Instinct / Extinct and Oblivion Atlas Series

Instinct / Extinct
Nearly every living thing is affected by instincts-except humans.
Ours are gone. The closest thing we inherit are drives: eros and destruction.

We created this series using both. We let our drives take over with each image relating to the previous as a tangent creating a felt possible reality like an hallucination that involves all the senses and lets the viewer be a participant. The audience is the dénouement based on their desires based on their memories–individually and collectively.

We let brute sense and intellect intersect-sometimes canceling each other out, sometimes compounding-merging form and content to let the works turn in on themselves. The photos have been deconstructed, some in execution, some in concept, some temporally, and some spatially.

The mixing of process has always had a profound effect on us. This time we’re adapting a nearly extinct form of photography to 21st century methods. Gold is malleable, conductive and universally important. We are exploring the idea that the medium of photography is more important than any one photo because the radical mechanics of photography has caused us to consider the making of images. We’ve taken the raw materials, changed variables and given them new possibilities within the realm of photography.

Bears hibernate, ants divide labor,
humans make art
and art serves itself.

Oblivion Atlas
The Oblivion Atlas, a collaboration between Louviere+Vanessa and Michael Allen Zell, features photographs, short stories, vignette illustrations, and a book design by Jeff Louviere no less sublime than its contents.

The book first came about as a constraint determined by Zell from the initial lines of Jacques Prevert’s To Paint A Portrait Of A Bird (“First paint a cage/with an open door”), secondly by the attempt at developing a corollary style of frozen-image writing as worthy counterpart to the hypnotic spells cast by photography and long takes in film, and ultimately by the specific influence and inspiration of L+V’s fertile decade of photographic art. The second ballast was formed by Louviere + Vanessa’s visual response to the context of lost souls in crisis and finding one’s way rather than visually repeating actions already described.

The Oblivion Atlas explores and accumulates an aviary of themes, including dreams; time-sculpting; memory; madness; resistance; nihilism; the frequencies and trajectories of the mind; absorbing/dissolving; and infinity in a finite space. New Orleans remains a steady companion throughout, as an active guiding presence treated in a singular manner. This book is precise but not taut, assertive but not doctrinaire, ambitious but not exclusive, inviting the reader in by its very design and the affirmation that
“…the first act of freedom is when the mind says no and the second when it says yes.”

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