SHADOW TIGER Artist Statement
I use dioramas and film in my work to create the illusion of space and time. Recently I became interested in adding temporality to my dioramas without losing the sense of depth. I began experimenting with different methods of stereoscopic (3D) filmmaking. With stereoscopy it is possible to create a three-dimensional image by taking two photos of a subject, one image for each eye, then combining them to create the illusion of depth. Stereoscopy allows me to create an ephemeral object that will last beyond the original.
I created the pieces “Sleeping Tiger” and “Tiger on the Stairs” while residing at Elsewhere Artist Collaborative, a former antique store transformed into art space. For these pieces I created dioramas out of old objects found in the building: furniture remnants, torn up linoleum, the tail of a pull toy. The objects I work with show signs of use and aging, which imbue them with a sense of aliveness. To these tableaus I added ephemeral elements: the motion of breath, a projected shadow. The tiger pieces are about turning the negative space of absence into a seemingly tangible object.
“The Museum of Touch and Feel” addresses the way in which we connect with the past through objects and spaces. It provides a synaesthetic experience in which viewers “touch” objects using their eyes as fingers. The museum has become an extension of the woman who created it, a virtual body that transcends her physical self. The elements have become infused with her inventiveness and desire.
Human beings are able to perceive depth because we have two eyes. Each eye sees a slightly different image. Touch your finger to your nose. Now, close your right eye, then your left. Notice how your finger bounces back and forth. Objects that are close look very different to each eye. Conversely, objects that are very far away, like the moon, look exactly the same. This is how we perceive depth; the greater the difference between the images in our two eyes, the closer the object is.
To create my stereoscopic photos, I take two photographs of my subject, one photo for each eye. This is called a “stereo pair.” I then make one image red, and the other cyan, and overlap them. When you put on red-cyan glasses, the lenses filter the image so that each eye sees one half of the stereo pair. Your brain combines the two images to perceive a 3D image. In order to animate in 3D, I take a series of stereo pairs of my subject moving in tiny increments. I then play the photos back very quickly (thirty frames per second) to create the illusion of motion.