Photography was Emma Reasoner’s first love, but her relationship to images is complicated by a generational position: growing up awash in immaterial images that are not her own, like a thick choking amniotic fluid. As a digital native, her body is situated in an immediate and visceral relation to the technologies that have marked, changed, imprinted and brutally reconstructed it. Our abstracted notions of digital space are imaginary, but their invention has real and measured effects in the arrangement of bodies and worlds. Living within a networked matrix of abstracted time (the clock) and space (the screen), she feels alienated from her own body’s subjectivity.
In sincere, earnest search for the humor and pathos of existence, Reasoner offers objects, actions, and images that return us to our bodies, as phenomenological sites to locate central perspective in the “here” of bodily dwelling. Reasoner collects and chisels moments, images, and conversations to build lo-fi, often diaristic, sensory-scapes of atmospheric voice, sound, smell, and tactile material installed in spaces that would typically weight and privilege sight.
When Reasoner does employ image, it serves a need to mirror one’s self, to describe women’s worlds, queer worlds otherwise rarely described. She uses durational and relatively static moving image, which demand patience and redirect attention back to corporeal senses alternative to sight. By under-utilizing visual modes of showing, subjects and identities resist fixed representation under the camera’s oppressive and flattening eye.
Emma Reasoner is a current MFA candidate at Ohio University’s program in Photography + Integrated Media. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Denison University in 2015. Previous to which, her family lived and worked transnationally teaching in Japan, Vietnam, and India throughout Reasoner’s adolescence. Now living in Athens, Ohio, USA, she negotiates her competing privileges of white-settler, cis-gendered embodiment within queer identity, womanhood, Midwestern working-class background, and personal experiences of sexual abuse and sizeism. Her tools vary, but often incorporate new media, video projection, audio recording, performance, fiber art, and alterative/historical photographic processes.