As an artist who mixes cinema with emerging technologies, I often focus on the physical properties of generating the moving image.
An early publication by Kodak boasted that their film was 'animal, vegetable, and mineral'--bragging how all the materials used to make the celluloid of the early movie industry came from the natural world. The term 'silver screen' derived from the actual embedding of silver into silk fabric, while even earlier shadow puppet shows projected onto opaque animal skin. The history of film began with environmentally responsible materials.
This series of artworks considers alternative natural materials as screens, as if cinema had continued to evolve with sustainable elements instead of being influenced by the industrial and digital ages.
This series of artworks contemplates the screen and its origins. My time in the villages of Southeast Asia has shown me an array of organic resources that can be formed into papers. I've researched naturally-occurring translucent materials and these five prototypes represent a short list of what is being considered for this series. Dozens of other materials are possible including salt, marble, fur, skin, seeds, beeswax, feathers, and bark.
The relationship between the video image and the screen are key to the piece. The screens are one meter square and placed over an LED grid that plays the video. Without the screen, the image would be difficult to discern due to the pixelization. However, the natural screen diffuses the LEDs and makes the video recognizable—nature acts as the lens and filter for a mediated digital image. As the natural screens were artistically visualized, their pastoral, handcrafted quality became powerful and poignant. To contrast this gentleness, the videos behind them were chosen to represent the force and violence of nature.
The digitization of film in recent years has overshadowed that the origins of cinema are natural and organic. An off-shoot from my Sustainable Cinema series of sculptures, these Natural Screens consider an alternative history of media using environmentally-responsible materials.