Six video monitors, one player, six 48-inch fluorescent light fixtures, and Lee filters
Dimensions variable
Santa Barbara Museum of Art, museum purchase, the Suzette Morton Davidson Art Acquisition Endowment Fund

Untitled Videowall (Butterflies), 2008

Color and environments

Each year, the forests of Michoacan, Mexico, become the overwinter home for tens of millions of monarch butterflies, who make the journey from Canada in November. The year I filmed there, a winter frost killed off millions of the delicate creatures. I documented the tragedy in a suite of works addressing what many have begun to call the Anthropocene—the current epoch, in which human activities are having a tremendously negative impact on the ecosystems of the Earth. This “broken video wall” focuses on one butterfly slowly flapping its wings. The piece takes the rough shape of a flower, a recurring motif in my work. I tinted the room orange to match the vibrant hue of the butterfly’s wings, once again placing the viewer within and outside of the work at the same time.