Skip navigation

Reva Stone: Imaginal Expression

Step into an immersive 3D environment where a molecule forms and responds to your movement.

An artwork that watches and responds to viewers. Genetic mutations of cell molecules that occur because people are present. Imagery created from scanned surfaces of the human body. These are the experiences of Reva Stone’s current exhibition, Imaginal Expression. Instead of being frightening, this artwork is fascinating, and even beautiful.

Imaginal Expression is a response to the prevalence of body imaging technology—ultrasound, X-ray imaging (CT), and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). While these and other biotechnologies are furthering medical research and human life, it is important to think about them in critical ways. Imaginal Expression is a viewer activated, computer-generated, real-time animated 3D environment. Visitors will experience panoramic 3D imagery of moving forms based on protein molecules (cells that direct all biological processes). Moving as if in an aquarium, the forms are wrapped with scanned imagery from the human body—flesh, hair, blood vessels, bruises, and scars. As people are sensed in the Gallery, the molecular components begin to animate to form a molecule, to mutate, and to follow the movement of the visitor. When the visitor leaves, the molecule begins to degenerate. Imaginal Expression is a compelling representation of living cells. It is a metaphor for the inevitability of life and death, and the role that we, as individuals, play in directing the course of biotechnology.

For the duration of her exhibition, Reva Stone will be using the Gallery’s TechLab as a studio space to develop her current project, Exchange, which explores a form of artificial intelligence. The project combines voice and face recognition software, video capture, and graphics to create a work that appears to have sentience. Visitors are invited to drop by to meet the artist and view the work in progress. Reva Stone’s residency in the TechLab is made possible with a new media artist in residence grant from the Canada Council for the Arts.

About the Artist

For more than ten years, Reva Stone has been investigating western culture’s drive to model, simulate, engineer and manipulate biological life. She says, “I situate my work at the increasingly blurred boundary between what is born and what is manufactured, what is animate and what is inanimate.” Stone has exhibited her work internationally and is also active as a curator, a writer, an educator, and a mentor to artists through MAWA, Mentoring Artists for Women’s Art. She is based in Winnipeg.

Read the exhibition brochure.

Read the Open Book publication.

Image credit: Visitor experiencing Reva Stone's Imaginal Expression (detail).