I AM YORICK

I AM YORICK (2016 - 2017) 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 various artworks in I AM YORICK incorporate media including sculpture, video, digital imagery and software.

Read the Artist Statement

I am Yorick, 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 (video still)

Bounded in a nutshell, 2017, software application

Beneath the skull in I am Yorick sits a live-feed video camera, which is pointed into the interior of the brain cavity through the spinal hole at the bottom of the skull. The view offers access to the physical domain where one's subjective experience of reality takes place. Here, bounded in a nutshell, resides a whole universe. 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. 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), 2010 - ongoing, HD video with audio, 2:57 min.

Row your boat (day by day, projected onto skull) (excerpt), 2010 - ongoing, HD video with audio, 2:57 min.

Row your boat (all at once), 2010 - ongoing, HD video with audio, 9 sec.

I have been singing "Row your boat" into a video camera every day since 2010. A piece of each day’s contribution is assembled into a master video that chronologically strings the segments together, forming the song anew. For Row your boat (all at once), the videos were compiled into a single, multi-layered rendition. 


TO DIE / TO SLEEP / PERCHANCE TO DREAM (all at once), 2015 - 2016, 3 pigmented archival inkjet prints, 48” x 48" each

Each panel (of 3) is a digital compilation of 1,225 Row your boat video-stills. The video-stills in each panel perform a particular gesture - to die, to sleep, or to dream (as referenced in the title). These video-stills, each captured on a different day of 2010-2015, are aggregated to create a cross-temporal depiction of their respective gestures.


TO DIE / TO SLEEP / PERCHANCE TO DREAM (day by day), 2015-2016, 3 pigmented archival inkjet prints, 48” x 48" each

Each panel (of 3) is a collection of 1,225 Row your boat video-stills. The video-stills in each panel perform a particular gesture - to die, to sleep, or to dream (as referenced in the title). Each video-still was captured on a different day of 2010-2015. They are presented in chronological order, from top to bottom and then left to right.


I knew him, Horatio, 2015 - 2016, appropriated video montage, HD video with audio, 2:17 min.


We must be patient, 2017, appropriated video montage, HD video with audio, 3:22 min.


A consummation devoutly to be wished, 2015 - 2016, appropriated video montage, HD video with audio, 2:46 min.


I am Yorick (disembodied, the mask), 2016, pigmented archival inkjet print, 14"x14"
I am Yorick (skull), 2016, pigmented archival inkjet print, 14"x14"


Artist Statement: I am Yorick, Erin Cooney

“I am Yorick” is a multimedia body of work that acts as a self-referential memento mori. 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. While simultaneously drawing upon the language of the religious reliquary and 19th-century scientific specimen presentation, the work explores ideas of space and time, mind and body, and the "self" as a vast yet impermanent universe. 

Layering and superimposing content is a vital part of my method. 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 has the potential to create 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 impermanence, when viewed from a perspective of totality.

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