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Milliefiore Effect
Ralph Borland
Jessica Findley
Margot Jacobs

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artist statement | technical statement | process



artist statement
Millefiore Effect explores the nature of human interaction, investigating and exposing social behavior and communicative codes through their interactive installations and objects. In FRONT, two humans don ceremonial conflict-suits which inflate in response to their shouts and growls. The victim and the aggressor experience a distortion of body that affects both themselves and the other simultaneously. A dialogue is established. Internal conflicts become external via body transmutation.

Both aggressive and defensive inflation systems work to distort and manipulate the body of the wearer; armpit sacs push the arms up away from the body; neck sacs push the head up and obscure vision. The suits are not just an expression of the wearer's actions, but also action upon them, so the suits read as both a ceremonial expression of conflict, and as a physical manifestation of the consequences of rage, aggression and submission.

When the suits have been publicly exhibited, they have elicited a very active response from the wearer. They create a space in which people perform playful aggression and domination/submission actions. The suits make emotion, intent and response visible through the more overt, corporeal mechanisms that some creatures have retained, and the human body has largely lost. It draws attention and makes analogies to what physical expression humans have left; shouting, gesturing, cowering and blushing.