Heads Will Roll

by Lyndsey Walsh, 2016

half skull revolving in 3D with black blobs

Base Materialism

Inspired by Rosalind Krauss and Yves Alain Bois’ four performative operations of the Volatile Taxonomy published in their book “Formless: A User’s Guide”, Walsh proposed a central thesis that this curatorial critique could be used artistically to re-write the narratives about taxonomical forms in evolutionary zoology.

Heads Will Roll is a critique on the limitations that have emerged out of the sign- signifier system in taxonomy. Superficially, the images presented in this work are re-animated forms of the once living organisms they had belonged to. However, each animation goes beyond the breaking of a static anatomical image. Heads Will Roll through its four procedures (Base Materialism, Pulse, Entropy, and Horizontality), works to create a new visual narrative about Cetacean forms that accounts for its developmental changes, role in the production of sonar, construction of 3-D form, and the forms relationship to the extremes of its environment.

This work was done in collaboration with Dr. Joy Reidenberg, and the project was mentored by Mitch Joachim. Heads Will Roll was awarded Honors by the Senior Project committee at The Gallatin School of Individualized Studies at New York University in 2016.