For my Extensions body of work, I start by selecting a personal data set. For example, I record my heart beat, and then create physical and digital objects that visualize that data as seen in Extensions 01-001, 01-002, and 01-003. The project stems from ideas of digital memory. Similar to the way a smartphone is an extension of one’s body or brain (one’s digital memory), I externalize and preserve my data as art objects to be referenced at a later time. My process for this work prioritizes iteration, experimentation and transparency--borrowed from agile methodology often used in software development.
In Extension 01-001, I combine elements of human, animal and machine to form a cyborg extension of myself inspired by Donna Haraway’s “A Cyborg Manifesto”. The red lights - as seen in the video - blink in sync with my recorded heart beat.
extension 01-001 :30
Installation view of extension 01-001
extension 01-002 is a digital version of extension 01-001 that lives online here
Performing the Home
A site-specific, experiential art exhibit at the Nave Gallery Annex in Somerville, MA in the Boston area in August 2016 curated by artist Christina Balch and featuring local performance artists. See the exhibit website for more info
Does It Bring You Joy? - performance by Boston collective Excavate
Semiotics of the Bathroom - performance by Jamezie
Every morning, I photographed my face as soon as I woke up. It was a purposeful, self-imposed ritual where I got one shot to document my state of being at that moment. It’s an act that ignores any personal notions of vanity especially as I posted each and every photo to the web.
The repetition of my face day after day is my personal record of a simple life activity. Similar to selfie takers all over the world, I am documenting a moment in time with a ubiquitous form of photography. I am discomforted by the act of the selfie, especially when it reinforces outdated standards of beauty. I am drawn to the work by feminist artists of the 1970s who questioned gender stereotypes. A moving and inspiring piece is Eleanor Antin’s Carving: A Traditional Sculpture, where she lost 10 pounds of her own body weight over 37 days and photographed the process scientifically as she lost the weight, making a cultural and societal critique of the pressures women face to be thin and attractive. The Awake series is my way of contributing to this conversation which 40 years later has not lost relevance. This action towards self-discovery allows me to move away from self-judgement and my personal assumptions about how I look best, or how I look at my worst. I invite my audience, my voyeurs, into a banal and unidealized life, into my private moments.
Christina gave a TED talk about the Awake project in 2014. Watch the video to learn more about Awake.
The Awake series was started in July 2012 and ended in early 2016. Occasionally Christina will post a recent Awake photo on Instagram.
In my drawings, I investigate portraiture and the representation of human and machine form often with the use of hard, strong lines and silhouettes that explore the relationship between strength and vulnerability.
Christina will be performing with the artist collective Excavate in Trans/lucent/see on the summer solstice. Trans/lucent/see: A Solstice Performance in the Park by Excavate DeCordova Sculpture Park and Museum Friday, June 21, 2019 @ 6:30pm More info