Aug 19 2011

Artist Jasmin Lim Experiments With Visual Perception


Mobius Wave, by Jasmin Lim

“I think of myself as an artist who experiments with photography,” asserts Jasmin Lim.

She has produced an original and imaginative body of work to support that claim, going back to her days at the experimental Independent School of Art. A graduate of the Visual Arts program at San Francisco State University, Jasmin explores the relationship between the logic of the camera and our own visual perception, raising transhumanist themes of redefining human capacities and human nature through technology. “The camera made me start thinking about what it is we are able to see with our own sensory systems and how perception is mediated and distorted. As well as what our limitations are and what kinds of tools enable us to understand more complex substructures. All of my works question the cognitive processes that we use to conceptualize the world. I focus on visual perception because it takes up at least a quarter of our cognitive processing, about 25 percent of brain real estate. I try to illustrate that perceptions are not fixed.”

Jasmin’s approach is epitomized by her memorable “Mobius Wave”, in which her photograph of the ocean is reinvented as a sculpture of a mobius wave. She relinquishes the fixed orientation that is ordinarily dictated by the photographic frame and replaces it with a continuous one-sided surface, in an almost tactile evocation of the endless interconnectedness of the world’s waters. And just as all these waters reflect and suggest each other, so too does the Mobius Wave involve multiple versions of itself. “The final object is the photograph of the sculpture, which is simultaneously a two-dimensional photograph, a document of a sculpture in three dimensions, and a document of an event, because it was a temporary sculpture, giving it the fourth dimension of time.”

Although many of her works are documents of her sculptures, the final art object is usually the photograph. But Jasmin has also made videos, and with “Untitled (Persona Case Study)” she is premiering a window installation at Artists’ Television Access for the month of August. “It’s about the writer Laura Albert who published fiction under the pseudonym JT LeRoy  and then was attacked in the American media after she was revealed to be the author. I’ve combed through innumerable texts from the popular media, the blogworld, zines, journals, as well as artwork inspired by her, ephemera from her experience in group homes as a teenager, and other texts that are not directly related but address similar themes about identity formation and different types of “truth” — literal and figurative. I’ve tried to show a more dimensional and nuanced representation of her story, and I’ve still only scratched the surface. But I’m hoping that the diversity of these materials will suggest to people that there is so much more to understand about her story and her art.”