fig. 19: Pell Mell, 1994
© Corinne Whitaker

unfolding: a memoir


An intense passion was born, to escape historical and geographic imperative and to seek an unmediated truth from direct experience, without the intervention of religion/family/society. To search for a world where old definitions would not apply, where loud did not equal valid, where other-than carried beauty in its soul.

fig. 20: Zydomby, 1995
© Corinne Whitaker

I found that world sixteen years ago, in the seduction of the digital. I discovered it on the edge of space, where the known world disappears and the unknown thrusts itself upon you with quiet urgency. I found it on the cusp of tomorrow, among the footprints of the unborn, in the depths of the unmapped soul, while searching for the inaccessible self. These became the wild territories from which I drew my strength and my inspiration. From then on I would paint without Picasso's brush, draw without Cezanne's crayon, scrutinize the world without the intervention of Ansel's lens.

fig. 21: Marriage, 1995
© Corinne Whitaker

I would command sixteen million colors at the touch of a stylus. In the arcane world of gigabytes and RAM, of SCSI's and bitmaps, I would search for the soul of a modern woman in the heart of a new machine. I knew that the computer's alphabet recognizes only two symbols, zero and one, but I knew also that they are genderless and timeless and that they offer to the mind of an artist a place of no restrictions and no limits. I would use a glass monitor to shatter the old glass box.

fig.22: Shell Shocked, 1992
© Corinne Whitaker

Later, medical science would give my mutant genes an ominous name, but it was too late: I had embraced otherness as an essential part of my self. Had I been born later, my parents would have been given genetic counseling, told not to reproduce. Had they read, four years earlier, Olaf Stapledon's science fiction work "Last and First Men", they would not have understood that the eugenics he described would have negated any offspring. I no long worried that I might be a work of fiction, science fiction, myself; I was no longer concerned that genetics labeled me an evolutionary cul-de-sac. I had embraced my own historical imperative:


fig. 23: Yin's Yang, 1997
© Corinne Whitaker

"I know I am august,
I do not trouble my spirit to vindicate
itself or be understood,
I see that the elementary laws
never apologize."







All images and text © Corinne Whitaker.