Joan Jonas (b. 1936)
Organic Honey's Visual Telepathy (1972)
1972, 17:24 min, b&w, sound

Organic Honey's Visual Telepathy is based on Jonas' 1972 performance of the same name, the first in which she used video. In an enigmatic ritual of identity, Jonas performs as herself and as her masked double, Organic Honey. Dressed in a feathered headdress and costumes, Organic Honey is the embodiment of artifice, masquerade and narcissism — a female alter-ego whose guise is a frozen doll's face. This elliptical, nonlinear narrative performance explores themes that are emblematic of Jonas' early video work: The study of female gestures and archetypes, both personal and cultural; the use of disguise and masquerade, ritual objects and ritualized self-examination; and an inquiry into subjectivity and objectivity. The work's formal elements — the layering of mirrors and mirrored images, manipulations of reflective space and spatial ambiguity, and the use of drawing to add a further layering of meaning — are also Jonas' signatures. -- EAI

This title is available for exhibitions, screenings, and institutional use through Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI), NY. Please visit the EAI Online Catalogue for further information about this artist and work. The EAI site offers extensive resources for curators, students, artists and educators, including: an in-depth guide to exhibiting, collecting, and preserving media art; A Kinetic History: The EAI Archives Online, a collection of essays, primary documents, and media charting EAI's 40-year history and the early years of the emergent video art scene; and expanded contextual and educational materials.

Joan Jonas in UbuWeb Sound