Description The Magic Lantern was a pre-cinematic device that worked in a similar way to contemporary slide projectors. The lantern anticipated photography and film as mass entertainment, and directly engaged with scientific theories of its day. “On the Nature of Fire” takes its name from Emilie Du Chatelet’s 1737 essay documenting her scientific experiments into the nature of light.
This video piece works within the time frame of the age of enlightenment, when art, entertainment, science and magic all stood under the same alchemical light. Using the history of optics as a narrative guide, “On the Nature of Fire” investigates hidden histories, revealing to the viewer the construction not only of the images projected (through the play between real and unreal elements) and the mechanics used to project them, but also the workings of the human imagination and it’s (growing) reliance on technology.
Bio Christina Corfield received her MFA in New Genres from the San Francisco Art Institute. She currently resides in the UK and will soon be returning stateside to pursue a PhD. Her relationship to new media is one predicated on imperfection, specifically, the importance of imperfection in a digital culture driven by the desire for seamlessness and unquestioned functionality. Her videos centre around differing virtualities and the apparatuses used to engage with them, whether through video cameras and editing software or cardboard, paper and glue.