Gail Wight (US) Pool

Video installation, 2017

Pool is a reflection on cause and effect, on interconnectivity, and on the fragility and resiliency of tide pools in the threatened intertidal zone. These miniature worlds are created and recreated daily at the border of land and sea, and are besieged on multiple fronts, by nature and by man-made pollutants and the disruptions of industry.

Shot with an underwater camera using a macro lens in the tide pools of northern California, the vivid underwater footage has been edited into seven overlapping “pools” which are then projected from the ceiling onto the floor in dizzying detail. Hanging just beneath the projector, high in the ceiling, is a flat clear dish holding six liters of water. This water is churned intermittently, in synchrony with the recorded sounds of seagulls and mournful foghorns. The concentric ripples disrupt the projection as it passes through the water, creating a disorienting experience as the “live” waves move across the seven pools.

Pool brings the littoral zone, inaccessible to most of the world’s population, to a space just underfoot, allowing visitors to peer down into these watery worlds. Pool asks us to stop and to see, and to pay homage to these microcosmos so essential to our shared future.

Gail Wight (US)

Gail Wight is a visual artist constructing biological allegories. Working across mediums – sculpture, video, interactive electronics and print – her art teases out the impacts of the life sciences on the living: human, animal, and other. The interplay between art and biology, theories of evolution, deep time, animal consciousness, and the vagaries of biochemistry are themes that have, over the past three decades, become central to her work. Wight’s recent works of art have turned to California’s wild northern coastline as a vibrant repository of these themes.

Gail Wight holds an MFA in New Genres from the San Francisco Art Institute where she was a Javits Fellow, and a BFA from the Studio for Interrelated Media at Massachusetts College of Art. She has exhibited her works internationally in both solo and group exhibitions, and her art has been collected by numerous institutions, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Yale University, and the Centro Andaluz de Art Contemporaneo in Spain. Gail Wight is a professor of Art Practice in Stanford’s Department of Art & Art History, where she focuses on experimental media and hybrid technologies.