Terra Nullius/Nobody’s Land: Excavation from Image 3.0
Serendipity Arts Festival, Goa
EXPOSURE – The Burning Gaze, 2021
This deeply metaphoric video installation draws on the history of optics to explore theories of visual perception and popular understandings of the gaze, including sight as an extraordinary power/weapon wielded by an array of superheroes and mythical monsters. The interactive work is based on the concept of emission/extramission theorised and upheld in ancient Greece by renowned scholar-philosophers (Empedocles, Plato, Euclid, Ptolemy) who postulated that we are able to see because the eye itself emits beams of light that interact with external objects. Tracing the viewer’s eye movements through a digital device, the installation concentrates these into a beam that sets virtual fire wherever the eye lingers. This operation generates new images, and when the viewer’s gaze shifts the ‘ignited’ surface returns to its original intact state. Exposure thus plays with the theme of disintegration/destruction and revival/renewal, inscription and erasure, presence and absence, and our relationships to dialectical and cyclical processes.