Monday, 14 May 2007

A&G Centre HIV Project 2

Meanwhile, Soph and I have both been brainstorming our visions for the visual format we want this work to take, and have decided definitely on an animation and some sculptural works. For my part of the animation i've been working on some ink drawings, very kind of cutesy/spooky and colourful - they have a naive and fun feel about them. Sophie is planning to make some sculptural pieses to animate, and is thinking about wax at the moment. So through our brainstorming we decided that the approach we wanted to take is one which focuses upon the virus itself as a rogue, hybrid entity, one that came out of an enexpected meeting between humans and animals, and continues to be a kind of mutating, shape shifting parasite. I've been working a lot with strange organisms in my own work, so its perfect for me really, and also carries on from what i'm doing in my PhD work. I fell in love with the cordyceps fungi when I first saw it on David Attenborough's This Planet Earth, Jungle, or was it Forests episode? Anyhow it's a pretty amazing organism. Basically, it releases it's spores into the atmosphere, which get attached to the body of an insect. These spores then begin the infect the insects body and mind and brainwash the insect to move upwards, along branches or whatever plant may be near by. By the time it is far enough of the ground it clings to whatever surface it is on, giving it a firm grounding. Then slowly the fungus enteres the ants body, gradually replacing the ant's tissue with it's own, until it has completely overtaken its body, at which point it bursts out of the insects body like an alien, and it's beautiful fungi forms continues to grow upward out of the corpse. It's pretty amazing, and the process is visually stunning too. I managed to download the video online, and it's on my myspace video section.Other organisms we've been thinking about are the camilien - for obvious reasons, and a lot of other parasites. We've also been delving into the fictional parasites and creatures, including the nine tailed shape shifting fox. I'm not sure that fictional is way to go though. Perhaps its best if we use real organisms, but portary them in an illusory manner, so you'd assume they were fictional, but then realise they actually exist. I'm not sure though, I don't seem to be able to tear myself away from my blobby fluid haluncinatory creatures, and i've been working on some characters and organisms for my PhD submission for some time now, and I really don't want them to overlap too much. So it will be a challenge. Parasitic plants are a big interest too. I find them incredibly curious, because often they look nothing like their host, and are much more beautiful also - so I don't really undertsand how thay work and why they dont camoflague with their host at all. I mean I know its different to animals which camoflague to hide from predators, but I am wondering why the parasitic flowers/plants are so different from their hosts to begin with. I guess it makes sense though if they use their difference and beauty as an easy way of attracting birds and insects to carry their pollen to other trees and high places...

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