Julie Alland in /digital room/
Note by Guest Juror Dorothy Santos
I appreciate it when someone can reimagine the way we view the human interior. When I look at Julie Alland’s work, it is deceptively minimalist in nature. She takes magnetite or black sand and shifts the material around to make magnetic drawings. But the process, I imagine, takes patience and failure to reach a composition that speaks to the artist. To be completely open to the process of creation and not be fully in control of the material as well as the end result deeply resonated with me. Alland’s work seems to be a metaphor for the moment we’re living in – shifting and re-shifting despite uncertainty.
We cannot see Covid-19. Coming to terms with the danger we face daily is baffling. Staying healthy may indicate sufficiently meticulous protection efforts, but we might not know until it’s too late. If only the virus were visible to the naked eye.
The project I created for digital /room/ is a triptych of videos, each portraying the creation of a “Magnetic Drawing”. Magnets were arranged and re-arranged under pieces of white sheet glass until the push-pull of magnetic fields yielded evocative designs. Black sand (magnetite) was sifted on the surface. Video captured the grains landing on the glass and jumping towards the magnets, revealing the invisible force of magnetism.
These pieces explore ideas related to stochastic processes, invisibility and time. They also inadvertently mimic the appearance of microscopic organisms.