Heather Phillipson
(British, b. 1978)

STATUS EPILEPTICUS, 2018
Website
Commissioned by the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago

  • Six lines of white computer text appear over a black-and-white image of a digitally rendered bonfire creating billowing white smoke.
  • Eleven lines of white computer text appear over an image of a blue starburst or lens flare against a black background.
  • A large image of a naked mole rat appears over many smaller tessellated images of different naked mole rats.
  • A digitally rendered image of a piece of sandwich bread appears in front of a smoky black-and-white background. White text in the upper-left corner reads "and we were all, anyway, toast."
Six lines of white computer text appear over a black-and-white image of a digitally rendered bonfire creating billowing white smoke.
Heather Phillipson, screenshot of STATUS EPILEPTICUS, 2018
Eleven lines of white computer text appear over an image of a blue starburst or lens flare against a black background.
Heather Phillipson, screenshot of STATUS EPILEPTICUS, 2018
A large image of a naked mole rat appears over many smaller tessellated images of different naked mole rats.
Heather Phillipson, screenshot of STATUS EPILEPTICUS, 2018
A digitally rendered image of a piece of sandwich bread appears in front of a smoky black-and-white background. White text in the upper-left corner reads "and we were all, anyway, toast."
Heather Phillipson, screenshot of STATUS EPILEPTICUS, 2018

About the work

WARNING: This work contains fast, flashing images.

 
Heather Phillipson’s newly commissioned online work is part web-movie, part unsung opera, and part browser-poem. Referencing a medical condition of prolonged seizures, STATUS EPILEPTICUS allows users to navigate multiple sequence-less, simultaneous, and potentially expendable installments. Working against the typically positive associations of light—as a symbol of knowledge, goodness, and progress—STATUS EPILEPTICUS mixes rhythms of vigilance, distraction, and blackout with nocturnal, burrowing creatures and wilder, resistant thinking.