Georgia b. Smith, American, b. 1989. Cavernous Bodies, 2022.

Video On loan courtesy of the artist

Cavernous Bodies

January 2, 2024 - February 29, 2024

Security Credit Union Gallery

Combining her background in dance and metal fabrication, Georgia b. Smith’s Cavernous Bodies is a performative experiment preoccupied with the bonds and borders between living bodies and nonliving environments. Smith braids speculative design, soft robotics, and object theater together with mechanical automation and human choreography. The set through which performers move, adorned with silicone wearables and tethered to air compressors, is made up of a synthetic tree with pulsing fruit, disembodied lungs, and a landscape of miniature biospheres, isolated within membranes that appear to breathe. Inflatable silicones are programmed to “breathe” alongside human performers, challenging the notion of separateness between beings and things. 

This surreal scene is presented with a droning, mechanical soundtrack accompanied by eerily “natural” clicking sounds made by Smith’s robotic pieces. These wearables, through choreographic transitions, variously appear to be medical, fashionable, symbiotic, or parasitical. 

Smith is an interdisciplinary artist that creates sculptural environments which she activates through performance. Her sculptures become prosthetic parts of performers' bodies or perform themselves through motors, lights, and sound. To Smith, the film is often the end point of each project, becoming an extension of the choreography and capturing a world where the performers, props, and stage are all equally active participants in the performance. Smith received her MFA from the University of Michigan in 2022.