An Unsteady Portal (2019-20)

What initially inspired this research was a preoccupation with the social practice of manipulating the human body in order for it to function in a desired manner. I chose to focus on the power of pharmaceuticals and their ability to permeate daily life in a way that not only reshapes the body and mind, but also dictates a global bio-economy, and informs greater built environments. What are the spaces created by drugs and for drugs?  Through this research, I choose to analyze pharmaceuticals not as individual objects, but as series of spaces that incrementally enter the body. The drug is not just a pill, it is a long chain of mutations each inevitably shaping the next.

By specifically focusing on the popular anti-anxiety drug, Xanax, this work became a highly personal journey in understanding not only its biological effects on the brain at the molecular level, but also identifying and analyzing the spaces it occupies as form, a substance, or an idea. Through several different medium (3D modeling, drawing, animation, and sound design)  I re-construct a memory of this drug as a series of seven“scopic” portals.

The Medicine Cabinet Animation

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technical animation by
Rick van Wijk 

sound design and production by
Robert Kroos


all images are copyright of Katryna Marija Čiurlionis 2020