Justine Cooper / Australia/United States b.1968 / Rapt (still) 1998 / Videotape transferred to DVD, colour, stereo, 5:00 minutes / The James C. Sourris AM Collection / Purchased 1999 with funds from James C. Sourris through the Queensland Art Gallery Foundation / Collection: Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art / © Justine Cooper

Justine Cooper
Rapt 1998

On Display: QAG, Gallery 4

Working at the intersection of art and medical science, Justine Cooper translated her own body into a three-dimensional digital object by compiling a series of MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) scans and assembling them with rendering software. The video was then constructed by travelling a virtual ‘camera’ through and around the virtual ‘body’, which can be stretched and distorted.

The title Rapt draws complex associations: it implies absolute fascination and bliss potent enough for one to be mystically transported. In the Christian faith, ‘rapture’ describes a state of euphoric transcendence and, more specifically, the second coming of Jesus Christ when followers believe they will be conveyed to heaven. The parallels are apt, as rapid technological progress would suggest an accordant, and potentially imminent, entrance to vistas of new knowledge and self-awareness.

Justine Cooper was born in Sydney in 1968 and currently resides in New York. Internationally recognised as an interdisciplinary artist, who originally worked in photography, her work now involves animation, video and installation. She is fascinated by the intersections of science and art and how society is affected by these.

In 2004, Cooper was the recipient of the Australia Council New Media Arts Fellowship, a two-year grant awarded to an artist of outstanding artistic achievement and potential. Her works are held in public and private collections in New York, Sydney, Melbourne, and at the Queensland Art Gallery.