Title Unknown is the first in a series of animations produced by capturing images revealed when sanding through blocks of diaristic materials that were de/re-constructed from personal affective narratives. Emergent and world-building, the animations (un)congeal time and labor, digging through stratified, sedimented layers to uncover ghostly traces of foreclosed futures, embodied epistemologies, and modes of counting the uncountable. Constantly moving and shifting, the palimpsestic makes space for a multiplicity of images with no beginning or end. The original blocks of material, created by layering objects and materials collected from specific and personal times and places, are obliterated during the sanding process, a refusal of a single story or “permanent” object, a process that entangles evidence and ephemera. This violent disappearance transforms the object into an emergent and unpredictable moment of lived experience and embodiment that the original object could only dream of. The animation is a liminal space full of possibility, that integrates multiple and marginalized forms of information, data, and knowledge including the affective and the subjective, revealing the hidden, silent, or ignored.
Mudge Island sage, lavender, fox glove
Hayden construction paper
Grant Bay sand
pants fabric scrap
Winter Harbor eagle feathers
Melissa S Armstrong is an undisciplined artist, taking a PhD gone awry and using the resultant negative space to develop methods that analyze neuroscience data with artistic processes and tools rather than statistical ones.