Defence Mechanism is the title shared by a two-channel multimedia installation and a live lecture performance. The installation’s approximate dimensions are 5ft. x 10ft. x 3ft. All video elements were produced and edited by Alistair Debling. The installation was designed by the artist and constructed with technical guidance from Luke Todd. The lecture performance’s duration is 45 minutes and is performed live by the artist, using the installation and additional projection as its mise-en-scène.


The installation presents the airport security system as an Artaudian cinema in which processes of seeing and being seen converge with state and insurgent violence. Fed through the airport conveyor’s reel, the body is reduced to constituent objects (laptops, liquids, loose change) then parsed into categories of threat by surveillance technologies. The lecture performance, which expands on the video element of the installation, uses the language of both self-care and self-destructive practices to explore the confusion of aid and intervention with death and destruction in western foreign policy.




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Installation View

Pre-fabricated aluminum roller conveyor, plywood frame, rubber sheeting, plastic bins, MacBook Pro, Sennheiser headphones, mirror ball, rotating motor, spotlight, HD monitor, zip-lock bag, live sourdough culture (rye flour, water), glass jar, stainless steel spoon, rye flour, silicone cast, vibrating motor, electrical wiring, fluorescent light fixtures. 10ft x 5ft x 3 ft.

C'est La Guerre

HD video, 9 minutes 11 seconds, looped. 

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HEAD (Installation Detail)

Plastic bin, MacBook Pro, HD video, Sennheiser headphones. 


HD video, 5 minutes 51 seconds, looped. 

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HEART (Installation Detail)

HD monitor, HD video, mirror ball, rotating motor, spotlight, plastic bin, plywood frame, rubber sheeting.

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GUT (Installation Detail)

Zip-lock bag, live sourdough culture (rye flour, water), glass jar, stainless steel spoon, rye flour, plastic bin.

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PHALLUS (Installation Detail)

Silicone cast (scale model of General Atomics MQ-1 Predator Drone), vibrating motor, electrical wiring, plastic bin.


Lecture Performance Documentation