Seeing Through

“Seeing Through” is a speculative fiction installation at the University of Dundee, Scotland (UK) of a famed natural history collection as it relates to eco-catastrophies and to past interpretations. In my AR installation I propose “tours” of natural history collections visualized as if through the eyes of others. The visitor appears to see through the gallery wall into an interior space that houses an idiosyncratic collection of objects, recurrent patterns, and specimens. Many  images are inspired by the ground-breaking 1951 exhibition that pop artist Richard Hamilton curated at the ICA (London). Hamilton was enthralled by images in Thompson's 1917 tome, On Growth and Form, that effectively merged the living and non-living. With constructivist-like works and an associated video, “From Fleas to Ferraris,” I portray the merger of organic matter with technology. Nearby is a vitrine that  has apparently merged with an artwork, suggesting an excavation breaking through the walls. Specimens from Thompson's collection have been placed in the vitrine at both ends. In a separate nearby location, I created a series of interventions at the D'Arcy Thompson Zoology Museum to suggest how futurist author J G Ballard (author of The Atrocity Exhibition) might have reimagined Thompson's natural history specimens. Panels with images I created from the collection lean against the wall tucked within the space. Each panel depicts crystallization overtaking the specimens. The associated video also reflects crystals seeping through the architecture and an afflicted inhabitant in a leprosy colony as portrayed in Ballard's Crystal World (1964). Lighting altered with theatrical colored gels emphasized the surrealist-like weirdness. The images in both the Tower Foyer Gallery and D'Arcy Thompson Museum are based on photographs and sketches made at the Museum and lab where I held an artist residency in 2014. After my residency, I co-edited a book with Charissa Terranova about Thompson's legacy in the arts (Bloomsbury, 2021), and then I curated a related exhibition held at Pratt Manhattan Gallery, NYC. My exhibition in Dundee is the fruition of my long term investigation of Thompson's profound ideas about growth and form.


Click on thumbnails for larger images


Seeing Through Wall Installation

Excavation Front View

Excavation Side View

Crystal Lives
Video Still




Intervention 1

Intervention 2

Intervention 3

Interventions 4 and 5

Intervention 6