Monday November 11, 7pm
Stasis and Spasm
Videos by Ellie Irons
w/ Dan Phiffer
admission $6 – artists in person

Still from Speculative Aboriculture (Ellie Irons, 2011-12) © courtesy of the artist

Microscope Gallery welcomes Bushwick-based artist Ellie Irons for a screening of recent short videos and the Brooklyn debut of Flight Lines, a collaboration by Irons and Dan Phiffer. In these works, Irons focuses on moments of stasis and spasm to contemplate the way human activities are shifting and reshaping the environment. Her camera is employed for close and sustained looking at subjects and settings that are easily ignored and often invisible, such as the earth, the atmosphere, cycles of erosion and accretion, and our own hyper-local ecosystems. Several of the works involve microscopy and macro photography. The video pieces will be punctuated by brief spoken texts drawn from and in response to theorists, philosophers and ecologists, ranging from Rachel Carson to Timothy Morton.

Irons has previously screened at Microscope’s Holy Bos! 2012 and Now What in January this year.

ELLIE IRONS is an interdisciplinary artist living and working in New York exploring the interplay of humanity and ecology through drawings, environmental sculpture and new media. Recent exhibitions and projects include Neversink Transmissions, and public project with Daniel Phiffer, group shows at Smack Mellon, Wave Hill’s Glyndor Gallery, The Bronx Museum’s AIM Biennial and a solo show at the Queens Botanical Garden. Recent residencies include the Institute for Electronic Arts at Alfred University, the SVA Nature and Technology Lab and a Signal Fire Outpost Residency. Irons is a member of the Bushwick-based collaborative Future Archaeology. She studied Environmental Science and Art as an undergraduate in California and received an MFA from Hunter College in 2009.

DAN PHIFFER is a new media hacker and artist from California, currently working often with cheap DIY computer networks. In addition to collaborating on Flight Lines, he’s been developing a pirate wifi kit called Phiffer has exhibited his work at Ars Electronica, Transmediale, MoMA, SFMOMA and PS 1 and received commissions from Rhizome, Triple Canopy and Phiffer atteneded NYU’s ITP graduate program. He is a member of the Bushwick-based collaborative Future Archaeology


Urban Soil Horizon
Elle Irons, HD video, color, sound, 5 min, 2011-2013
Documenting the existence of dirt in a world of concrete and asphalt, Urban Soil Horizon contrasts the age old cycles of erosion and accretion with the rhythms of a contemporary, human-driven ecosystem.

Speculative Aboriculture
Ellie Irons, HD video, color, sound, 6.5 min, 2011-12
Speculative Aboriculture explores a conception of ecology that encompasses human activity, erasing the artificial borders between humans and habitat. The video stems from my fascination with the growing field of synthetic biology. It weaves together footage of a highly contrived sculptural form built from storm-downed branches, found wires and living moss with shots taken in a small suburban forest in Long Island. The minute details of this hybrid environment are accompanied by a shifting soundscape of traffic, electricity and forest life.

Ellie Irons, HD video, color, sound, 3.5 min, 2012
Phytoplastic tracks the deterioration of a microscopic aquatic ecosystem through physical and chemical pollution. A small puddle of water containing a healthy community of algae and other phytoplankton grown from a sample of Hudson River water are subject to a barrage of pollutants, from plastic particles to bleach, silt and dish soap, creating a succinct portrait of ecosystem collapse. The footage for this piece was shot through a Motic Compound Microscope at the SVA Nature and Technology Lab. Sound was recorded along the Hudson River piers and at Echo Lake in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. 

Invasive Pigments
Ellie Irons, HD video, color, sound, 4 min, 2013
Exploring the methodology associated with my ongoing Invasive Pigments project, this video focuses in on two spontaneous urban plants that provide an unexpected source of color in Bushwick’s concrete-laden landscape. Chronicling the process from pigment foraging to painting, this piece portends a new approach to the much maligned weeds that share our urban landscape.

Handiwork (Environments 1-3)
Ellie Irons, HD video, color, sound, 5 minutes, 2013
Envisioning the weight of humanity on organic structures large and small, this series of short vignettes delves into the microscopic landscape as a mechanism for contemplating ecological cycles, changes of state, erosion, accretion, stasis and spasm. We are living in the age of the Anthropocene, and human participation in these ancient systems encapsulates the overwhelming interplay between our species and all other matter.

Flight Lines
Ellie Irons and Dan Phiffer, multi channel HD video, 20 minutes, 2012-13
Flight Lines, an ongoing video project, monitors our skies as they become home not just to birds and planes but to satellites and drones. It is an effort to document the skies as they are today, with the knowledge that they are rapidly evolving and have different characteristics in disparate locations.  

TRT: approx 45 minutes

Still from Handiwork (Environments 1-3) (Ellie Irons, 2013) © courtesy of the artist

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