Blending modern digital manipulations with the playful act of creating snow angels, Ice Angel encapsulates the idea of the shared performance and allows the viewer to assume the role of both performer and portrait subject when interacting with the artwork.
As the viewer steps atop the raised platform and moves his or her arms, an oversized set of wings unfurls from the shoulders, moving and displacing virtual snow. The wings are created dynamically, with each bespoke set being specific to the participant. The artwork has a ‘memory’, capturing a hidden view of the individual and their angel wings; each angel identity remains linked to its participant for any future encounters with the work. Ice Angel was updated in 2015 with the introduction of interactive sound generated by the movement of the participant and their resulting ethereal wings.
"Harris has explored the ideas of resolution, performance and interactivity since the start of his art practice. Ice Angel (2012, 2015) comprises a gridded matrix of pixelated low-resolution lights that are fragmented and hazy. Lights that are temporarily imprinted on the backdrop disappear like snowflakes melting on the ground. Crucially, in this piece, the formation of the self is constructed through the perception of others. Harris’s artwork lets the participant physically embody the form of an angel but does not allow them to see themselves in the act. The experience has been designed with a ‘memory’, so that the characteristics of each set of wings are specific to the individual, thus solidifying the feeling of distinctive embodiment. As a child, the making of snow angels is rarely done for solitary reasons: the shadow left in the snow becomes a marker for others to witness the act of creation. A fundamental part of this expression is the requirement that others see it. As the eighteenth-century philosopher George Berkeley famously stated: esse est percipi (to be is to be perceived)."
Extract from essay by Sunny Cheung
Edition of 8 + 2 Artist Proofs + 2 Museum Proofs
Code, electronics, 3D sensor, computer, arcylic, metal
Generative thematic sounds produced in collaboration with Kristian Gillroy and Dougal Drummond of Cinimod Studio
Dimensions in MM:
2750 (W) x 2750 (H) x 100 (D) mm
Dimensions in INCHES:
108.2 (W) x 108.2 (H) x 3.9 (D) inches