theorys intellectual rigor removes error in the same way a clinical lab employs rigorous standards to their physical methods of research such as moderating consistent temperature. I am not claiming to be an expert on Krauss, Butler, or Foucault, but use their expertise to work through my project. My projects aim is not to prove their theory but to use formal language strategies that embody ideas. First, the grid form calls attention to the act of logically arranging relationships between materials, space and time. The film loops act as metaphors for the cognitive loop between the mind and the body. The individual loops subjectivity, using Butlers model of identity, changes with the pairing of the sound sample as well as my physical
31 reordering of the various film loops. The sound samples are stand -ins for the role of expert and have the power to direct the audiences understanding of the film loops. The power of the experts external voice penetrates the individual loops subjectivity within the int ernal structure of the grid that I have created. All of this is held within my singular take on the model or frame of the bioethical investigation. According to Krauss, The grid is an introjection of the boundaries of the world into the interior of the work; it is a mapping of the space inside the frame onto itself.28 I suggest that the grid is a part of a larger conversation. I exert control over the grid through the choices I make in the selection of a wide variety of film loops and sound samples that are much larger than the specific time and space available to the exhibition both physically and conceptually. Considering research initiatives directed at fighting the possibility of future disease a direct benefit to a pediatric research subject, I map the shift in clinical discourse from asking, Where does it hurt? to How will it breakdown? I have the same question for the clinical body and employ unstable, moving methodologies to stage the need for preventative measures. Finally, Je Ne Sais Plus [What Is This Feeling] is my version of a bio-historical map that I employ to poetically discuss the future directions of the clinical discourse discussed in Foucault. In 2005 during the December 8th meeting of the President's Council on Bioethics, the Foo d and Drug Administrations bioethicist, Dr. Sara Goldkind, was a proponent of questionable research methods that used pediatric subjects to 28Krauss, R. (1979, Summer) Grids October, Vol. 9, 50 64.
32 predict the future failings of the body.29 Specifically the research method examined was the extraction of bone marrow from a seven-year -old girl to develop procedures to prevent and treat the degenerative bone disease osteoporosis. Goldkind believed that these procedures where ethical. It was theorized that more knowledge could by gained by studying the developing bone s of children rather than the bones of fixed fully formed adults. From 194730 until 1997,31 the employment of pediatric research subjects within clinical research had been restricted in the United States to studies with direct benefits to the subjects themselves. The osteoporosis studys procedure was considered to be within this ethical boundary because it posed benefits to the subject, as she could be susceptible to osteoporosis in the future. The performance of history, our actions, and our life trajector ies can be tracked on the body as epidemiological vectors of disease .32 The use of optical technologies to restage bodies in motion as a way to analyze the performative action that defines them is employed within my art practice as a means to analyze power structures. The art institution allows me a space to stage a critique, which gives visual forms such as the grid diagnostic power. When the breakdown between the projector and film relationship becomes visible and the soundtracks out -of-sync logic becomes apparent, my ability to handle the breakdown and improvise a solution becomes the narrative directing the performance. In this action, I am restaging what I have learned through living in a research subjects 29 Goldkind, Sara. PCBE: Transcripts (December 8, 2005): Session 4: Ethical Issues In Pediatric Research http://bioethicsprint.bioethics.gov/transcripts/dec 05/session4.html 30 Nuremberg Code 31 The Food and Drug Administration Modernization Act (FDAMA) 32 Cartwright, op. cit 4.
33 bodythe vulnerability of my subjectivity and the power gained in employing an objective diagnostic investigation. I empower the body as subjective site of research with narrative strategies that enact sound ethical procedures. I look for opportunities of synchronicity between resilient bodies and th e fragile failing of the systems that produce their movements.
34 LIST OF REFERENCES Books Butler, J. (1993) Bodies That Matter. New York: Routledge. Cartwright, L. (1995) Screening the Body, Minneapolis, University of Minnesota Press. Doolittle, H. (1925) Collected Poems of H.D. New York: Boni and Liveright. Foster, H. (1996, Summer) Obscene, Abject, Traumatic, October Vol. 78. Foucault, M (1973) The Birth of the Clinic. New York, Vintage Books. Foucault, M. (1990) The History of Sexuality. New York, Random House, Inc. Gade, G & Jerslev, A. (2005) Performative Realism London, Museum Tusculanum Press and the authors. Haraway, D. (1991) Simians, Cyborgs, and Women. New York, Routledge. Krauss, R. (1979, Summer), Grids. October, Vol. 9, 56. Kuhse, H. & Singer, P. (Eds.) (1999) Bioethics: An Anthology. Malden, Blackwell Publishing. Music Lesley Gore. (1963) You Dont Own Me . Mercury Records. Lesley Gore. (1963) Je Ne Sais Plus . Mercury Records. Van Morrison. (1965) If You and I could Be as Two . England: The Decca Record Co. Ltd.
35 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH My personal narrative unfolds like a science fiction story. It begins with a mutated x-gene and ends with me controlling time and space with an invention built mostly from outmoded machines and the zap of powerful laser to operate upon my films. Under the unsuspecting cover as artist, I used the University of Floridas research one facilities to pursue the truth surrounding my origins I am now revealing truth in an effort to fight against invisible forces of power that are in fact, controlling us all. In the middle of this story, I received a BFA in Fine Art Photography from Ball State University and also spent two years traveling across Indiana custom painting prosthetic teeth in dental patients mouths.