Marie-Jeanne Boyer 𝄅 Hewitt Miller 𝄅 Teague Riordan in collaboration with Josh Wyrosdic
projected 3D animations, glass, plastic, silicone, pewter, paper
Overflow is inspired by Josh Wyrosdic’ ongoing research which involves 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), a psychoactive drug commonly known as ecstasy, seeking to ask why and how MDMA causes arginine vasopressin (AVP) release, while there is a common yet unfounded belief that MDMA causes the urge to drink fluids. While the intake of MDMA leads to serotonin release, it subsequently leads to the release of oxytocin and vasopressin, which are found in the same region of the brain. Because AVP causes vasoconstriction, it also causes water retention; it is an antidiuretic. If the MDMA user drinks a lot of water without sufficient electrolytes, they can develop hyponatremia — cell swelling. This can be fatal, as the brain swells and essentially drowns itself. Tests are currently being conducted to make MDMA a potential treatment for depressive symptoms, yet, the people conducting those tests might not be aware of Wyrosdic's research.
The installation, by means of proximity and context, invites the viewer to associate the elements present in space with the possibility of danger and loss of control. The projections simultaneously illustrate two realities. One shows the high action potential between serotonin with the oxytocin and vasopressin cells, while the second is an exploration of what we can imagine happens in the brain at the microscopic level during this event. Sculptural elements presented as artefacts of a potential reality are found within the reproduction of the familiar, usually inoffensive water glass, and its counterpart, the normal, well founded medical prescription, this time containing metallic pills, putting emphasis on their factitious nature. Overflow implies how the interaction of seemingly simple elements can lead to serious complications when details are not taken into account.
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Marie-Jeanne Boyer is a visual artist based in Montréal, primarily invested in graphic design, more particularly drawing and analog photography. Although a lot of her work is done digitally, she enjoys integrating more traditional media, mostly because of their distinct physical properties and processes. Her creative approach is often conceptual in nature, while also very much anchored in technical skills. Her interest in poststructuralism and optimization is what led her to study design at Concordia University.
Hewitt Miller is an object designer and sculptor working with pewter, wood, metal, and plastic. He focuses on design objects for home spaces and comforting environments. His sculpture work is based in the autonomy of materials; the unpredictability that arises when we loosen our control over these materials. He is in his final year of a BFA in Design at Concordia University.
Teague Riordon is a 3D artist and designer based in Montreal, currently attending Concordia University as an undergraduate design student. He works primarily in Blender and Affinity, with experience covering product design and prototyping, 3D modeling, animation and rendering. He is currently researching the 3D printing of bio-plastics for widespread hobby applications in preparation for a Master’s of Design, and working on a short film animation project.