Luis De Jesus Los Angeles
Aug 20, 2020 1:00AM

By Britta Camer

Still from Lia Halloran's Double Horizon

A painter, photographer, and science enthusiast, Lia Halloran fuses together artistic creativity with a splash of scientific elements into her works. As an investigative explorer of space in its physical, psychological, and scientific forms, Lia uses these concepts as a major point to begin her creations; art allows her to express various concepts in science and gives her an outlet to explore many different themes that relate to humans, such as our place in the world, both psychologically and emotionally.

Her newest work, Double Horizon, is an immersive art installation that showcases Los Angeles using four different cameras attached to a plane that Lia is conveniently piloting. Not only does the film allow viewers to see LA from a million different angles, but it is quite disorienting in its presentation. Depending on the angle of the plane in any given moment, LA is filmed sideways, upside down, and in doubles ultimately giving the viewer shots of the city that wouldn’t be possible without the finished film. Lia, although not actively aware of the footage she was obtaining, put together a beautiful, chaotic, and intriguing video of bustling Los Angeles, a city that is our home, yet seems like another world in the clips. Ultimately, the video shines light on our optical limitations as humans and the realization that the landscape imagery is only achievable because of our technological advances. Below we spoke with the artist on this latest body of work.

What inspired you to create Double Horizon?

There are a few things that led me to create this video work. The first is that I was hit by an Uber driver while walking across the sidewalk a few years ago. I messed up my back and couldn't ride my bike or skateboard, so I decided to do something I always wanted to do: learn to fly. It was only a matter of time that I started thinking of how I could use the plane as a tool to create an art piece. I've used the theme of time in my work previously and was thinking of ways to use the time-based medium of video work to manipulate and shift our perspective of the landscape.

What were the challenges, if any, in taking the footage of LA from a plane using 4 different cameras?

Capturing the imagery was quite simple, I didn't really try to shoot anything in particular. I mounted cameras to different points of the plane at varying angles and then would start recording when I got my call from air traffic control I was cleared for take off. There were a few times I wish the camera was pointed in a different direction from something cool I'd see while flying that would be missed, but there were many times the cameras caught things I couldn't plan for.

With a love for science, how did you end up getting into the arts?

To flip your question and answer it in reverse; first and foremost my interest and drive is to be a creator and a maker and its surprising even to me that most of my work is about science. I worked in a machine shop at the Exploratorium in San Francisco, which is a hands-on science museum while in high school. I learned how to build just about everything while also doing cow eye dissections, LASER demonstrations, or learning about electricity, magnetism... you name it, we had an exhibit for it. Everything was blended; art, science, design, engineering, it was about curiosity and creation.

What would you like to see in the future in regards to science and art being more fluidly combined?

Collaboration is a magical thing, and the most compelling combinations I've seen blur the line between disciplines. I don't necessarily think you can put two things next to each other, then look for similarities and call them combined or interdisciplinary but I do think both art and science share an awful lot with each other in terms of problem-solving and innovation happening when you are thinking outside the box, yet these disciplines are also very different in other ways.

I noticed that some of your paintings focus on the solar system, for Double Horizon what is it that intrigues you about space, both physical and celestial?

I think of Double Horizon as a physical exploration of my lived environment. The city I traverse through and exist in- whether by car or air. In a broader sense, I think of Double Horizon as a double portrait- of the city of Los Angeles itself, and as a self-portrait of me in the cockpit flying above the city. I make work about things that I experience, so whether that's an exploration of Los Angeles or the night sky above us, it's a lived and intimate experience.

Luis De Jesus Los Angeles