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Work Samples

The Sky is Coming

'The Sky is Coming' depicts an ecosexual encounter between a thunderstorm and its human lover. These are excerpts from the beginning and end of the two-channel short film.

What to Expect When You're Expecting

In 'What to Expect When You’re Expecting', a woman who has been scientifically impregnated with the eggs of the endangered Loggerhead sea turtle nests on the beach one night while a local news crew provides live updates on the oviparous process. This is video documentation of this three-channel projection installation combined with excerpts from individual video channels.

Spilt

'Spilt' is a 180 degree, first-person virtual reality experience where the user embodies a decapitated version of my body. Within the simulation, a white, cotton boundary is transgressed and a vulnerable orifice comes under threat.

'Jason Hatred' by Romantic States

Directed and edited by Danielle Damico. Music video created for Romantic States song 'Jason Hatred' off their 2019 album - Ballerina. Cinematography by Taylor Hebden. Made in collaboration with: Ilenia Madelaire, Caitlin Helle, Lauren Barbour, Shanna Moinizand. Filmed in Ocean City Maryland, January 2019.

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About Danielle

Baltimore City

Danielle Damico's picture
Danielle is a Baltimore-based video artist. She received her B.S. in Film, Video & Theatre from Stevenson University in 2014 and her MFA from University of Maryland, Baltimore County in 2021. Her works have screened at venues in and around Baltimore including 2640 Space, Mercury Theater and Red Room. Her immersive projection installation 'What to Expect When You’re Expecting', was awarded the Johns Hopkins Saul Zaentz Innovation Grant in 2019. She has presented work internationally (virtually) at... more

The Sky is Coming

Two-channel video installation & olfactory component

04:41

2021

The Sky is Coming is a multisensory two-channel video installation that depicts an ecosexual encounter between a thunderstorm and its human lover. A spunky smelling perfume created from the blooming Bradford Pear Tree serves as an olfactory component. This work ponders the technological mediation of our natural surroundings and the erotic forces at play in the efforts to erode anthropocentricity.

The installation premiered in the group exhibition Home Bodies (April 13 - May 7, 2021) at the Center for Art Design and Visual Culture at University of Maryland, Baltimore County. The film has since screened at Gardenship in Kearny, NJ and as part of MoCA L.I.ghts in Long Island, NY. 

Written, Directed & Edited by Danielle Damico

Photographed by Amy Oden

Acted by Aidan Spann

Production Audio Engineer Safiyah Cheatam

My human character is a fulgarophilic - someone who is sexually aroused by thunderstorms. Ecosexuality refers to intersections between sexology and ecology though it is popularly used to describe humans who engage in sexual or sensual relations with elements of the earth. The ecosexual movement utilizes an intersectional approach that breaks down the intimidating guise of mainstream environmentalism and allows for people to come together to celebrate and connect with the earth in a way that emphasizes community building and reciprocity. 

The ecosexual movement is included in queer ecological scholarship which examines how humans are included in (not separate from) a natural world and its systems that are ever changing as the result of social and historical influences. The Bradford Pear tree is a hybrid that was created by scientists in Prince George’s County, Maryland in the late 1950s. Envisioned as a decorative, durable tree that could survive various conditions, it was planted all across America starting in the 1960s. Today, the Bradford Pear is considered an invasive species. The root structures of the clones choke out nearby native plants and the supposedly “sterile” trees can reproduce through cross-pollination. The scent of the Bradford Pear tree is popularly associated with the scent of human ejaculate and thus I’ve used them as a metaphor for how we sensually engage our environment. 

The two channel film concludes with a ‘facial’ which is a euphemism for the act of ejaculating on someone’s face. From a sex-positive feminist perspective, I interpret and have constructed the facial in this particular romp as a playful act in which both giver and receiver are enthusiastically consenting. At the same time, I acknowledge how this conclusion could be interpreted as an act of degradation or a power play. Storms have the ability to overwhelm, devastate, and at the very least instill fear in humans, partly because they’re beyond our control. Yet, we know that human-related climate change has manifested in drastic shifts in weather patterns. The intermittent fast-forwarding (and rewinding) of the storm by the human character meditates on our role in that equation while alluding to the ways we watch video content on our mobile devices. The cell phone video as a medium  recognizes that the digital tool, the body, and the resulting images are entangled, rather than separate, entities.

What to Expect When You're Expecting

Three-channel immersive installation

09:17

2019

In What to Expect When You’re Expecting, a woman who has been scientifically impregnated with the eggs of the endangered Loggerhead sea turtle nests on the beach one night while a local news crew provides live updates on the oviparous process. 

This speculative fiction vignette poses the question: are we as humans willing to forgo having human offspring in order to help grow the populations of endangered animal species? Species that our earth damaging practices have had a direct hand in depleting? The film explores feminst scholar Donna Haraway’s idea of “worlding-with” and her writing on multispecies feminism, which suggests making kin with nonhuman species as a way to be responsible to each other.

Additionally, this work was born out of a mild obsession with the 2009 media trajectory of Nadya Suleman, a.k.a Octomom, who gave birth to octuplets as the result of in vitro fertilization. In our pro-natalist society, the tabloids and their followers initially praised Nadya’s super fertility, but were quick to scold when it was discovered the pregnancy was a result of corrupt medical science and that the single mother was on welfare and already raising six other children. The three channels present the audience with the action unfolding from three different vantage points: one is the media spectacle.

This project was supported by the Johns Hopkins Saul Zaentz Innovation Fund. The installation premiered at Baltimore's Mercury Theater in November 2019. The three-channel film screened as part of the 2020 Ars Electronica .ART Global Gallery (online).

Cast:

Shantall Gallareta

Brandi Dyer

Steph Joyal

Producer: Brandy Creek

Writer & Director: Danielle Damico

Cinematographer: Taylor Hebden

Assistant Camera: Natasha Marshall

Audio Engineer: Gabby Sturgeon

Gaffer: Tom Faison

Production Assistant: Lauren Flynn

Editor: Danielle Damico

Post-Production Audio Engineer: Mickey Freeland

Motion Graphics: Rachel Dwiggins

Spilt

Virtual reality experience

01:50

2019

Spilt is a lo-fi, live action, 180 degree, first-person virtual reality experience where the user’s periphery is obliterated as they embody a decapitated version of my body. The first-person experience is intended to destabilize the user’s subjectivity as they view my body as a stand-in for their own. This includes the inherent objectification that results from their inescapable gaze. Within the simulation, a white, cotton boundary is transgressed and a vulnerable orifice comes under threat.

I’d like to note something that may not be apparent from viewing the video outside of the Oculus headset. When the viewer is in the experience, they do not have the agency to look away from what is happening. They look where the camera strapped to my face is looking and since the scene is only 180 degrees they’re not able to turn away from the action. This is one sadistic quality I latched on to working with this medium for the first time.

In my initial research for this vignette, I watched a great deal of mainstream VR pornography, the majority of which is marketed towards hetereosexual, cisgendered white men and often perpetuates stereotypes that we are familiar with from 2D pornography. In Love, Consent & Arousal: Deterritorialising Virtual Sex, Cheri Lynne Carr makes the argument that this newer venue for erotica “channels desire through identification with repressive, molar forms of sexuality that ultimately reproduce sexual objectification and consumerism while limiting the pleasures of sexual and social becomings that bodies are capable of exploring.” With this in mind, I’m interested in this push and pull with the medium’s potential to enable one to explore and experience pleasure, but also its potential to restrict and why I felt it important to create something focused on this niche sexual desire.

I had the opportunity to present this research at Taboo, Transgression, Transcendence Conference 2020 and as part of my Rogers, Taliaferro, Kostritsky, & Lamb Fellowship lecture (May 2021).

  • Spilt

    'Spilt' is a 180 degree, first-person virtual reality experience where the user embodies a decapitated version of my body. Within the simulation, a white, cotton boundary is transgressed and a vulnerable orifice comes under threat.
  • 'Spilt' VR Experience

    Cathy viewing 'Spilt' in the Oculus headset.
  • 'Spilt' Still

    woman in underwear pours coffee on vulva
    Still from 'Spilt'
  • 'Spilt' work in progress photo

    An image from one of my initial tests with a DIY rig I created to attach the camera to my face.
  • Work in progress photo for 'Spilt'

    One of the DIY rigs I experimented with to attach the camera to my face.

Music Videos

Over the past seven years, I've had the great pleasure of collaboarting with several Baltimore-based musicians to create music videos. Here are some that I’ve directed:

Jason Hatred
Romantic States
February 2020
Cinematography: Taylor Hebden

Your Heart Claps For Me
Gloop
August 2019
Cinematography: Taylor Hebden

Something to Say
Santa Librada
April 2018
Cinematography: Taylor Hebden
Assistant Camera: Amy Oden

Never the Same
Gordy Manny
November 2017

Give Up
End It
September 2017

Early Morning
The Holy Circle
April 2016

Say It
War on Women
Edited by Brooks Harlan
2015

  • 'Jason Hatred' by Romantic States

    Directed and edited by Danielle Damico. Music video created for Romantic States song 'Jason Hatred' off their 2019 album - Ballerina. Cinematography by Taylor Hebden. Made in collaboration with: Ilenia Madelaire, Caitlin Helle, Lauren Barbour, Shanna Moinizand. Filmed in Ocean City Maryland, January 2019.
  • 'Your Heart Claps For Me' by Gloop

    Music video for 'Your Heart Claps For Me' by Gloop. Cinematography by Taylor Hebden. Filmed on a scorching hot day in the summer of 2019. Directed and edited by Danielle Damico
  • 'Something to Say' by Santa Librada

    Music video for 'Something to Say' by Santa Librada. Cinematography by Taylor Hebden. Made in collaboration with Tom Faison (gaffer), Amy Oden (2nd Camera), AG Sherman (Costumes), Hair and Makeup (Caitlin Helle), Santa Librada and Virginia Peters-Rodbell. Directed and edited by Danielle Damico
  • "Never The Same" Gordy Manny

    Music video for the song 'Never the Same' by the spoken word artist and musician, Gordy Manny. Directed, filmed and edited by Danielle Damico
  • End It - Give Up

    Music video for the song 'Give Up' by Baltimore hardcore band, End It. Directed, filmed and edited by Danielle Damico.
  • The Holy Circle "Early Morning"

    Music video for the song 'Early Morning' by The Holy Circle. Directed, filmed and edited by Danielle Damico.
  • War On Women - "Say It"

    In 2015, I directed and filmed this video in collaboration with War on Women and FORCE: Upsetting Rape Culture. Video edited by Brooks Harlan.

Beyond Me

Video (loop)
00:40
2019

Beyond Me is a conceptual work that was realized as a digital billboard boat that makes its way up and down the beach in Ocean City, Maryland. I chose to commission this boat to display the words “Beyond Me” as an expression of my wonder surrounding this magical, only partially known part of our world and a sense of our inferiority in relation to it. The phrase is commonly used as a means of simultaneously dismissing and refusing responsibility: “It’s beyond me”. This is a meditation on how modern-day capitalism impairs our experience of the natural landscape and through its’ distractions hinders our ability to take action in order to defend our climate during a crucial time.

  • Beyond Me

    I commissioned the message 'Beyond Me' to be intermittently screened on a digital billboard boat that made its way up and down the beach in Ocean City, Maryland for one day during the summer of 2019.
  • Still from 'Beyond Me'

    boat in ocean with LED screen that reads 'Beyond Me'
    Still from 'Beyond Me'

Umbrella

Single channel video (loop)

01:21

2017

An umbrella burns at the beach and on concrete. 

This video was exhibited as part of the Art of Women Invitational (Anne Arundel Community College, 2018) and Light City: On Demand (Baltimore, 2018).

Potion

Single channel video

03:45

2016

Experimental narrative about transforming one crustacean species into another crustacean species through prayer. 

Producer: Katelynn Zimmerman

Writer & Director: Danielle Damico

Cinematographer: Brandy Creek

Audio Engineer: Katie Shelton

Production Assistants: Paige Creek, Kai Stone, Ashley Brinegar 

Editor: Danielle Damico

Score: Flynn DiGuardia

Screened at Washington ArtWorks (March 2016) and during the Baltimore Film Fatales Panel at Maryland Film Festival 2017.

Living History

Single channel video

03:29

2014

Living History explores nostalgia in the age of digital documentation. I restaged and filmed scenes from home videos recorded during my childhood. The home videos and recreations are collaged with documentation of a civil war reenactment that was performed in Appomattox, Virginia. 

Filmed, directed and edited by Danielle Damico

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