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Exhibition of Memorial Concepts

Artist(s): margaretha haughwout, United States

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Proposal Title: the birds the bees the flowers and the seeds, 03/21/2009, Installation

Proposal Synopsis: the birds the bees the flowers and the seeds is an exploration of the relationship between desire and violence, set in a future garden, which functions as an allegory for the privileged space within the U.S., but also as an exploration of how war and flowers are similar. In the piece, visitors are given an orientation through randomly selected introductory audio "scores," piped through speakers nestled in ceramic flower pots. The audio scores instruct visitors to engage various objects -- such as seeds: to place them in the soil, poppy pods: to pull off their tops and toss, snips: to run over the flowers -- as a way to continue the narrative scenarios. These RFID-embedded objects and their engagement has a dissociative effect; the garden's seeds are bullets, the poppy pods when the tops are pulled off seem like grenades, and the flower snips are actually military wire cutters (the whole installation displays both garden and state military aesthetics). The initial narrative scenarios introduce plots around longing, love and memory in an ambiguous, sci-fi future; the engaged objects trigger a database of audio clips from US sponsored war zones, especially from thos affected by the war in Iraq. Visit www.beforebefore.net/bbfs.html

Artist's Biography: Margaretha Haughwout received her BA in New Media with a minor in Linguistics from the University of Maine. In the Spring of 2008, she received her MFA in Digital Arts and New Media from the University of California Santa Cruz. Margaretha Haughwout's art practice works the spectrum between interactivity and participation. Her approach to themes of embodiment, violence, temporality and affect with digital technologies is at once critical of that technology yet also endeavors toward a sense of magic. She is currently lecturing in the Film and Digital Media Department at UCSC.

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