I AM YORICK
I AM YORICK (2016) is a multimedia body of work centered around a 3D-printed replica of my skull, as taken from the digital data of a medical CT scan of my head. The media of the various artworks in I AM YORICK include sculpture, video, digital imagery and software.
I am Yorick (the integration), 2012-2016, 3D-printed skull (resin) & box (plexiglass, printed transparent films, painted aluminum, metal stand, live-feed video camera), 9.5” x 12” x 13.5”
I am a universe, 2016, software application for mobile devices
The live-feed video camera sitting beneath the skull in I am Yorick records what is taking place inside the skull's brain cavity in real time. The idea is to offer the viewer access to the seat of where one's subjective experience of reality unfolds. Within this small physical cavity resides the whole universe of the self. The live-feed video of the interior of the skull is relayed to an app for mobile devices, which merges it with images of the stars and galaxies, as captured by the Hubble Telescope, thus highlighting the vastness of interior subjectivity. An audio-scape of my body's visceral sounds joins the video. The app will be available for download soon.
Row your boat (day by day), 2016, HD video with audio, 2:57 min.
Row your boat (day by day, on skull) (excerpt), 2016, HD video with audio, 2:57 min.
Row your boat (all at once), 2016, HD video with audio, 9 sec.
I have been singing the song, "Row your boat", into a video camera everyday since 2010. Each day’s contribution is assembled into a master video that chronologically strings the segments together, forming the song anew.
TO DIE / TO SLEEP / PERCHANCE TO DREAM (day by day), 2015-2016, pigmented archival inkjet prints, 3 panels 48” x 48" each
Each of the three panels in this triptych consist of video-stills taken from 1,225 days worth of Row your boat videos, placed chronologically into grids. The video-stills in each panel depict the corresponding gesture referenced in the title, To die / to sleep / perchance to dream.
TO DIE / TO SLEEP / PERCHANCE TO DREAM (all at once), 2015 - 2016, pigmented archival inkjet prints, 3 panels 48” x 48" each
In each of these panels, 1,225 Row your boat video-stills have been combined and aggregated into a single image according to the corresponding gesture referenced in the title, To die / to sleep / perchance to dream.
I knew him, Horatio, 2015 - 2016, appropriated video montage, HD video with audio, 2:17 min.
To think they will put him in the cold ground, 2015 - 2016, appropriated video montage, HD video with audio, 3:12 min.
A consummation devoutly to be wished, 2015 - 2016, appropriated video montage, HD video with audio, 2:46 min.
Last time my heart takes this beat (places I’ll never see again before I die) (excerpt), 2010 - ongoing, video of photographic collection, HD video with audio, 43:08 min.
Since 2010, I have been photographing places I knew I would never see again, like hotel rooms or rental cars, in an effort to retain the self that had existed in those spaces.
The Long Wave Goodbye (excerpt), 2015 - ongoing, HD video of Instagram photo collection, 36 sec.
I am Yorick (disembodied, the mask), 2016, pigmented archival inkjet print, 14"x14"
I am Yorick (the meeting), 2016, pigmented archival inkjet print, 36"x27"
Artist Statement: I am Yorick, Erin Cooney
“I am Yorick” is a multimedia body of work that acts as a self-referential memento mori. While simultaneously drawing upon the language of the religious reliquary and 19th-century scientific specimen presentation, the work explores issues of mortality, the passage of time, and the terror that arises when contemplating the loss of self. The show is titled after one of the central pieces in the collection, a 3D-printed replica of my skull, which was created using the digital data of a medical CT scan of my head.
Self-documentation is at the core of much of my method. I started creating many of these works in 2010, when I began photographing places I knew I would never see again before I die, like hotel rooms or rental cars, in an effort to retain the self that had existed so intimately in those spaces, as if some vital part of self could magically be transmuted into the things the body has touched or the eyes have seen, and upon leaving these things behind, be lost and abandoned forever.
Layering and superimposing content is a vital part of my approach. A single layer, or perspective, of a thing is limited to its distinct context in time and space. But when several layers of a thing are taken together, though specific meanings may be lost, one arrives at a perspective of totality for that thing. The use of this method contains the wish to transcend the idea of mere fixedness in the hopes of arriving at a thing’s essence.
I approach the building of my work in a systematic way. While the overarching idea, or system, is usually quite simple, when run, it creates complexity and depth. I begin by determining an algorithmic scheme based on a concept. The next step is the collection or creation of content. Then, I treat the content as data and enter it into the video or photographic work according to the system, allowing the system to determine the end result of the composition or video.
“I am Yorick” is a documentation of the self as it succumbs to flux and change, even as it resists, using the act of documentation itself in a futile attempt to retain what is lost. With the work, I hope to offer the viewer a sense of the underlying beauty that resides even in the chaos of change, when viewed from a perspective of totality.