My Body is a Cage by Bea Frank

COURSE: Dance 341: Sound Design for the Visual and Performing Arts

MEDIUM: Audio / Digital Collage / Photography & Prints

This piece is an audiovisual experience exploring the capabilities that photography and sound have to produce significant emotional responses. My project presents still frames that work as part of larger cinematic moments, compelling the viewer to sense intense feeling without any explicit mention of such, aided by a sound piece for full immersion. I wanted to present the essences of certain emotions without having to specifically define them through abstraction, color, and and motion. The work includes 20 photographs, all long exposures, and a 6 minute sound piece.

“My Body is a Cage” is an exploration of dark human emotions and how they can be seen and felt in places that are not simply an explicit manifestation of human expression. This project presents groupings of images that work to convey one of those singular, distinct-yet-hard-to-describe feelings a person experiences. Each image included is a slower exposure, and the series as a whole is comprised of long exposures of artificial lighting at night and fragmented human body parts. These two subjects mirror each other in combinations of color, composition, visual weight, and framing. The photographs in this piece reveal the ways that emotions are manifested just as clearly in abstract and fragmented visuals, hollow light, and specific colors as they are on human faces. These emotions can be felt on empty streets, in the darkness, and through mood-associated colors; they can be felt in each crevice of the human form and in the way parts of the body move–this is why the nighttime long exposures of light are grouped with long exposures of the body. The addition of sound to this work is included in order to create an audiovisual experience. Once again, these feelings are captured in fragmented pieces and sporadic moments; the stories told by these instances of sound are as unnervingly unclear as they are rife with emotion. The photographs, when placed with the sound piece, serve as cinematic frames, each pulled from their own intense storylines that are simultaneously both alienating and familiar.