wholey video installation
still from “wholey,” projected image on spinning cylinder, 1999


Courtney Egan
b. 1966
New Orleans, Louisiana

My artwork integrates lens-based botanical still-lifes with digital effects, to create realistic, yet heavily constructed, projected arrangements in motion.  In the studio, I work directly with plants, photographing them and digitally manipulating their timing and compositions digitally, engaging in the perversity of my attempt to control time, while also immersing myself in beauty. Manipulated blooming flowers and plants move across walls, floors, sometimes interacting with sculptural elements, and may be triggered with a sensor. These projected composite images place the viewer in navigation between their memories of the natural world, and a new, mediated experience of a plant or flower, creating an other-worldly experience, while questioning how our perception of nature is augmented by technology.

I am intrigued by how lens- and technology-based experiences of the natural world can be educational, enjoyable, illuminating, and disturbing and ethically challenging, at the same time. I search for a new kind of sublime experience that results from the intersection or convergence of nature with technology.  The way that humans experience nature more frequently, through the glass of the computer or television, unsettles as it inspires me. I feel a fundamental irony  in that the closer I get to the perception of nature, the farther I am from direct experience – i.e., I become an “armchair explorer.” The current proliferation of “nature shows” in the media is fascinating, beautiful, and terrifying all at once, because these commercial products highlight intrusion, fabrication, and technological advances, as well as wonder and diversity.



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