Laura Cooper


In this week's Playlist we present a selection of videos by April's Artist of the Month Laura Cooper.

Color Poem [For Hyesou's Herd], 2015

HD Video on Flat Screen TV & Felt Sculpture | (4mins) 2015

This Color Poem is part of a larger project and installation made up of charts, video and sculpture called Nomadic Glow. Nomadic Glow attempts to record—in a deliberately limited, schematic fashion—the elaborate naming system that Mongolian nomadic herdsman use to identify each individual horse in their herd, which is based on their nuanced perception of horse coat colors.

When visiting the Mongolian Steppe, I brought with me a range of industrial paint color chips and invited Hyesou—a local nomadic herdsman—to match the horses in his herd through this limited selection of paint colors. The poem is the result of his selections. The voice in the video has been auto-tuned and restricted to a color scale where color tone corresponds to musical tone.

Birds, 2012

Video Installation | (8mins) 2012
A Whistled and Text Code For Canary Wharf London UK 2012.

BIRDS is a film made with four participants, a group of young men, who were given the task to invent a code communicated with whistled speech and phone texts for the purpose of a navigating the city landscape. The game takes place in the financial district of Canary Wharf, their aim is to avoid being seen by the numerous CCTV camera’s throughout the underground and business areas of Canary Wharf.

The film transposes whistled language traditionally used in rural mountainous areas into the urban structures and office tower blocks of Canary Wharf. It combines this whistled form of medium range communication with current telecommunication devises in the form of text messages and mobile twitter.

The film has a social political dimension as it collages the young group of men with the conventional work environment and global financial surroundings, the men appear out of place and their actions prove ominous and perhaps feral or animal hence the title ‘BIRDS’. Along with their subversive activities communicating in code and dodging the CCTV, the film broadly aims to examine the tensions present in this environment and the parameters of social and personal freedom in such urban spaces. 

Lure, 2017

HD video | 15mins; (Work in progress) 2016-17

The filming of LURE began on the US election day. The day before, I had met up with Patrick. I put an ad on Craigslist to film a hunter, and skimmed through for the most authentic seeming replies. Patrick and I agreed to meet the next day at 4.30am at the edge of forest to go deer hunting with a cross bow.

I had washed all my clothes and body in the required scent-blocking products and set off. We sat for hours in an elaborately camouflaged tent, waiting as the night gave into the light, allowing the camera to prey on the hunter who attempted to lure his prey.

Apprehensive, scared even at first now it seems important to have made this connection, and to have spent the election day in close proximity to a man with a weapon in the woods, who, after we finished hunting/shooting, was going to place his vote.

Flutter, 2016

Performance to Camera Oslo / Video documentation | (8mins) 2016

Flutter shows a limited view of a seemingly chance encounter between an accordionist and a set of sliding doors. A simple duet forms as the musician marks in chords passers by who enter and leave through the doors.

The film is a document of an intervention into the city but the camera's view of the event is selective and intimate, it almost discovers and reveals the nuances of the interaction. The space is an entrance to the Oslo T-bane where often street performers play. The architecture by chance produces a flutter echo.

This video was made during a residency with Praksis Oslo & Oslo Pilot Norway.

View Laura's Artist of the Month interview >

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More film and video works >