MIRA HUNTER
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The Clearing

2014 (In Progress)
The Clearing
Video, dimensions variable, soundtrack made in collaboration with Mercan Dede

A series of objects caught in free fall in a clearing in the woods. The images were captured using a custom bullet time ring of 65 film cameras.

Mira Hunter

2013
Pavilion To Perpetual Motion
Installation, dimensions variable
Wood, textiles, fabric, lighting, sound, mirrored plexiglass, electromagnetic components, plastic cup, pomegranate juice

A round tent structure, bound with moving blankets and traditional fabrics, pierced by a tilted bundle of tinted fluorescent tubes. At the center of the space was a plastic cup of pomegranate juice, floating and spinning slowly above a mirrored plinth, while a soft looping soundtrack recalled an orchestra warming up.


Mira Hunter

2012
Contemplating Atomic Theory in My Father’s Clothes (Open Studios at Columbia University)
Installation, performance, dimensions variable, including a fresh pomegranate juice cart

A durational 3 hour performance in her studio as a 2nd generation whirling dervish, a 13th century all-male tradition taught to Mira by her father when she was 16, performed while wearing headphones on an octagonal dance board constructed from reclaimed wood flooring and impregnated with graphite powder. In the adjacent hallway was a fresh pomegranate juice stand operated by a local street vendor.

Time Piece

2011
Time Piece
Video, dimensions variable

Projected video, sound. Presented in excerpt at the Columbia University First-Year MFA Exhibition at the Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Gallery in Manhattan, curated by Anna Craycroft.

'Mira Hunter captures the fleeting nature of transformation by arresting and reanimating time. To create her video Time Piece, Hunter set up a ring of 65 cameras to simultaneously photograph a gas bomb explosion in the round. The images were then compiled to create a stop motion animation that apprehends the fullness of change in each still moment.' - Anna Craycroft, excerpt from the exhibition catalogue.

Review in the Columbia Spectator >>

Time Bomb

2010 -
Time Bomb - in progress (and Time Capsule TBD)
Installation, dimensions variable

Mira is currently working with her husband Derek Hunter on a companion piece to Time Machine, working title Time Bomb. Time Bomb is a different look at reparative/restorative potential in art. Inspired by Fischli/Weiss and Mary Mattingly's future human Navigators, it will playfully document a post apocalyptic/ apocalyptic moment when nature and the common animal will raise a Molotov cocktail in the name of environmental injustice, through bullet time photography, stop motion animation, super 16 film, video and a rotating tripod machine. The final work will be projected as if through a periscope from an underground bunker watching the world above, within an artificial cave-like viewing structure. The following work, working title Time Capsule, and last work of the Time Machine Trilogy will be the animated monologue of a microscopic, permanent, future robot. Originally created by humans to witness a single lifetime, it is now drifting introspectively, a century beyond it's own planned usefulness. It will be viewed projected on a screen in a large wicker nest structure, which will physically respond to points in the film by releasing scented mist or vibrating gently. Mira is currently designing the primary character and in consultation with a multi-linguist translator who will be designing the robot's language.

Images of Time Bomb >>

Mira Hunter

2013 -
The Atomic Science of Whirling and the Secret Life of Plants
- in progress
Installation, performance, dimensions variable

In a contested accidental discovery in 1966, Cleve Backster used a galvanometer on his tropical house plant (Dracaena Massangeana) and discovered it to be sentient. The traditional form of Turkish Mevlevi whirling, practiced since the 13th century, claims to be able to transmit healing energy to human beings present. Whether this is a metaphorical or a physical claim is difficult to prove. Backster was able to scientifically moniter his plants reactions to environmental occurances that human beings could not detect. Mira is currently working on a project that merges her environmental concerns with her devotion to the spiritual practice of whirling: Two mirrored grow boxes each box containing a single living plant, which is nourished by LED grow lights and an automatic nutrient drip and shielded from outside energy by a lead skin. One box will remain closed, while the other will receive the focused energy of her whirling, and she will document their resulting growth data by weight and polygraph measurements.

Mira Hunter Waterpod

2009
Waterpod™ Project
Installation, dimensions variable

Floating, sustainable, solar-powered living experiment and exhibition space, including 4 bedrooms, an efficient rocket wood stove, a shower room, extensive edible landscapes, grass roots hydroponics, a small flock of laying hens, composting toilet and urine separation, rain water collection and a grey water recycling system all secured to a rented deck barge, produced by a collective of artists, engineers and volunteers from mostly reclaimed and intelligently re-used materials.

Waterpod™ was conceived as a showcase for grassroots attainable sustainable technology through a cross-disciplinary artistic lens. It was a floating sculptural structure constructed from repurposed materials, that travelled the New York waterways in the summer of 2009, and acted as a home for a small number of visual artists. As one of the resident artists and the first artist Mary Mattingly invited to join the project in 2006, l focused on the restriction and transformation of personal waste, the creation of collaborative innovative projects and ideas, the active caretaking of the nourishing onboard eco-system, and documenting my trials, successes and explorations to share with the public sphere. As tangible evidence of the ensuing global warming epoch becomes visible in our daily lives, it is up to us to examine our habits and look for innovative ways to creatively tackle tomorrow's pressing environmental challenges. Waterpod™ is an accessible self-reliant eco-habitat, exhibition and living space, constructed with the advancing sea levels in mind.

Waterpod: Autonomy and Ecology at Exit Art in New York January 9 - February 6, 2010 >>

Mira Hunter's photographic Waterpod™ construction journal >>

The official Waterpod™ website >>

Mira Hunter

2001 - 2013 (ongoing)
Public Whirling Project
Performance, dimensions variable

An original form of whirling in Mongolia was thought to have been practiced by nomadic tribes as a healing ceremony. Though the connection between these tribes and what is recognized as traditional whirling in Turkey has yet to be academically confirmed, their is a similar emphasis on the potential for physical healing in the ceremonies of the Mevlevi Sufi dervishes. Based on the idea that human beings can be positively affected by exposure to whirling, Mira created this project with the intention that these same benefits could be harnessed to bring that energy to places in need. Each ritual is performed in an devastated in environment. To date most of the locations have been urban, including ship yards, subway platforms and alleys in depressed neighbourhoods. These events have been documented with simple photography.

Watch web video of Mira Hunter whirling >>

Century of Small

2009
Century of Small
Performance, dimensions variable

A performance of whirling by Mira and her father/teacher Raqib Brian Burke, choreographed by Mira, accompanied by stop motion and bullet time film created by Mira, with a live multi instrumental soundscape by Canadian composer Eric Powell. Performed in 2009 at the CanAsian Dance Festival in Toronto, 2009.

 

Kiss Project

2009
Kiss Project
Video, dimensions variable

During the traditional Mevlevi Sufi whirling dervish ceremony of Sema the final ritual is a processional kiss. Mira uses the symbol of that kiss to discuss the right of heritage and permission within the context of a male dominated, Eastern religious order. This animation also features her father and teacher, Raqib Brian Burke. The photos were produced in a Vancouver shopping mall's photobooth in 2009.

Mira Hunter

2008
Time Machine (including The Happiest Molecule of All)
Installation, dimensions variable

A multi-media installation featuring a projected bullet time film, a stop motion animated film, a binaurally recorded soundtrack listened to on headphones, a viewing structure with seating, and wall mounted light boxes all created by the artists. Installed in 2008 at the Bartlett Gallery, SFU, Vancouver.

Time Machine
was produced in collaboration with Mira's husband, Derek Hunter. It featured 65 disposable cameras fixed to a 360-degree rail made from reclaimed lumber, activated by electromechanical solenoids. The photographs feature Mira, who is a second-generation whirling dervish. They were animated in a sequence, giving the audience the visual experience of revolving around a whirling dervish, caught in a single moment. The images, often displaying unusual exposure disturbances and anomalies, were scanned and made into two films which played simultaneously within a wooden yurt. Time Machine features a film projected on the inside of a yurt-like viewing structure. The film loops, and is projected on two opposing walls. The yurt was constructed around a central load bearing beam, that was a part of the permanent gallery space. The entire structure was made from reclaimed, found or recycled materials. The roof was covered with handmade antique suzanis from Central Asia and old moving blankets. At the centre of the yurt, was a rounded bench, covered with the same textiles as the roof. There was a single oval entrance. The bench organically wrapped and curves around the load bearing beam, and hanging on the beam were 8 sets of headphones. The soundtrack was binaurally recorded, combining traditional chanting and singing, breathing, and wind harp. The soundtrack was created while whirling and wearing binaural recording equipment. On the back exterior, viewed through a crack in the planks, was a short stop frame animation loop, called The Happiest Molecule of All. The music for the installation of this tiny loop was a traditional zikr (specifically intended to treat mental illness) from the album by Dr. Oruç Güvenc & Tümata, called Ocean of Remembrance. The soundtrack for the animation was played softly from small speakers concealed in the yurt's wall, leading the viewer to discover it. The yurt was accompanied by a series of wall mounted light boxes, crafted from reclaimed metal, wood and plexiglass, displaying transparancies of film stills from the film. The concept was to attempt to translate the recognized restorative energy of traditional whirling through technology, allowing the viewer to have a positive emotional and physical response.

More images of Time Machine >

Watch video of Time Machine >>

Watch The Happiest Molecule of All >>

 


 

 

 
 

© 2014 Mira Hunter