IRISIRIS is a set of looping online videos that correspond to the eight phases of Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) treatment. EMDR focuses on reprogramming the brain's response to a traumatic event, changing how the event is stored, and reducing and eliminating problematic symptoms. By repetitively crossing the brain's hemisphere with sound and images, EMDR attempts to heal and reform neural pathways formed by the event.
The eight videos in IRISIRIS use sound and imagery that are symmetrical and hypnotic: the sound pans from ear to ear, and the mirrored imagery moves from eye to eye, crossing and recrossing the brain's center. Although the videos follow the eight phases of EMDR, they can be viewed in or out of order, with or without sound.
This project began in quarantine. In isolation, I started processing my father's sudden death anew, cut off from the coping strategies and routines that have allowed me to avoid processing the event. I sought to make space for myself, to invite healing by developing more positive self associations with the event. I hope that isolated viewers can use the videos to make space to examine their own traumatic events and the language and tools they use to process them.
*Created with support from the Jack Straw New Media Gallery residency.