Gina R. Furnari
Habit Dwells In Place
My work is about the edge spaces around and within habitat: where bodies, water, land, sea, sky, and light all come together. I am most interested in the ways we experience edge spaces through our senses and their various scales of interaction.
I live on the lands of the Lenape and their relatives between the Pine Barrens (a vast forest in the southern part of New Jersey) and the Atlantic Ocean. Present-day New Jersey is a complex mixture of habitats: coasts, estuaries, river basins, geological striations, and the edge of swamps abutting high population towns. Undoubtedly, my experience of New Jersey’s habitats has impacted my belief that contradictions, contrasts, and the sharing of stories, leads to a better, more interesting existence. The two projects (On The Edge, A Kind of Bridge (video projection on vertical blinds) and A Place For Us (ceramics, digital audio, MP3 devices, and earbud headsets) installed in the Joseloff Gallery and translated for this site grew out of a wish to dwell better and to find my place.
On The Edge, A Kind Of Bridge
Location: The Atlantic Coast, Ocean City, NJ
On The Edge, A Kind of Bridge is a video projection on a vertical blinds capturing a performance in which I lay down on the edge of sand and sea in a zone called the “swash,” and explore how my body experiences the difference in being near, on, and beyond the “edge” of the Atlantic. You are invited to press the panels of the piece so that they swing as if in the wind, and to walk in front of the projector interrupting the stream of light.
A series of gestures using common household objects accompany this piece (web only).
Should you wish to participate in any of these you will need:
An empty ceramic mug
A pinch of salt
A handheld flashlight
Place the opening of the empty ceramic mug up to your ear and listen.
Press your pointer finger into the salt and place it on your tongue.
Find a place in your home where two surfaces meet.
Hard-wood / Linoleum, Carpet / tile, Painted wall / glass window...
Make bare skin contact with each surface at the same time.
Hold this position until it is no longer interesting.
Turn on the flashlight.
Hold the flashlight so that the beam is directly over your opposite hand.
Slowly swing the beam over your hand and count
A Place For Us
Stoneware and digital audio
A Place For Us features ceramic WaveForms, sheltering objects (imperfectly) reminiscent of the shells I encounter in various landscapes of New Jersey. These forms hold my imprint. They are a dream, my effort to harbor unseen beings that can only be heard emanating from the WaveForms. These environmental sounds include: seagulls over Ocean City, artesian wells, wind through oak trees, car and boat traffic. All are publicly accessible diverse ecosystems, where the deep cuts of industry, pollution, development, and deforestation have been imposed upon the landscape and left scars. Yet, the sounds compose a subtle aliveness of beings interacting. An altered, weathered, and imposed upon landscape becomes the edge space for new life and possibility.