My work questions and examines different methods of communication and the various roles communication plays in our society. I concentrate on deconstructing conversations and analyzing different methods of recoding and depicting conversation. I explore communication through different systems and patterns allowing the viewer to see the underlying threads which create this form of human interaction.
I approach my subject matter through object making, video and installation. Recently, I have been using video as a means of studying and working with conversation. Video, sound and other elements are incorporated into my installations, creating an environment that the viewer can enter into and become immersed in. My work invites viewers to become active participants, challenging and questioning their role as “viewer.” Likewise, my work depends on the public’s participation, and I am particularly intrigued by the prospect of working with people who are not normally involved in the arts.
By concentrating on different existing systems of communication and inventing new ones I am able to reevaluate the collective understanding of communication processes within our culture.
Read My Lips is a video piece that addresses the role of language as a method of communication through the anthropomorphization of the common goldfish. I worked with speech pathologist Beatrice Dulgarian to decipher the words being “spoken” by each fish, drawing attention to our use of language and its interpretation within our society.
Dog Tale is a video piece that addresses the idea that animals communicate by means unnoticed by humans. I sync footage of a dog’s tale with Morse code tones to create the illusion that the tail is communicating with the viewer through Morse code. This video draws attention to the possibility that animals are trying to communicate through many different methods.
In this piece, I was playing with comparing human conversation with similar patterns found in nature. I found that the ebb and flow of the waves had a interesting connection to the pattern of conversation. The audio of humans talking at the beach was combined with the audio of the waves, matching the patterns through the changing audio levels. Ebb and Flow represents the one of many similarities humans and nature have through the ways we communicate.
A Yellow-Breasted Scissor-Billed Duet is based on the common practice of antiphonal dueting in birds, a practice that often goes unnoticed and unappreciated in NYC. This video calls upon the tendency and necessity of all animals in the world to communicate, especially between the male and female of species. It also pokes fun at the assumptions of the audience, getting across the major point that communication is an integral part of our lives in a semi humorous way.
Stephanie Lempert – New York New York