Artist Jonathan Sims.

Installation        Painting        Print       Curation
About/CV        Contact        Instagram        Store
A Conjuration (2016)

Digital projection, wood.
10x6x16 feet
San Antonio, TX

A Conjuration was presented on a single night in February of 2016 at the Luminaria Arts Festival in San Antonio, Texas. It was composed of two ancient symbols of spirituality and devotion: the mandala, a two dimension radial device used for meditation and spiritual focus, and three standing menhirs, obscure and primitive structures which are thought to have served as monuments to divinity or the supernatural. These components are bathed in projection mapped animations that feature my abstract imagery and asemic glyphs. The total effect of the piece was to experience a “conjuring” of some kind, though it is up to the viewer and audience to determine what, if anything, is being accomplished by the interaction of these images.

The digital projections are references to the written language in every civilization. They lack meaning themselves because they serve as a proxy for language without the associations inherent in those languages. They are also abstract compositions in their own right. By using bright, contemporary colors and stark geometric shapes, I can cultivate a sense of futurism. And in arranging the installation in a way that evokes worship, or a séance, or another type of adulation, it heightens the sense of grandeur and purpose. By combining the ancient with the futuristic, I can conjure a sense of a distant removal of time, either into the distant past or a faraway future, both of which are equally alien to humanity in the year 2016.

In a decision that either expands the piece or damages the sense of austere presence, I wanted to engage my audience in a way that would encourage interactivity and play. Viewers were encouraged to become a part of the lights projected onto the menhirs, and with digital camera it makes it very easy to see yourself as part of the design itself. If I expect the viewers to engage with the piece and bring their own meaning and purpose to it, then why not also ask them to become a part of the tableaux?