Clusterf#ck Documentation 2015 Shannon Willis from Shannon Willis

Clusterf#ck is a four channel video and sculpture site specific installation. Started in 2015 Clusterf#ck has been installed at the Red Barn Project Space at UCSB and at Orange County Center for Contemporary Art. Both iterations responded to the space as the work is created onsite.

My work explores how touch and intimacy can withstand distance as I long for sensuality and feel its absence in our mediated existence. Four channel video and sculpture installation, Clusterf#ck comments on the lure of the smartphone. It is the way most of us try and connect with others who are absent. Does that take away from our actual experience of the world around us? Videos were all recorded with a smartphone, the largest video is a closeup view of a woman underwater as she tries to push through the clear boundary while the reflection of a smart phone is visible in the video. Longing for a physical connection and trying to break the invisible barrier created out of distance. Multiple refractions fill the space and try in vain to create a tangible connection. Throughout the space are smaller projections commenting on isolated existence one of loneliness, longing, and disconnection.
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Sexnology 2.0 Shannon Willis 2014

Sexnology 2.0

Sexnology 2.0 Shannon Willis 2014
Sexnology 2.0 is a viewer responsive light object. It is a tactile ambiguously sensual interface between technology and humanity. Made using a micro controller, touch sensors, LED lights, and silicone, this new entity asks the viewer to participate by changing color in a secret and mysterious way. Activated by touch, it glows when caressed by those around it. Deep holes in the organic structure contain moist polymer water beads adding another tactile and titillating sensation. The piece explores the tension between technology and human sexuality in intimate relationships. From cyber sex to connecting to lost love via Facebook, our society is creating a new means of interacting sexually and sensuality. These new interactions do not necessarily involve a personal one on one touch. Sexnology 2.0 poses the question what does technology want out of these interaction? Can something technological desire?

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Sexnology 2.0 was a part of the _____Loves Me, _____ Love Me Not Show at PLace Gallery, Portland Oregon.


See While Seen, Touch While Touched

See While Seen, Touch While Touched, 2013 Shannon Willis
A tactile responsive environment
Containing 5 channel interactive video projection, two viewer responsive sculptures, and a responsive architectural intervention. On view at Pacific Northwest College of Art BFA Gallery December 4 2013- January 22,2014.

See While Seen,Touch While Touched, a tactile responsive immersive environment from Shannon Willis on Vimeo.

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I am interested in the potential exchange between philosophy, science and spirituality. Philosophy plays a big role in the thoughts behind my work, especially Phenomenology. After reading Phenomenology of Perception, by Maurice Merleau-Ponty, I began to think about existence and perception as one in the same. Perceptions are the key to experience as well as existence. Instead of separating out the senses, dividing brain from body, Merleau- Ponty’s ideas are that perceived and perciever are one. I am also inspired by Martin Heidegger’s ideas about the work of art and how art can open up a new world to transcend the thingness of an object.I want my viewers to be able to physically enter this new world I have created for them.
Using these ideas as inspiration, I created my recent thesis work, See While Seen, Touch While Touched, which I considered a situational environment. It melded environment, experience, event, and representation within one durational space. Contained within the gallery was a five channel video projection washing the walls in continually changing color. The video was a live feed originating from inside a translucent silicone form containing lights and sensors that responded to the touch of participants. The skin-like silicone covering was an organic form, almost grotesque in shape, with udder like protrusions and genital-like crevices. As strange the form was, when lit from the inside, it took on an other-worldly beauty. Another silicone sculpture in the room contained lights and light sensors, which acted as its “eyes”: changing color in response to viewers’ movements. Also contained within the space was an architectural intervention covering a large window with a semi- translucent resin with a skin-like texture. Housed within this window was a sound activated light. Participants affected the projections through a Kinect infrared sensor that translated the movement of viewers in the room to a white, time-slowed shadow added onto the projections. While the sculptures and interventions were viewer responsive, all the elements worked together as a whole to produce an interactive experience. The work influenced the behavior of the participants once they realized that they were effecting the visuals of the environment around them.


Connectivity Lost

“Connectivity Lost” is a Viewer Responsive Installation consisting of two sculptures and a video projection. A default mac screen saver is being projected through the slowly turning clear female torso, the image on the walls, scrims, and viewers is being effected by the three dimensional form. The slowly rotating acetate torso creates light refractions that flow around the room, covering not only the walls but the participants in the light. Viewers can effect the color the light emanating of the cube sculpture by touching the soft silicone, the more interaction from viewers the deeper the color change. Immersed in a culture of the cult of technology, this piece asks the question is there room left for contemplating the unknowable. Technology is changing the way in which we interact with one another. By inhabiting personal immersive environments created by smartphones, and the Internet, we are entertained and lulled into a false sense of security and intimacy. The slowly rotating torso is deformed yet ambiguously erotic it is caught between the reality of the physical world, and perceptive illusion. The transparent form interacts with the projected image causing an effect that questions our perceptions. The walls and viewers are awash in rotating refractions creating a link between the physical reality of the flesh and our increasing intimate relationship with technology. This piece questions the relationship between the illusion of the corporeal body and the transcendent quality of the mind at a time when our concept of what is real is changing. If like Bataille theories that religion is the quest for lost intimacy, has technology become the new religion?connectivitylost3_box1