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PROJECTS
Heal / Skin Projects
Title: HEAL / SKIN PROJECTS
Year: 2000 - Present
Type: Series of objects and prints created with my own skin and body.

HEAL / SANTIAGO ECHEVERRY ©2008
HEAL / SANTIAGO ECHEVERRY ©2008
Click on image to view at larger size 64"x30"
Digital print using archival ink on metallic paper



HEAL / SANTIAGO ECHEVERRY ©2008

HEAL / SANTIAGO ECHEVERRY ©2008
Click on image to view at larger size 30"x30"
Digital print using archival ink on metallic paper


Never criticize a man until you've walked a mile in his moccasins

HEAL is an ongoing project that studies the properties of the digital flat bed scanner by capturing at high resolution a self inflicted bleeding wound on the artist’s left heel.

The artist peeled a portion of his own skin from his heel and placed his left foot on a flat bed scanner. The fresh wound kept bleeding on the glass surface while the machine scanned the sole. Two images were captured, a rectangular portrait of the foot that appears floating on a black vacuum, and a square detail of the wound.

The scanning took 11 minutes and 31 seconds to capture the large picture of the foot, and 2 minutes and 35 seconds for the smaller square detail of the wound. This process reminds us of the earlier photographic techniques that required minutes of exposition in order to imprint an image onto a negative or plaque. The scanner behaves as a slow digital photography method, but also, because of the 6400 DPI high resolution, it behaves as a microscope, revealing what seems to be invisible to the naked eye.

The general image looks like the foot of an unidentified corpse in a morgue and at the same time it reminds us of the foot impressions performed as a method of identification on newborn babies. In these impressions, the layers of skin appear as an abstract composition of flesh colors and blood, revealing the veins and different layers of the dermis.

The wound stopped bleeding 5 minutes after the scanning was over, the pain was gone after two days, the artist stopped limping after three days and the sole/soul finally healed after four days, with new skin growing and smoothing the surface of the heel a week later.

In a world that requires instant digital gratification in the form of voice messages, emails, IMs, electronic conversations, the healing process of any sort of wound – whether of the body or of the soul - is a slow and very personal experience. By using the scanner as a slow method of photography, and by creating logs of the entire technical procedure the artist challenges the notion of digital speed and forces the viewer to reflect on the nature of pain.

The resulting product is a combination of two images: a large 3 feet wide by 7 feet tall digital print, and a 3 x 3 feet impression, both on high quality photographic paper.

=> => => => => => => => => => => => => => => => => => => =>

FOOT SCANNING LOG    //////     Dec 18 2007

EPSON EXPRESSION 1680/ES-2200 FLATBED SCANNER / UT PHOTO LAB
////////////////////////////
ALL FOOT
start 11.28.00
end 11.39.31
total 11 MINUTES 31 SECONDS
///////////////////////////
SQUARE DETAIL 2
START 11.49.31
END 11…………
SCANNER CRASHED FOR THE THIRD TIME ARGH!!!!!!!!!!!
I haven't been able to move my foot from it...
I HAD TO REDUCE THE DPI TO 3200
//////////////////////////
SQUARE DETAIL 3
START 11.55.55
ARGH.... SCANNER DIED AGAIN 11.57.18
Restarting computer and scanner... argh....
//////////////////////////
SQUARE DETAIL 4
Foot is getting numb. Wound hurts
I have to use my other foot to turn scanner off. I cannot reach the scanner with my hands without falling from the chair and moving the foot
Scanner restarts at 12.00.20
Gonna have to reduce the DPI again... argh... Im gonna try again at 3200
/////////////////////////
SQUARE DETAIL 5
START 12.04.04
END
CRASHED AGAIN... :-( 12.05.30
/////////////////////////
SQUARE DETAIL 6 2400 DPI
start 12.08.52
end 12.09.52
YAY!!!
GONNA TRY at 4800DPI
9600x9600 dpi
start 12.11.12
end 12.12.29
my foot is numb...
DONE!
//////////////////////////
LAST TRY AT 6400 DPI
START 12.17 18
END 12.19.53
I'M GOING TO MOVE MY FOOT AWAY
Total 51minutes 53 seconds




SKIN

The first project in the series is a piece of my skin that was auctionned in the equivalent of EBAY for Latin America - DeRemate.com. Because of their rules, that forbid the selling of human organs, I could not sell the original piece of skin, but instead I had to sell a printed digital reproduction of the object. I won the first award in Digital Imaging for "Imágenes que Navegan", the first contest of this type in Colombia in 2000.

SKIN SKIN

The second group is a series of transparent resin paperweights, created as "souvenirs" from a folk art store. Instead of bugs or dry flowers, they contain my skin with an engraved copper plate that says "I've got you under my skin". These pieces were inspired by Dinah Washington's interpretation of the song with the same title. (2003)
MASK MASK


The third series of objects is a 12" x 8" assemblage of pieces of my own skin, sewn with copper wire.

Originally intended to be a Lamp Cover, inspired by the horrible experiments the Nazis performed on their victims, the skin became too brittle and it became a piece on its own.

It took me almost 2 years to complete this piece, harvesting the samples from the soles of my feet. My dog ate half of the samples, thinking they were treats.

The image displayed is not the finished piece, it is only half-way through (2003).

SKIN SKIN
SKIN SKIN


These are the most recent series of prints on paper made with my own skin (2009)

After the murder of my oldest brother on August 24th, 2008 in Bogotá, Colombia, I expressed my anger and sadness in a medium that was different from any other media I had used before.

The entire process of creating the prints on paper is reminder of the way the skin is peeled off the foot.

Each of these prints is approximately 12"x8"