(non) Binary Images - in multiple portfolios and shows
These double sided archival inkjet prints simulate the effect of color from one side of the page bleeding through to the other. Neither side exists independently of the other. Hung at head height, viewers stand opposite one another while reading. The content of pieces underscores the historical precedent for the current political climate, appropriating comics from the 1940s to 1980s and constructing associative, non-linear narrative. In his masterpiece Understanding Comics, Scott McCloud talks about the role of the reader as accomplice in graphic narrative. By connecting the disparate narrative elements into a cohesive whole, the reader becomes complicit in the structures the work makes evident. He calls this process closure, while I prefer to think of it as a beginning. The work aims to situate you in the recurring systems of oppression, rather than preserving your neutrality. 

 
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complicit. - Grunwald Gallery April 20th - April 30th 2016
The culmination of my studies at Indiana University, this show featured interactive elements ranging from books that stained one's hands, hanging works that force viewers to regard one another, a central table for discussion, and buttons controlling a projected cover whose content changes to reflect the sum of the interactions within the space. See other areas across this site to review individual works and learn about them in greater detail or scroll through to enjoy installation shots. Code and circuits by Jaimen King, web developer and dear friend. Click the link below to read the full thesis paper.

 
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IF ONLY: Yearning and the Collective Unconscious - Fuller Projects Gallery 2016
A collaboration between Molly Fox and myself, If Only investigated the problematic allure of comfort through the metaphor of sleep and (American) dream. Author Ta-Nehisi Coates has written about white Americans as "Dreamers," intoxicated and blinded by the narrative of our own possibility. What is lost and what is gained by different kinds of comfort?
Viewers were given a prompt on entering the gallery, then moved in groups through various stages. First, they paired up and tried on sleep masks emblazoned with various phrases of longing. They proceeded into private enclosures and attempted to comfort themselves using stiff, synthetic blankets, tried the same in more public settings, and finally joined Molly for a quilting bee. The communal act of quilting serves as a kind of opposite to the insular and private kind of comfort, serving to encourage communication, discourse, and shared experience. Playing against the upper wall of the quilting room was a marathon of Leave it to Beaver episodes, suggesting the duality of quilting as a proto-feminist space of companionship with its hegemonic and gendered connotations.

 
Fuller Chicken
Service
Food prep
Myself as head waiter
Appetizer
Dining
Dining
Switch!
Directions for the new crew
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Carrie with Kitchen staff
Raph in the kitchen
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FULLER CHICKEN: A Relational Dining Experience Exploring Power Dynamics Through Chicken
A collaboration between Carrie Mae Smith and myself, this exhibition featured 12 invited guests who were broken into two separate groups: servers and diners. Carrie and I made sure the servers served and the diners were happy. Gallery viewers were invited to observe the process of food preparation as well as dining. Eventually, the unsuspecting participants were asked to switch positions; servers became served and vice a versa. FULLER CHICKEN became a site for people to act out various roles, from enforcement of unfair paradigms to the subversion of the exhibition itself.

 

FIRE, artist book (oak, laser-engraved plexiglass, carbon black coated vellum, laser engraved vellum, digital print, magnets), 2016.

FIRE explores the effects of drought and subsequent flooding on California's coast, especially with regard to prison labor in fire-fighting. FIRE began as a series of documentary photographs taken in the summer of 2015 during my research in California. The photos were collaged into appropriated comic material, and then sandwiched between laser-engraved sheets of vellum detailing the various fires and depicting native plants with some resistance to fire. The fragile vellum pages are themselves sandwiched between carbon black coated vellum signatures, providing a feeble and unstable protection for the problematic California we nonetheless strive to protect; notions of 'our' 'ownership' over land are questioned even as 'our' responsibility is highlighted. Video documentation is upcoming, but for now, please browse through a few of the collages.

 
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Getting There. Drawing with projection. 24 " x 60", 2015.

A Perfect Crime Mystery, letterpress, four-color risograph printing, iron oxide transfer, lamination,  tape bind, plain envelope, 14.5” x 9”, 2015.  Edition of 40.

 

Made in response to the increased attention on ever-present police violence against minorities, A Perfect Crime Mystery implicates you in these cycles of discrimination and violence. The red iron oxide builds up finger prints all over the book, giving it its own history. The more the book and its envelope are touched, the more dusty and finger-printed they will become. If someone really doesn’t like this, they’re welcome to rub the prints off of the pages...

Maybe a Couple Nights a Week (Test Installation). Silkscreen on newsprint, video, Raspberry Pi, ultrasonic sensors. Printed, filmed, and concieved by Raphael Cornford in collaboration with Jaimen King, programmer and software designer. This test installation explores ideas of separation, desire, and simulation in this immerisive, interactive work. The sensor array reads viewer position and fades a slow motion image of meat when she approaches. This work pushes print/projection even further into uncharted and intriguing territory.

Gallery Installation

Gallery Installation

Though the effect is hard to capture, the projected video glows in an arresting way against the stark, cartoonish machinery in the prints on the wall.

First approach

First approach

As the unassuming viewer approaches, the video fades away.

Nothing Left

Nothing Left

Until, within a certain threshold, the slowly undulating meat is no longer present.

Stepping Back

Stepping Back

As the viewer moves from the projection area, the video slowly fades back in.

Sideview

Sideview

The work presents an immersive experience.

Sideview 2

Sideview 2

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Hangover. Inkjet print with projection, 24" x 16" , 2014. 
Special thanks to Jaimen King

History. Serigraph with watercolor and projection, 22" x 30",  2014.
Special thanks to Jaimen King.

Waiting. Stop Motion Animation with butcher paper, etching with aquatint, silkscreen, and relief. Video and music by Raphael Cornford, 2014. Special thanks to Jaimen King.

 

© 2016 Raphael Cornford.

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