MirrorWound. The artist confesses a contempt of the flesh.
I have a fractious relationship with my body. In this age where packaging is everything, this inherited meat is a poor medium to convey my massages.
I am quicksilver. My body is a hypertext network, its edges are blurred, archival moments tumbling into interactive arenas where those who perceive me may re-write my histories. I live behind the screen not by choice but by design.
My domain is my media meat, and I am so attuned to it that when the server crashes I become physically ill, a phantom limb generating phantom pain. It's all too real for me. continued...
Navigating the Body began as a project approximately five years ago. My objective was to use art to translate personal narratives into a visual representation that would validate the experiences of others who live in pain.
It has ben a long process of meetings, collecting images and working with women who, by sheer determination, worked not beyond their pain but from within their pain during long hours of shooting sessions.
Initially, Navigating the Body was going to be a video but then I discovered the internet and realized that this project needed to go beyond the parameters of video festivals. The internet presents the possibility of creating work that people can comment on, participate in and feel part of. The most amazing result of this project for me has been the incredible response I have had from people around the world. Their own stories of pain create a circle of validation.
Technically, I wanted the site to be accessible - I didn't want people to have to go and get several plug-ins to view the effects. The biggest challenge for the programmer was to compress my very large images into files that didn't take a huge amount of time to download. Because I work mainly with page layout, it took some time for me to realize that a frame didn't need to stop at the edges of the monitor - you could scroll down or across.
I look forward to your comments...it's the only way we know you are out there.
There are two text streams running through the piece. One is the text-over on the images. This text is immobile and speaks in abstract platitudes. The other text stream is on light-weight GIFs which can be manipulated and reused. This text appropriates TV pop culture to verbalize the narrator's rage over HIV and the HIV industry. Structurally, HIV TV-1 is a commercial segment preceding the program segment HIV TV-2.
HIV-TV-1 allows the viewer to be passive. The pages change on timers. One issue I was trying to address is how to keep the viewer's attention while large images are loading. The solution used here is to display small text images for the viewer to read while the center image loads. I tried to add the experience of information overload by having the pages changes as soon as they complete loading.
The CONCRA PSA Flash movie is the outcome of our 30 day free trial download. I decided to concentrate on a passive video presentation. I would like to thank the jury, QAR and Macromedia for selecting "HIV TV" for this exhibition.
I plan to complete "Penny Arcade" as a collection of videos and web-pieces experienced as random vignettes, rather than as a linear film. It seems a more natural way to tell a fragmented, suggestive story. The ability to manipulate the viewer's level of interaction adds a whole new palette with which to paint.
Stones was created on a Macintosh using Macromedia Director. After making a rough storyboard on paper, I imported the stories from a word processing program directly into Director. I made sprites of the individual words which I then animated with the help of the tweening function. Although I don't consider Stones to be a truly interactive project, the viewer is required to click his/her way through each story as it progresses. The stories told in Stones are actual memories of my life as a gay boy, teen and man. I am amazed how words, hateful shouts can be thrown through the air, invisibly, and yet slice and scar like a thrown stone. I wanted the emotions of the stories to impact the viewer in much the same way, using merely words moving through space."
Brian White, a Houston-based illustrator, has been creating digital illustrations for print, websites and multimedia since 1992. Please visit his online portfolio at http://www.twinpix.com/brian/index.html