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Chelsea Herman
Brooklyn, NY



ARTIST STATEMENT: Cellular Sweep: A site-specific installation exploring the aesthetic of the spill and splatter. I began with a rather simple idea. It developed while working at my summer job. After many hours of dishwashing and removing coffee drips and honey droppings from white counter tops, my attention was drawn to the aesthetic of the spill. Looking at the various textures of everyday substances, I started to devise a plan to trace their motion. After finding the right vessel and a variety of ingredients contrasting in texture, I was able to capture the visual effects of small scale chemistry experiments. These short studies thrive in a fixed habitat and accentuate the motionless “fly on the wall” camera style. By fixating the lens in the center of the bowl I place viewers in an immersive setting. They gaze upon the organic pulsations of the materials put into motion by a subtle breeze. Density relationships and color swirling techniques quickly unfurl before the camera. By infusing the colors, the videos began to resemble planets in orbit as well as cellular reproduction. The uniqueness of each work emerges from the textural properties of the materials. The flickering light and glistening cellular bodies impact the viewing process. Cellular Sweep is about immersion and the experience of watching. It was debuted as a nine channel site-specific installation at the Reem-Kayden Center for Science and Computation at Bard College in fulfillment of the college’s graduation requirements. The extension of the single screen to many screens represented not only an expansion of visual horizons but also an overwhelming intensification of visual experience. The multi-vision environment deals with issues of scale, observation, stillness and organic form. By originally installing the experiments in separate rooms, each video was presented in an intimate setting conducive to absorption. I wanted the space to provide an art-science interface where one can view the works. I aimed to study the workings of substances with my lens, like studying a prepared slide with a microscope. By positioning viewers in a science-oriented space, my work inspired a questioning of the relationship between the arts and sciences. Although it was initially experienced as a nine screen multi-channel environment, I feel strongly that Cellular Sweep is just as compelling when viewed as individual single-channel works. Each sweep is composed with the same materials, yet the resulting environments are vastly different. The overall aesthetic of the work is uniform, but the experience of watching is distinct for each individual. My goal is to gain access to an expansive space where all eight videos could be installed, projected and enjoyed. To share Cellular Sweep with the world, to enlighten the masses and expose the beauty of organic form, would be incredible.
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  • venus

  • scum

  • walking on the moon

  • aerial lily pads

  • when mars attacks

  • 80's viral mouth

  • solar eclipse

  • gummies

  • pollock

  • scoping

  • slimed

  • roy g biv

  • freon neon

  • the pacific

  • gleam machine

  • whirpool

  • eyeballs

  • dirty dish

  • lunar landing

  • amoebazoid
 








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