Debra Fear

Debra Fear

Artist, Film-maker

My practice inflects experimental fine-art moving image and sound with poetic sensibilities and sci-fi vibes. I tend to film opportunistically, so that the footage I acquire necessarily embodies its flaws. I have come up with the term arte difettoso, which I consider a bastard offspring of arte povera in its reference to poor quality materials. The footage is then subject to reframing to produce immersive audio-visual installations. This process is at once literary and scientific, with observation and invention informing one another. Observation becomes poetic inquiry, a means of seeing potential, while invention is informed by philosophical research and material interrogation. The intention is that any verbal representation of a work would necessarily acknowledge this multiplicity and avoid simple description of image and effect.

Film cognition theory, technological advances and philosophic discussions of the digital context are vital to my practice, since they affect and express collective and individual understandings of moving digital imagery in the gallery and out in the world.

My ever-increasing archive facilitates re-appropriation internally; audio is subject to frequent reconstitution into different works. I refer to these remixes as ‘circuits’, which can be considered analogous to echoes within experiences of time and memory. They are sculpted to absorb the viewer in subjective and intuitive experiences of duration, as qualified by Henri Bergson’s concept of durée.

The works are highly structured, edited compositions with layered timelines that challenge limits of reality, in that their hyper-realistic appearance might be fabricated through entirely fictitious means. In this way they are obviously a digital form of painting, albeit extending out of avant-garde film history and using cinematic archetypes.  Films, for me, are not only philosophic, cognitive instruments, but should incorporate aesthetic enjoyment; an absence of traditional characters or plot necessitates a different sort of absorption and identification.

My current research resides in the arte difettoso misunderstanding of quantum physics with particular regard to concepts like time’s quanta ‘chronons’, Euclidean space etc which I investigate aural-visually in my studio practice, often also manifests within a creative writing context.

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Location London
Activities Practice-based research, Residencies, Private commissions, Creative writing, Film-making
Artforms / type of project Digital, Drawing, Film & Video, Painting, Sound
Tags film, Jungian archtypes, quantum entanglement, moving image, experimental film, fine art moving image, arte difettoso, digital video