︎ 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.”
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 presents a divergent aerial perspective, one that is precarious, humble, and tethered to the ground.
Gone Daddy Gone/ Stimulus
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
Water traveling on rope, a pump, three-channel video installation
Flux Factory, NY
Exhibition image from To Hold Water a sculptural installation built around the Self Portrait video.
Streetlight For Poet
40’ x 60’
Streetlight, security mirror, reflective paint
Using a security mirror, parking-lot line paint, and a streetlamp,
this work reconfigures materials historically used to organize and surveille public space.