Artists I have been looking at

I have been looking at the work of Kate Gilmore, Liz Cohen and Adrian Piper.

Kate Gillmore deals with feminine ideas through physicality and “critiques on gender and sex”

Specific examples include “My Love is an Anchor”

“Like This, Before”

“Between a Hard Place”

Liz Cohen is a performance artist and automotive designer. Her work explores gender, identity and group membership. She transforms two things: a car and her body simultaneously in her project “Bodywork”. She says “I’m the car’s builder, the vehicle’s owner, and the bikini model who will show it off. There’s usually a disconnect between all three, yet I’m embodying them all.”


Adrian Piper’s “Funk Lessons” were collaborative performances/lessons where she taught people the history and moves of funk.

Continuing Research (KS)

I have continued my research on real time fMRI and the vast array of fields it applies to.   Dr. Christopher deCharmes has his own research center in the San Francisco Bay Area called Omneuron. Most of his research has focused on pain management through the use of rt fMRI, However, he is looking to expand his research and clinical practice. As an ambitious and hopeful collaborator, I look forward to potentially contributing to this expanding field.

Dr. deCharmes has also collaborated with a neuro-scientist from MIT, John Gabrieli. Dr. Gabrieli is a member of the McGovern Institute for Brain Research. He is a faculty member in the department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences and director of the Martinos Imaging Center, Most importantly, Gabrieli is “the first to demonstrate that human subjects could learn to control their own brain activity using real-time feedback from functional MRI” (1). Gabrieli is a great resource for me as he is currently testing rt fMRI with a mixed population.

1. Learned regulation of spatially localized brain activation using real-time fMRI. deCharms RC, Christoff K, Glover GH, Pauly JM, Whitfield S, Gabrieli JD. Neuroimage. 2004 Jan;21(1):436-43.

I have also found another faculty member at MIT, Satrajit Ghosh who is currently studying rt fMRI. He is testing and validating this important tool as a clinical settings.

Lastly, I studied the concept of growing your own clothes through the use of a SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast) further. It has a very long history and has been a tradition in countries such as Russia and China for thousands of years.

Suzanne Lee is a fashion designer and bio researcher based in the UK. Shas a founded BioCouture. The company focuses on growing renewable materials for the clothing designs.

My Ideal (Non Artist) Collaborator

My ideal collaborator would be neuro-scientist and inventor Christopher deCharmes. He has come up with a commercial way of measuring blood flow to exact areas of the brain through real time functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). This is similar to EEG biofeedback which measure electrical feedback to the brain (1). However, the real time fMRI can be incredibly powerful as it allows a patient or client to rewire their brain by visualizing their emotions. Dr. deCharmes says “thoughts form deep channels in our brain”(2). However, once you can see different parts of your brain activated, you are able to consciously control your brain and subsequently your actions.

The real time fMRI greatly appeals to me and my work because it has strong implications for performance enhancement. Most importantly, it can be a great tool for controlling anxiety and addictions which are universal problems in human behavior.  Anxiety plays an important role for many athletes during the performance of their respective sports.  Real time fMRI would allow me and possibly to see my current level of anxiety and be able to control it, in that moment. The beauty and the trick is only I can do this for myself. Therefore, real time fMRI has great parallels with yoga.

 I am very intrigued by the similarities between yoga and Olympic Weightlifting. They both require great strength, flexibility, patience and awareness. In a sense they are both meditative and could be part of the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Program. It would be wonderful to have real time fMRI of Olympic Weightlifting and Yoga at the same time. Two performers: one weightlifting and the other practicing yoga and compare their blood flow to various or perhaps exact areas of the brain.




Option #2

I would also really like to collaborate with Suzanne Lee. She is a fashion designer and biological researcher. She directs the BioCouture research projects for making sustainable and ecological fashion choices.  Fabric implies important societal connotations and cultural dimensions of beauty and femininity. I am very interested in Ms. Lee’s use of a SCOBY as the basis for her fashion material. A SCOBY is a Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast. I have made my own Kombucha with a SCOBY. This culture is used with Tea and sugar and the fermentation of sugar creates a certain rubbery consistency which can be dried and used as fabric. I am very interested in using this process to envelope and dress up the metal barbell. This heavy cylindrical object with two bumper plates at both ends can be transformed into a beautiful light body. In Olympic Weightlifting, hundreds of pounds go up in the air effortlessly. The “dressed up barbell” can work together with the female body to reach the ultimate goal with ease and elegance.  



Critique Choice:

I am very fascinated by all four artists. I would like to have Ben Rubin as my first choice because I want to make my work installation based and incorporate data from my own training. Since data analysis and research has been a big part of my past, I think it would be interesting to bring some of the tedious repetition of numbers and symbols from the past and present into my work. My second choice would be Wendy Jacob. I am very interested in her new Autism Studio. It would be great if I could get access to the space and perhaps perform some of my lifts in the space. I saw some traumatic events in the autistic time out rooms where I worked and transforming that space into one I feel free to “play” and lift may be an interesting avenue to explore.