The installation Biophilia will enable participants to interact with and generate organic forms based upon the distortion of the user’s shadow. A number of myths and metaphors are used to describe the origin of picture making, most of which involve shadows. Plato’s Cave allegory describes how our understanding of the world through vision is not necessarily the same as what is physically visible. Within the installation Biophilia the participant and his/her shadow are synthesized into a larger cultural picture of self and place yet reduced to a derivative echo containing both, “resemblance and menace”. The shadow resembles the participant, a virtual manifestation of the relationship the user has with the screen. At once reduced to a two-dimensional image which menacingly begins to merge with other organisms in the same screen space, without consent nor care for the sovereignty of the user’s concept of self and space. Biophilia attempts to meld subject and its surrounds in a semiotic and symbiotic play of action and reaction.
Mark Cypher received a Master of Visual Arts in Sculpture, in 1995, from Sydney University, Australia, and is currently a Senior Lecturer and Program Chair for Multimedia at Murdoch University – Western Australia. Mark also began his Ph.D. in 2004 researching Actor Network Theory in relation to interactive artworks. Cypher has participated in several international exhibitions, including “404” II FILE.