figments is an online gathering of exchanges with pictures.
Artists and writers partake in interactions with family photographs
and enigmatic heirlooms, recollections of artworks and images from
memory, and meetings with other-than-human elements in a series of
spoken word pieces and sound journeys.
The series arose during the extended periods of isolation brought
on by the pandemic. Many people were spending time with material and
immaterial things from their past. I had frequent conversations
about returning to old photographs, finding solace in household
objects, and re-entering memories of people and places elsewhere.
The encounters seem to be a way to escape from and at times make
sense of unresolved histories and current uncertainties. Stirred by
the possibilities present in pictures, figments was conceived
as an online space to intimately listen and respond to their
Each work attempts to make contact with a visual entity of personal
significance. To listen to it, speak with it, project fears and
desires onto it, narrate it. This process of mediation conjures up
strings of thoughts, memories, and associations with other images,
sensations, people, and places. The resulting stories are both real
and imaginary, unfolding within and beyond the ‘picture
The series reflects on the affective potential of certain images
and objects to strike, possess, and linger with their beholder. They
may embody echoes of the past or possible futures, convey emotions
and meanings that exceed their material presence, or stand-in for
the forgotten, the unknowable, or the unspeakable.
figments opens listeners to subjective, bodily, and erratic
reactions that often fall beyond rational interpretation. It offers
differing ways of conversing with visual entities, capturing their
capacity to be both static and animate, tangible and illusory.
Presented works have been crafted specially for this project. They
stem from an initial invitation to contributors to have a
conversation with a picture that somehow speaks to them. Taken both
literally and as forms of ekphrasis, the assembled discussions,
poems, short fiction, and soundscapes activate the figmented powers
and possibilities of images.
figments is conceived by Alice-Anne Psaltis with design by
Arturo Guzmán Pérez
contributions by Amaal Said | Gina DeCagna | Hannah Wroe |
Isabella Baker | Malachy Harvey | Monika Tobel | Teal
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