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Work Samples

What to Expect When You're Expecting

'What to Expect When You’re Expecting' ​is about a woman who has been scientifically impregnated with the eggs of the endangered Loggerhead sea turtle. She nests on the beach one night while a local news crew provides live updates throughout the process. Video documentation of premiere at the Mercury Theatre (Baltimore), November 2019 interspersed with clips from each channel. Full work: Three Channel Immersive Installation (09:17)

Spilt

'Spilt' is a 180 degree, lo-fi, 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 that blurs the inside and outside of my body comes under threat - symbolic of the castration that establishes subjecthood. This experience is an attempt to mimic the teeter - tottering experience of abjection and an exploration of the multiplicity of the gaze in VR experiences. (01:50, 2019)

Pussy Puzzle

Photograph of an incomplete jigsaw puzzle featuring vulva
'Pussy Puzzle' 19.5" x 15.5" (displayed on the floor)

Beyond Me

'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. (Intended to be a looped video)

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About Danielle

Baltimore City

Danielle Damico's picture
Danielle Damico is a multimedia artist whose work explores transgression, technologically mediated intimacies and ecofeminism. She received her B.S. in Film, Video & Theatre from Stevenson University. Her works have screened at venues in and around Baltimore including 2640 Space, Mercury Theater and Red Room. Music videos she’s directed have premiered on PunkNews.org, Baltimore City Paper’s website and through numerous independent music blogs. Her immersive projection installation, What to Expect... more

What to Expect When You're Expecting

Three Channel Immersive Installation
09:17
2019

What to Expect When You’re Expecting ​is about a woman who has been scientifically impregnated with the eggs of the endangered Loggerhead sea turtle. She nests on the beach one night while a local news crew provides live updates throughout the process. This vignette is 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.

In a rapidly changing climate, this speculative fiction 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? In her 2016 book, ​Staying With The Trouble​, Donna Haraway emphasizes that the key to getting on in our changing world is to make kin with other species as a way of making us more responsible to one another. Ai Hasegawa’s bio art about alternative family planning has also been an inspiration for this installation. What to Expect When You’re Expecting ​is about our current information communication breakdown. The audience is simultaneously confronted with the news media spectacle, the perspective of the woman in labor and a wide shot of the scene from far off down the beach. They're all vying for our attention and providing different information.

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

  • What to Expect When You're Expecting

    'What to Expect When You’re Expecting' ​is about a woman who has been scientifically impregnated with the eggs of the endangered Loggerhead sea turtle. She nests on the beach one night while a local news crew provides live updates throughout the process. Video documentation of premiere at the Mercury Theatre (Baltimore), November 2019 interspersed with clips from each channel. Full work: Three Channel Immersive Installation (09:17)
  • What to Expect When You're Expecting (full three channels)

    All three channels played side by side (09:15)

Spilt

VR Experience (Oculus)
01:50
2019

Spilt is a 180 degree, lo-fi, 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 that blurs the inside and outside of my body comes under threat - symbolic of the castration that establishes subjecthood. This experience is an attempt to mimic the teeter - tottering experience of abjection as theorized by Dr. Julia Kristeva and an exploration of the multiplicity of the gaze in VR experiences.

Throughout the medium’s history, Feminists have considered VR for its potential to create a nonlinear, non-hierarchical way of communicating and exploring female subjectivity, but had their doubts given the patriarchal structure of the programming behind the new technology. Fast forward to today and VR experiences are largely designed by white, cisgendered, heterosexual men for white, cisgendered heterosexual men whether they’re totally aware of it or not. Spilt is a subversive work that aims to undermine and question the corporate trajectory of VR as a medium for narrative storytelling – which tends to be linear and hierarchical.

The aesthetic of Spilt is inspired by similar first-person VR pornography experiences and through its content I hope to also rearrange tropes that have forever been perpetuated in 2D media. The work also utilizes the form of vignette to further the experience of abjection which exists in what is not said – and to do away with the expectations associated with narrative storytelling.

  • Spilt

    'Spilt' is a 180 degree, lo-fi, 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 that blurs the inside and outside of my body comes under threat - symbolic of the castration that establishes subjecthood. This experience is an attempt to mimic the teeter - tottering experience of abjection and an exploration of the multiplicity of the gaze in VR experiences. (01:50, 2019)
  • 'Spilt' VR Experience

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

    woman in underwear pours coffee on vulva
    Still from 'Spilt'

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

    '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. (Intended to be a looped video)

The Sky is Coming

Two Channel Film
04:41
2021

The Sky is Coming is a two-channel film that is currently in post-production. The film (which will be a part of an installation) depicts an ecosexual relationship between a cinematic representation of a thunderstorm and its human lover. The work explores queer ecology and our tactile relationship with the moving image.

Written, Directed & Edited by Danielle Damico
Photographed by Amy Oden
Acted by Aidan Spann

Thirst Trap

VR Experience (Oculus)
04:20
2020

Thirst Trap is a masochistic act of consumption. Water is life sustaining, but has the ability to drown us. To thirst is a primal desire. In this 180 degree VR experience, a woman kneeling in a bathtub drinks an entire fish bowl of water. In a self-curated, web-based ‘thirst trap’ photo, a person seeks attention and subsequent validation from others. On social media, we view a somewhat warped presentation of a person without the broader context of their situation. Viewing people through social media feeds on our palm sized screens is equivalent to viewing them in a fishbowl - a fish devoid of the sea, on display in shallow, clear water.

Gulp after gulp until my stomach swells - a monotonous, repetitive act with no release. Water - fluid, ambiguous, formless, essential. I cling to what is ambiguous and formless, but the glass provides structure, to define. I consume what it contains to preserve what I prefer. To fill myself up to the point of bursting, to the point of sickness in an effort to abandon the container.

Pussy Puzzle

Jigsaw Puzzle (19.5" x 15.5")
(displayed on the floor)
2018

One of my back up plans is to be a sex education teacher in public high schools. For years I've joked with friends and told them that I'd make it a requirement that the boys in the class would have to put together a massive jigsaw puzzle of female anatomy in a lesson to demonstrate its' complexity and inspire reverence. Since I'm not currently a sex educator, I decided to construct a puzzle using my own vulva as an exercise of self exploration. During the construction, I was listening to the Brett Kavanaugh hearings on the radio. Once his nomination was announced, I abandoned the puzzle. What started off as a project about empowerment ended in resignation.

  • Pussy Puzzle

    Photograph of an incomplete jigsaw puzzle featuring vulva
    'Pussy Puzzle' 19.5" x 15.5" (displayed on the floor)

Live & Local

Performed at Lion Brother's Open Studios on October 26th 2019.
Baltimore, MD.
(Duration: 6:30)

Live & Local is an Instagram-Live based performance that relates the social media platform to Guy Debord's Commodity as Spectacle. The audience is asked to watch the performance on Instagram Live while I occupy a physical space 40 feet away from them and out of sight. The popping of the balloons is heard in the physical space and on individual cellphones with the added delay of their wifi/data connection. This modern day spectacle generator has us separately yet collectively experiencing the glitter and gore of the attention economy.

  • Live & Local (Excerpts)

    'Live & Local' is an Instagram-Live based performance where the audience occupies an area within an earshot of where I'm performing, but out of sight. They instead watch me perform live on their phones individually, but together. The popping of the balloons is heard first in the space and then delayed through the audience's phones depending on their individual wifi/data connection.
  • Live and Local Audience Experience

    Hands holding cellphone with Instagram live stream ons screen.
    Audience member viewing the performance on their mobile device nearby within earshot of where physical performance was taking place.

Don't Make Me Come Back There

Carseats, Portable DVD players, Carpeted Platform, Headphones
2018

Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR) videos have been embraced by popular internet culture for their healing, relaxing and sometimes arousing effects. Don't Make Me Come Back There merges older technology in the form of carseat headrest DVD players with this new technological sensation. Cars and any high speed modes of transportation changed human relations with the natural environment. We were able to experience a greater expanse in a shorter period of time, but everything became blurry. Growing up in the 90s and early 2000s, in-car entertainment was a part of my road trip experience as a kid. Why look out the window anymore when you could bypass the hours with constantly changing moving images?

I was attracted to the visual aesthetics of ASMR videos - the beautifully manicured hands, the glitter, often paired with ordinary household objects. The audio accompanying my videos is a tone sweep that is at first low and meditative and eventually swells to an uncomfortably high pitch. The hands in these videos interact with gravel, grass, leaves, etc. in an effort of forced meditation on our surroundings - except it's all happening on a screen. Don't Make Me Come Back There questions trends toward technologically aided meditation and mediation.

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Danielle's Curated Collection

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