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Work Samples

Foreign Exchange

Using a collection of banknotes and sand gathered from over 50 countries, "Foreign Exchange" looks like nothing you have seen before, taking you into a tiny world of dazzling details. What you observe there, and the meaning you derive from that observation depends on where you start your journey. Look closely, it's all in the details...

Uncanny Bodies

Uncanny Bodies draws on the artistry of scientific documentarians like Robert Hooke and F. Percy Smith, who revealed the wonders of microscopic structures and beings through the technology of their times. For me, working with sand means contemplating the significance of the individual. On a microscopic scale, the movement of one small grain can ripple down the length of a beach, can tilt the world on its axis. When I inspect these trivial fragments of geological history, I find their inner autonomy.

EyeofDjerba_Parks001.jpg

Eye of Djerba
Eye of Djerba is an original site specific interactive installation with light, sand, and projection created for the International Media Arts Biennial SEE DJERBA on the island of Djerba in Tunisia. The work asks viewers to look closely and consider the metaphorical worth of a single grain of sand within a global context. Viewers control a microscope camera to examine grains of sand from Djerba, enlarging the tiny grains to a human scale as they are projected on the facade of the St Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in Houmet Souk.

Snow Beach - UNDARK Festival

Snow Beach is an original site specific interactive installation with light, sand, and projection created for the UnDark Festival in Yekaterinburg, Russia. Snow Beach explores the connection between sand and snow as a touristic draw and economic resource. Using sand collected from beach renourishment projects along the eastern seaboard of the USA, I recreate the movement of the ocean waves, projecting them on the surface of man-made snow at the Уктус ski area in land-locked Yekaterinburg, Russia.

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About Corrie

Baltimore County

Corrie Parks's picture
Corrie Francis Parks brings life to the inanimate through frame-by-frame manipulation of physical materials. With one hand under the camera and the other on the computer keyboard, her films and installations maintain an organic connection to traditional production methods while fully integrating digital technology. Corrie received her B.A. from Dartmouth College and her MFA from University of Southern California. Now an Associate Professor of Visual Arts at University of Maryland, Baltimore... more

Foreign Exchange

Foreign Exchange leads us through a world of imaginary borders and unexpected encounters, highlighting the state-sanctioned mythology embedded on national currency. At times whimsical, with undercurrents of the uncanny, grains of sand reveal their inner directive as they navigate the details of banal nationalism. Shot up close with a macro lens and frame by frame stopmotion, the scale of the images invite the viewer to look closely at the unseen connections we have with the wider world. The leavings of globalization are a useless banknote from another country tucked in the back of a drawer, symbolizing the possibility of return, whether that means going home or going away. I collected these leftover banknotes from friends, family and social networks to construct a new narrative of international migration.

Uncanny Bodies

As beings confined to our own understanding of time andspace, the camera lens offers a portal into a new world of scale. As you step into the gallery, you condense to the size of a grain of sand. Your relationship to the world changes. The space is intimate, but expansive. Your time here is brief, but the opportunity for discovery is immense. Look closely… the life hides in the details.

"Uncanny Bodies" is a collection of video and collage works by artist Corrie Francis Parks, installed at the Montpelier Arts Center in Laurel, MD from June 11 - August 1, 2021.

  • Uncanny Bodies

    Uncanny Bodies draws on the artistry of scientific documentarians like Robert Hooke and F. Percy Smith, who revealed the wonders of microscopic structures and beings through the technology of their times. For me, working with sand means contemplating the significance of the individual. On a microscopic scale, the movement of one small grain can ripple down the length of a beach, can tilt the world on its axis. When I inspect these trivial fragments of geological history, I find their inner autonomy.
  • Uncanny Bodies - Gallery

    Uncanny Bodies projected on a wall in the gallery.
  • Angle of Repose

    Video works "Angle of Repose" and "Butterfly Effect" installed in the gallery.
  • Angle of Repose

    Video work Angle of Repose in the gallery
  • Uncanny Bodies - micro sculpture

    A micro sculpture used to create the animation in Uncanny Bodies
  • Uncanny Bodies - micro sculpture

    Micro sculpture used to create the animation in Uncanny Bodies
  • Uncanny Bodies - Gallery

    Detail of the video work "Uncanny Bodies"
  • Uncanny Bodies - still

    Video still - Uncanny Bodies
  • Uncanny Bodies - still

    Video Still - Uncanny Bodies
  • Angle of Repose - Still

    Video still - Angle of Repose

Eye of Djerba

 Eye of Djerba is an original site specific interactive installation with light, sand, and projection created for the International Media Arts Biennial SEE DJERBA on the island of Djerba in Tunisia. The work asks viewers to look closely and consider the metaphorical worth of a single grain of sand within a global context. Viewers control a microscope camera to examine grains of sand from Djerba, enlarging the tiny grains to a human scale as they are projected on the facade of the St Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in Houmet Souk. The festival ran nightly from 29 Aug - 1 Sept and approximately 600 people interacted with the work during that time.

Snow Beach

Snow Beach is an original site specific interactive installation with light, sand, and projection created for the UnDark Festival in Yekaterinburg, Russia. Snow Beach explores the connection between sand and snow as a touristic draw and economic resource. Using sand collected from beach renourishment projects along the eastern seaboard of the USA, I recreate the movement of the ocean waves, projecting them on the surface of man-made snow at the Уктус ski area in land-locked Yekaterinburg, Russia. The location and atmosphere of the installation invites relaxation and play while pointing to societal efforts to maintain recreation environments that are dependent on the ecological cycles of natural replenishment threatened by climate change.

  • Snow Beach - UNDARK Festival

    Snow Beach is an original site specific interactive installation with light, sand, and projection created for the UnDark Festival in Yekaterinburg, Russia. Snow Beach explores the connection between sand and snow as a touristic draw and economic resource. Using sand collected from beach renourishment projects along the eastern seaboard of the USA, I recreate the movement of the ocean waves, projecting them on the surface of man-made snow at the Уктус ski area in land-locked Yekaterinburg, Russia.

Individual Grains

When seen in a pile, sand presents itself as uniformity: black sand, red sand, fine sand, coarse sand. But upon close inspection, even the most homogeneous manufactured sand disperses into individuality. When animated at this level of magnification, a single grain finds its own autonomy. We like to categorize and quantify, which is easy enough with inanimate objects. Numbers make it easy to pass judgement and pass policies. But when a grain of sand is animated, it reveals its inner motivation and we catch a glimpse of its story. It transforms into an unquantifiable encasement of life.

Each work in this collection explores an angle of the social and political systems in which the individual can be lost in the abstractness of the group. The light sculptures offer a tangible presence which can be inspected in an intimate setting, while the accompanying video are a meditation on the life within each grain of sand. 

  • Individual Grains at Spectrum

    Video and photo documentation of five video and sculpture installations at the Center for Art, Design, and Visual Culture at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, USA. Each work in this collection explores an aspect of the social and political systems in which the individual can be lost in the abstractness of the group. Via provided magnifiers, viewers closely examine such inscrutable topics as economic stratification, redlining, and gender equality, placing the complexity of a single grain of sand in the context of its story.
  • Black Butterfly

    Black Butterfly is a video installation and sculpture that uses location mapping from Open Baltimore Police Department Part 1 Victim Based Crime Data. Each grain of sand represents one individual who was killed in Baltimore from 2007-2017.
  • Black Butterfly - detail

    Black Butterfly is a video installation and sculpture that uses location mapping from Open Baltimore Police Department Part 1 Victim Based Crime Data. Each grain of sand represents one individual who was killed in Baltimore from 2007-2017.
  • Desired to Move

    Desires to Move is a video installation and sculpture about systemic racism in housing policy and its generational repercussions in underserved communities. Shot at macro level, tiny grains of sand navigate through color-coded “neighborhoods”, sourced from the 1937 Residential Security Map of Baltimore
  • Desires to Move - detail

    Desires to Move is a video installation and sculpture about systemic racism in housing policy and its generational repercussions in underserved communities. Shot at macro level, tiny grains of sand navigate through color-coded “neighborhoods”, sourced from the 1937 Residential Security Map of Baltimore
  • Political Bands

    Political Bands is a video installation and sculpture about the dissolution of ideological and cultural groups in the current political climate. Shot at macro level on a $100 bill, tiny grains of sand group, dissolve, and regroup in an endless cycle.
  • Political Bands - detail

    Political Bands is a video installation and sculpture about the dissolution of ideological and cultural groups in the current political climate. Shot at macro level on a $100 bill, tiny grains of sand group, dissolve, and regroup in an endless cycle.
  • Messy Conversation

    A piece about difficult conversation between opposing sides.
  • Messy Conversation - detail

    A piece about difficult conversations between opposing sides.
  • Studio documentation

    Macro sand animation

Projected Aquaculture

Projected Aquaculture is a large-scale projection created for and exhibited at the Light City Baltimore Festival in collaboration with artist Kelley Bell. The whimsical animated work draws parallels between the fragile ecosystem and recent regeneration of the Chesapeake Bay and its landmark city, Baltimore, Maryland.

Learn more about our City, our Bay, and the fish featured in Projected Aquaculture in our online Limerick Field Guide. As you watch the piece, play our online interactive bingo game, Bay Bingo. The first to find 4 fish in a row, wins!

Exhibitions

Light City Baltimore
28 March – 3 April, 2016
Columbus Center, Baltimore, MD

Animafest goes MSU
21 May – 9 June, 2016
Zagreb Museum of Contemporary Art, Zagreb, Croatia

  • Projected Aquaculture - Light City 2016

    Projected Aquaculture is a large-scale projection mapping animation created by Corrie Francis Parks and Kelley Bell for Light City Baltimore 2016. This 5-minute looping animation was projected on the 250-foot-wide canopy of the IMET center on the Inner Harbor in Baltimore from March 28-April 4, 2016. Through a whimsical approach to animation, the piece presents the underwater ecosystem of the Chesapeake Bay, drawing parallels between the decline and resurgence of the Bay’s health and the similar decline and recent efforts to transform Baltimore into a livable city.
  • Projected Aquaculture

    Projected Aquaculture on the Columbus Center canopy at Light City 2016
  • Projected Aquaculture

    Production still
  • Projected Aquaculture

    Still from the production
  • Projected Aquaculture

    Still from the production
  • Blue Crab

    Limerick from the guidebook. Click the image to see it move. Can you solve it?
  • Cownose Ray

    Limerick from the guidebook. Click the image to see it move. Can you solve it?
  • Sea Nettle

    Limerick from the guidebook. Click the image to see it move. Can you solve it?
  • Long Nose Gar

    Limerick from the guidebook. Click the image to see it move. Can you solve it?
  • Chessie

    Limerick from the guidebook. Click the image to see it move. Can you solve it?

The Klondike Letters Project

The Klondike Letters Project is an ongoing public art project in collaboration with Klondike Goldrush International Historic Park.  From June 25 thru July 7, 2012, I hiked the historic Chilkoot Trail as an artist-in-residence. During that 2 week period, I asked my fellow travelers to write a postcard to themselves as they hiked over the historic Chilkoot Pass from Alaska to the Yukon. The 174 postcards, along with sound recordings and my drawings from the trail, formed a collective memory portrait of the Chilkoot Trail. One year later, when the words and images of that journey had lost their sharpness and faded in the mind, I mailed those postcards to the writers as a vibrant catalyst for our memories of the Chilkoot.

From July 5 thru July 9, 2016, I hiked the trail again bringing a box of fresh postcards in the hopes of establishing an ongoing project. With the help of trail rangers and hut wardens from the National Parks Service and Parks Canada, we collected over 742 postcards in 2016, 1274 postcards in 2017, and over 1700 in 2018! Learn more and read postcards on klondikeletters.com

On a deeper level, this project is about why we seek out places of wildness and what we experience there. Though the stampeders were seeking gold in the Klondike wilderness, the vast majority didn’t find their fortune. From their letters and diaries, we can see they did find other things: adventure, suffering, love, an insight into human nature at its best and worst. It’s a long journey to get to the Klondike. What do you find in this place that you can’t experience in your daily life, what moment is going to change your life in some small but hopefully significant way? Ultimately, this is what makes these places worth preserving.

  • The Klondike Letters Project

    Postcard written on the Chilkoot Trail.
    The Klondike Letters Project is an ongoing public art project in Klondike Goldrush International Historic Park. Hikers preserve a memory from the top of Chilkoot Pass by writing a postcard to their future self, which is then sent one year later. These are postcards from 2016 season on the Chilkoot Trail.
  • Chilkoot Pass

    Hikers arriving at the warming hut at the top of Chilkoot Pass.
  • Postcard

    A postcard written by a hiker
  • Postcard

    A postcard written by a hiker
  • Postcard

    A postcard written by a hiker
  • Postcard

    A postcard written by a hiker
  • Postcard

    Postcard written by a hiker at the top of Chilkoot Pass
  • Postcard

    Postcard drawn by a hiker at the top of Chilkoot Pass
  • Postcard

    Postcard written by a hiker at the top of Chilkoot Pass
  • Postcard

    Postcard written by a hiker at the top of Chilkoot Pass

A Tangled Tale

Video, 2013
A lone fish, hooked by an angler's line, encounters another in the same dire situation. As the two fish struggle against their fate, they develop an inevitable, entangling attraction. Is it love or merely a will to survive?

This vibrant, underwater world showcases a revolutionary approach to sand animation.  Animated in sand with watercolor backgrounds,  the 3600 frames of the film are a seamless blend of traditionally handcrafted imagery and digital painting. The technique involves moving sand on a backlit plate of glass, creating silhouetted animation that is captured frame-by frame. Each drawing is destroyed in the process of creating the next, so at the end of the process there remains only a pile of sand. Through the art of compositing and motion design, it is the first film to expand the black and white aesthetic of traditional sand animation to include vibrant color and cinematic movement.  

Love is a slippery business. Some will point to the heavens or chance as the source of our relationships, while others plow forward on the strength of self-determination. Either way, there is pain intertwined with a growing attraction, and the survival of a relationship depends on the perseverance of the lovers. In "A Tangled Tale", the fisherman’s line becomes an enigmatic metaphor for a fate and attraction, leading us to consider what is the source of our love and where it will ultimately take us.

  • A Tangled Tale

    A lone fish, hooked by an angler's line, encounters another in the same dire situation. As the two fish struggle against their fate, they develop an inevitable, entangling attraction. Is it love or merely a will to survive? This vibrant, watery underwater world showcases my revolutionary approach to sand animation, a seamless blend of traditionally handcrafted imagery and technological innovation.
  • A-Tangled-Tale---Poster.jpg

    A Tangled Tale - film poster
    A Tangled Tale - film poster
  • A Tangled Tale

    A Tangled Tale - film still
    A Tangled Tale - film still
  • A Tangled Tale

    A Tangled Tale - film still
    A Tangled Tale - film still
  • A Tangled Tale - production

    Production still
    Production still

Connect with Corrie

Corrie's Curated Collection

This artist has not yet created a curated collection.