1995, Early digital print series exploring alchemical processes.
by Prema Murthy, Digital print, 52" x 32"
by Prema Murthy, Digital print, 64" x 32"
1995, Print series exploring CAD programs used for architectural models and female bodies.
Prema Murthy, 48" x 60", Digital Print
1996, Logical Fiction
Prema Murthy, 48" x 60", Digital Print
1996, Morphous Resonance
Prema Murthy, 64" x 156", Digital print
It is recorded that in 200 BC, a Greek physician Galen relieved pain from many illnesses by applying natural magnets to the body. One such magnet was a living torpedo fish. When placed on the body, its tail would emit electromagnetic fields to promote healing.
In the 19th century, a French physician Anton Mesmer, placed magnets on the body to promote healing. From his treatment came the terms " animal magnetism" and "mesmerism". He was called a charlatan and driven from Paris. Today, his dissertation on magnetic healing is the foundation for bio-magnetic healing in our modern world.
This performance was a modern ritual in healing. As live fish were placed on the body, the ritual could be observed by the audience on 2 levels - as live performance and as video projection onto the surrounding walls of the environment.
Performed at Pseudo, 1996. Prints shown in Seaming at Here Gallery, 1996.
Prema Murthy, 45" x 60", Digital Print
Prema Murthy, 45" x 60", Digital Print
Descending a Staircase Nude
1997, Descending a Staircase Nude was a live performance with video and sound for the Timebomb show curated by Janene Higgins and musician Elliott Sharpe at the Clocktower Gallery, NY. In collaboration with Janene Higgins - live video mix and Brad Kahlhammer - guitar.
rDNA imagined is a metaphorical interpretation of the current experimentation in biotechnology to duplicate the human genome through a compilation of newly deciphered DNA sequences from laboratories all over the world. Often, different laboratories will be studying the same gene; yet not precisely the same, because of the slight genetic variation between the individuals sampled.
This data is sent by modem to receptacles for this type of information such as the Human Genome project's Genbank Web site. When the task is complete (estimated to be sometime between 2001 and 2005) the final sequence will be created through a recompilation of fragments of multiple versions of the same sequences, creating a composite or recombinant organism.
In the performance/installation rDNA(imagined) a biomorphic, imaginary form is created from a recombination of human DNA and experimental broadcasting technologies.
In collaboration with Artnet Web, MIT List Visual Arts Center and Pseudo Online Network.
1997-2000, Fakeshop was an art/performance warehouse space located at 90 N 11th Street in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and an art group consisting of Jeff Gompertz, Prema Murthy, and Eugene Thacker. Performance Installations incorporating CuSeeme technology, live video mixes and sound were created at the space and broadcast live every weekend for 3 years. Frequent collaborators included Ricardo Dominguez, Diane Ludin and Bruno Ricard. One of several performances entitled Multiple Dwelling premiered at the space and at the Ars Electronica Festival in Linz, Austria in 1999. Another performance entitled, HUHB (the Human Use of Human Beings) was part of the Whitney Biennial in NY in 2000.
"By combining new media with performance and the material arts, I intend to demonstrate and comment on the increasing hybridity of our everyday lives." -Prema Murthy
Bindigirl is a web project that questions our growing relationship with distance and tele-erotics, tourism and intimacy. It is based on what the artist calls, Bindi, her "avatar" in screenal space. Bindi is a construct of fe/male desire, created out of what is deemed "exotic" and "erotic". Bindigirl draws parallels between technology and religion and questions these as a means for transcendence and the creation of a utopian space.
2002, Mythic Hybrid by Prema Murthy. Funded in part by Creative Capital and Turbulance.org
Mythic Hybrid is a "search engine" inspired by my interest in women working in microelectronics factories. Upon my research, I came across reports of collective hallucination and mass hysteria occurring among women factory workers.
In 2001, I traveled to India to continue my research and investigate these reports. What I found along the way was contrary to expectations - a group of sane, rational women with identities constructed by a set of complex social and psychological factors.
This project uses the term "mythic hybrid" in a critical way. It was coined by Donna Haraway over 10 years ago in her "Cyborg Manifesto," to invoke an imagination of fictions and feminisms that dreams "not of a common language, but of a powerful infidel heteroglossia." Since then, how far has cyberfeminism taken us?"
Created for the Bronx Council for the Arts - Digital Matrix Commission, to explore the theme of “mapping” as it relates to survival, resistance, and gentrification. How do artists respond to it? How do these issues affect community? How can the internet or web-based technology be used to address these concerns?
Demographia was an animation created using numerical data gathered from demographics of the South Bronx over a 20 year period. The numbers were mapped onto digital bodies and served as a sculpting tool to form and reform the bodies over time.
Exhibited at the Longwood Arts Gallery, South Bronx, NY.
2004 by Prema Murthy.
E.RASE is a project about how race and ethnicity are represented through the lens of online marketing. Do bodies and data have an effect on each other? Is difference erased when it becomes data or can it still somehow rupture through?
Online consumer behavior of various ethnic markets was tracked over a 6-week period. Bodies were mapped by assigning numerical values from the consumer data to various points on a body. Over time, the bodies were animated using 3D modeling software. They formed and deformed according to the fluctuations in the statistical data.
Created for "Only Skin Deep: Changing Visions of the American Self" at the International Center for Photography, NY and Seattle Art Musuem. Curated by Brian Wallis and Coco Fusco.
September 17 - October 22, 2005
Saltworks Gallery, Atlanta, GA
"In deStructures (2005), she (Murthy) challenges modernity in its rationality, creating a vision of movement through the use of statistical data. She synthesizes numerical data, animation, computer technology and the human figure into an interplay of organic shapes that move in snapping motions and continuously collapse into one another to shape new forms. The rationality and logic of a world that can be calculated and measured are rendered volatile, becoming instead mobile and unpredictable forms. In this way, Numerical value is suspended within the artwork. At the same time, Murthy also challenges minimalist aesthetics. The primary forms of minimalism are the fundamental structure on the surface, such as the angular shapes of squares, triangles and rectangles, but they are out of control. Here, like with TILT, we find a reference to something that is or should be in order but which is actually not. With this tension, Murthy successfully challenges minimalist aesthetics and the emphasis on the organized, the coherent within modernity."
2008 by Prema Murthy Handpainted prints and installation. Murthy’s work explores the grids that bridge the natural and man-made worlds, reflecting the nature of dynamic systems and their changing forms.
"Organizing Energy" essay by Reena Jana
"Prema Murthy's installation "Fuzzy Logic" combines digital technology with a handicraft aesthetic to explore the possibilities of placing lines in space. Black yarn knotted at intervals delineates a multi-faceted crystalline structure that is accompanied by black-and-white digital drawings depicting similar angular forms. All of the drawings contain a fragment of a larger network of lines that could continue ad infinitum. Although seemingly inflected by the artist's hand, the drawings are produced with the aid of several software programs. With references ranging the infinite space of undiscovered galaxies to the unplumbed depths of the psychic landscape, her installation probes some of the myriad possibilities presented by merging of technology and tradition." Eugenie Tsai, Head Curator at PS1
"The title of the exhibition, "Breaking the Grid", is a play on the use of the “grid” in 3D modeling graphics programs as well as its use in Modernist art as a stylistic device to perpetuate the idea of the monolithic and monumental. Murthy's interest is in the poetic and political potential that can rupture through when the “grid” is broken down. For this exhibition, Murthy continues her exploration of placing lines in space to create deconstructed grids. On the surface, a line may seem like a very simple form and idea. But below it, is a myriad of metaphors that a line may evoke – boundaries mapped, landscapes measured, in both geo-political and psychic terms as well.
The site-specific installation, Breaking he Grid (Tarnac 9), consists of black yarn knotted at intervals that portray densely, overlaid netlike webs and geometric shapes painted on the walls that depict perspective drawings of topographic maps or schematic drawings of the cosmos. Black and white paintings and color digital prints reflect similar angular forms and lines that mirror the structure of the installation.
Along with her interest in line, Murthy also draws from science fiction narratives and their utopic/dystopic ways of describing worlds that reflect our own. In the video Monster, lines are mapped with demographic data to create a living organism. The song in the video, entitled King of Monsters and performed by Japanese musician Miho Hatori, expresses how a sense of new hope and optimism can be generated out of something as destructive and monstrous as the Atomic bomb."
"Breaking the Grid" Press release, Saltworks Gallery
2011, exhibited at Micaela Projects, San Francisco
Prema Murthy introduces the Merkaba, known as the star tetrahedron, a portal into higher dimensions. Comprised of video, drawings and an installation, Murthy's work is an extension of the artist's ongoing exploration into the ever-shifting boundaries of embodiment, cognition and Mind. She references math and science to locate and map our interconnections to the universe on physical and spiritual planes.
digital video by Prema Murthy
Yarn drawings by Prema Murthy
New Optimism w/ Miho Hatori
A series of videos created in collaboration with singer Miho Hatori of Ciba Matto.
Glasslands Gallery, Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
Coco 66, Greenpoint, Brooklyn.
The Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA.
A Winter Solstice Art Installation & Performance by Prema Murthy. Hosted by Lauran Rothstein and Molly Klais, as part of the TEAMWORK exhibition curated by Eva Schmidt at the Allan Nederpelt Gallery in Greenpoint, Brooklyn
The Winter Solstice Art Installation & Performance is inspired by a pagan ritual known as the Silent Supper. It is performed during the winter solstice when the seasons transition from the bountiful harvest to the dead of winter. The ritual honors the cycle of life, death and rebirth, and pays homage to ancestors who have passed on to the other realm. Each of the elements on the supper table represents a different aspect of the cycle – honey (the sweetness of life), bread (the mortality of the body), and salt (rebirth from the earth goddess).