︎ ANIKA TODD
                                                                        












    From Above ︎︎︎












There is a contemporary principle of property law that was first articulated in Europe over 800 years ago:  “Whoever’s is the soil, it is theirs all the way to Heaven and all the way to Hell.” This 13th century definition of land ownership translates cleanly into US law today. Referenced in 1946 by the Supreme Court case US v. Causby, the landowner “owns at least as much of the space above the ground as he (sic) can occupy or use, in connection with the land.”

My current body of work investigates this Western principle that seeks to legitimize private ownership of earth and sky. The works examine the implications of the human impulse to survey, to organize, and to dominate that which is uncomfortably unknown. Through sculpture and video, I reconfigure materials and imaging techniques historically used for surveilling and controlling public space. By refocusing these technologies for public/playful use, I seek to forge new space within systems that own in order to control.
                                                        


Self Portrait
4:04
2020
Manhattan, NY

This two-channel video work explores these concepts by challenging the omniscience of the traditional god's-eye-view.  Self Portrait seeks to articulate a more nuanced method of looking from above by reimagining “seeing” technologies originally developed for surveillance and/or military operations. Instead of a drone, a camera flies over the streets of Manhattan on a cluster of balloons; the resulting footage present a divergent aerial perspective, one that is precarious, humble, and tethered to the ground.

Gone Daddy Gone/ Stimulus
4:00
2020
Manhattan, NY
Looking into the windows of Wall Street to find empty floors during the height of the 2020 pandemic summer. Shot with a camera on a string of balloons in policed airspace.


 
To Hold Water
Exibition stills
Materials: Water traveling on rope, a pump, three-channel video installation
Year: 2021
Flux Factory, NY
Exhibition image from To Hold Water a sculptural installation built around the Self Portrait video.
 

Streetlight For Poet
Dimensions: 40’’ x 60’’
Materials: Streetlight, security mirror, reflective paint
2020
Austin, TX
Using a security mirror, parking-lot line paint, and a streetlamp,
this work reconfigures materials historically used to organize and surveille public space.