Now Featuring Ela Boyd

California artist Ela Boyd creates gently seductive images, installations and videos that aim to topple our sense of time as a linear experience.  Her work is a barrage of reflections, projections, real-time shadows and delayed video feeds that undermine what we expect, and ask us how to relearn our senses.

To view Ela Boyd’s Print Collection with Little Paper Planes: Go Here.

To view her video work, go to LPP TV.

Exclusive Print 1

Exclusive Print 2

Exclusive Print 3

Exclusive Print 4

Exclusive Print 5

Exclusive Print 6

MH: Can you talk about how time factors into your work?  Your statement describes how you are interested in collapsing spatial experiences that normally occur over time into one moment. What does progressive time versus momentary gestalt mean to you?

EB: In effect I’m interested in a theoretical temporality that is viewed as an all-time-all-space simultaneity. Moments in time become interchangeable, like film cells scattered on a table; much like pixels, the past, present and future instances are all there as equalized bits of data. Rather than our impression of time as a linear progression, I present time as a singularity of instances that pierce what we conceive of as “past” or “future.” Obviously, this is impossible to present in an artwork, but ideally with interactivity, manipulating time based media and plotting aspects of the work that occur simultaneously, it is implied.

Expanded Screen installation MCASD Pacific Standard Time Exhibition Phenomenal, Light, Space and Surface TNT

MH: What is the role or the artist’s/performer’s body in pieces like Expanded Spaces? Is the performer part of our image of the space, an example of a body in the space (as perhaps in documentation) or is she leading viewers into a space they can enter with their own bodies?

EB: The bodies presented in the installation work function as an ambiguous body-in-space. The figure is meant to suggest a Subject appearing as a presence, which is actualized by the perceiving participant, the viewer. Rather than a directly representational relationship, where the image of a person signifies a “real” person, the person, the presence, is actual in the moment of apprehension. I want to suggest that the image is not representational, but is an instance of the multiplicity of being. Each object (and subject) has multiple modes of being that occur simultaneously- in the physical form, the image of consciousness, the printed image, as digital data, reflections, atomized particles of light in the projected image, etc. All of these forms are infinitely multiplied by mixing past and future versions. I manipulate forms spatially and temporally to provoke the viewer’s confidence in her ability to apprehend phenomena accurately; I want to arouse suspicion about the relationship between perception and whether or not something is actually there.

Expanded Screen installation MCASD Pacific Standard Time Exhibition Phenomenal, Light, Space and Surface TNT

Using abstract geometric forms to evoke this theory of multiplicity and simultaneity is deliberately confusing, as my viewer has no reference of what the form is supposed to look like. With the geometric forms, we’re unable to compare any spatial or temporal shifts other than what is tangible and intangible, but we are immediately able to recognize any inconsistencies related to the human form. For this reason, I employ the body as a medium to demonstrate my ideas of the multiplicity of being. The viewer becomes a participant–the forms shift via parallax or or appear in different locations depending on the viewer’s position in space. The participant becomes aware of being a body-in-space whose presence is multiplied and decentralized within images of their reflection, live video and as a silhouette. Which one causes the other? Is their consciousness a conduit for these forms or are they made real as forms because they are perceived?

Prism Series (featured at Oceanside Museum of Art) installed in Boyd's Studio

MH: How do you go about making still images from videos and installations? You’re capturing one moment of something that seems so dependent on presence.

EB: Perhaps this part of the process comes from my early studies as a photo student learning how to edit–why are some images more evocative then others? I try to keep the forms hovering in some ambiguity–where one is aware of wanting to make a narrative or causal relationship, yet there’s not enough information to complete the story/ picture in the traditional sense. Much like the Light and Space artists’ aims to call the viewer’s attention to their own perception, I want the viewer to address the incessant need to form a narrative or deduce some representational signifiers. Recently I’ve been making videos that hover between being a photo and video. The still photos are taken as documentation of the installations and are often later projected into the installation on a loop, which directs the photographic images into becoming frames of a film/video. Additionally, as with my recent Mirror Mirage series, a video of a triangle mirror is projected back onto the triangle mirror, simultaneously collapsing the tangible and the intangible, blurring the “virtual” and the actual, the illusion of a causal realationship between the original and the copy.

Expanded Screen installation MCASD Pacific Standard Time Exhibition Phenomenal, Light, Space and Surface TNT

MH: What source images and materials do you use to make your videos?  Do they start with footage or with the capabilities of light and projection themselves, or somewhere in between?

EB: I begin with an image in my mind of a sense, some form, aesthetic or nuance. Next I either collage other source material, which is a bit of an intuitive process. Or during production I allow for surprise occurrences (light phenomena, interesting angles, reflections, etc) that are beyond my wildest storyboard dreams. Ultimately when it’s all installed my strategy is a bit Baroque- in that I layer and layer images and sculptural forms until one’s visual perception is confused as to what is an image, a reflection, tangible material, etc.

Boyd's Studio

MH: You have published a book. Can you talk about the project?  I am interested in the way your practice is so anti-narrative, and books, as a form, are quite the opposite.  And I’d also love to hear about how the project emerged.

EB: My work is so ephemeral, I wanted to have something tangible in tandem with the work. Also, most of the images used in the book were layered in a sculptural installation where I intended for the images to blend with each other and the sculptural materials. Yet I thought the images worked well on their own as a monographs. Writing and research is a big part of my practice. Printing a book seemed like a good way to have the artwork and writing side by side.

Reflective Print Series

MH: Can you talk about your color palette?  In addition to aiming for spatial and temporal impossibilities, you seem to be pursuing a type of visual pleasure.  How is that connected, or, if it’s not, how do you relate to visual pleasure?

EB: Yes, this is intentional. I employ saturated colors and a certain luminosity to seduce the viewer into spending more time in the space with the work, moving from pure pleasure to investigations of their own perceptual process, expectations and body as a presence within the space.

Reflective Multiplication Video Shoot

MH: Who are some of the artists and filmmakers that influence you?

EB: Of course the Light and Space artists, although our aims are differ in terms of their reductive process. Maya Deren’s Meshes of the Afternoon is a huge influence. I love the way she inverts time and conscious states. Issac Julien’s multi-channel video installations are really intriguing in the way he creates his own temporal and perspectival lexicon.

Prism Series (featured at Oceanside Museum of Art ) installed in Boyd's Studio

3 comments

1 Ryan RadusinovicNo Gravatar { 07.23.12 at 11:06 am }

truly inspiration artwork, this is an incredible find..I cant wait to apply some of her concepts to my own refraction art.

2 Deb SanbornNo Gravatar { 07.24.12 at 5:01 am }

I like hearing about how you use “visual pleasure” to seduce the viewer into spending more time with the Art.

3 ErezNo Gravatar { 07.24.12 at 2:17 pm }

This work is overly simplified decoration without any sort of real context other than emulating mast historical modes of production. It looks like music video art and maybe would be better suited as such. Hipster aesthetic at its best.

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