Artist Statement

I was a sociology scholar before embracing audiovisual art and performance. My first photographic and cinematic projects were based on visual materials produced during my research fieldwork, guided by social scientific canons of how and why to use images for documentation purposes. Images were tangible proofs of social realities I was in, witnessed, or remotely analyzed from behind a laptop screen. As an emerging artist relying on a wide range of practice and media (photography, filmmaking, software editing, glass color separation, risography, graphism), my approach to visuals remains informed by the (mis)uses of scientific documentation and grounded in the critical theories encountered during my university career.

This education and previous research experience led me to consider, and experiment with, the various normative functions assigned to photography. Photographs document reality as it self-deploys through affects, artifacts, and events. They often convey emotions and meaning to a wider audience than text can do, while the written form is restricted by languages, publishing platforms, and education. However, photographs can also unveil powerful ways to create, imagine, empower, and self-reflect, while helping to visualize what would otherwise remain invisible.

This is highlighted by extreme environment photography, such as photographs shot underwater, from high altitude or outer space, and subterranean caves. These spaces remain hidden from daily life sight and for a vast majority of people. Seeing these spaces, and experiencing their environment (pressure changes, low visibility, etc.) require technique, training and certifications, as well as (generally) a life support system without which human bodies cannot survive. As an outer space studies scholar and a professional diver with photography and filmmaking experience, I work with/in these environments as a poetic thread to think Oddness, Otherness, and legitimacy (of practice and knowledge). For instance, underwater aesthetics are historically framed by colonial tropes and imagination, where local resources should be cultivated and museified to the detriment of fragile species. Besides on-going projects using underwater thermal imagery, my latest photographic series (“Cosmic Waters”, 2022) investigates the Oddness of submarine weightlessness and technology-body relationship, reproducing and altering the visual effects of earliest underwater photography from the 1890s.

Since my first important project (“Photography, space artefacts, and the ethnographic self”, 2020), which relied on photographs shot during my fieldwork of PhD in sociology, I have a particular interest in exploring articulations between image and text. I now pursue this practice articulating text and image by learning how to use glass separation and risography, to further use these on argentic film reel (underwater film).

All my audiovisual works draw in my ecofeminist and anticolonialist long-time engagements. They are structured and inspired by my analyses and reflections about representations, imaginaries and scientific utilizations of underwater and space environments inherited from a colonial relationship to territories, Otherness and resources. As part of a social history of how extreme environment aesthetics have been shaped through time and space by sensibilities and rationalities of Western modernity, I explore how experiencing these environments remains intimately related to the domestication of species and bodies. My professional diver training and technical diving experience allow me to develop underwater projects that would otherwise be unreachable, while innovating with underwater imagery technologies.

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