Marne Lucas aka CuntemporaryArtist is an infrared video pioneer in using heat-sensitive imaging technology, often associated with military, aerial or border surveillance. Her groundbreaking black & white infrared video work began in collaboration with Jacob Pander as they depicted the literal heat of sexual union firsthand in the cult short film ‘The Operation’ (1995), and later a live hospital birth in ‘Incident Energy’ (2013-17). Her new solo short film ‘Haute Flash’ (2017) views the hormonal changes of menopause as transformation of energy into a new power. The use of military-grade infrared imaging gear (surveillance cameras and rifle scopes) is the means of digital image capture, but is also the surreal aesthetic itself; illustrating actual rapid heating & cooling temperature changes in people and objects. Unseen by the human eye; heat appears white and cold turns black, in real time with no special effects; objects, landscapes and people have seemingly “negative film” qualities, possessing glowing transparency while maintaining surface reflections.
‘Incident Energy’ is a 3-channel, b&w infrared video (Lucas & Pander) that transports the viewer into an ‘otherworld’ space, by framing the human body within the intersection of art and science. Subtle questions are posed about how the advancement of surveillance culture continues to change human interaction in practical, creative and philosophical ways. The eerie beauty of heat signatures occurring around/within us, while questioning invasive surveillance culture, and our covert acceptance of the electronic villain into our lives.
Lucas makes digital collage photography and ceramic tiles using infrared video stills to explore philosophical issues about life, death and afterlife. ‘As Above, So Below’ was made in response to the lack of gun control and recent rash of citizen mass shootings. The Haute Flash series of vitreous porcelain tiles with photo decals (11 x 14 x .50”) depict imagery from the video, made at an Arts/Industry Pottery factory residency at Kohler Co.