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Andy Graydon, Monster Manual

LMAKprojects (Williamsburg)
60 North 6th Street, 718-599-0089
June 30 - August 4, 2006
Reception: Friday, June 30, 7 - 9 PM
Web Site

Monster Manual is a sound and video installation by Andy Graydon. The work explores ideas of human transformation and the role of metamorphosis in our shared cultural images of embodiment.

Four video-channels are projected in a vertical column, partially overlapping, to form a narrow image of human scale. Each video represents a `Monster’, culled from a bestiary of cinema creatures and corresponding to a transformation of the human form. The piece consists entirely of the image and sound from the moments in a film where the monster reveals itself to us.

The top frame shows creatures of the head and the brain, including parasites and invasive creatures entering the ears and mouth, but also transformations by psychic and telekinetic forces. The frame below demonstrates full body transformations, mainly bodily devolutions, reverting to an earlier or primal physical state. The third frame, birth, shows moments when a new creature emerges from its host body, often based on the physiology or DNA of the host. The bottom frame, called vessel, is the most conceptual of the monsters. It shows moments in which the creature is latent or suggested within two specific types of shots: images of empty hallways, and shots of arms receiving injections into their veins.

Sound is live-processed using an evolving series of Max/MSP patches, so although the video is being played in a loop, no two viewings of the piece will be identical as the soundtrack mutates in real time.

With Monster Manual Andy Graydon addresses several topics: examining the transformational nature of digital technologies in the sound and media arts; the way that traumas and ruptures characterize the nature of change in many digital media techniques as well as in new scientific and medical ideas of human corporeality; and the mutable border between natural selfhood and technological metamorphosis, evidenced by certain modern modes of being: tele-presence, plastic surgery, artificial insemination, and electronic implants.
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