Amy Giese

Program Director, MFA LR Program

My Head is Too Heavy is an ongoing series documenting my recently acquired chronic illness. Between cognitive and physical changes, I struggle to understand my new reality. Deliberately choosing the imperfect tool of LiDAR scanning apps on my smartphone as my camera, I court the inaccuracies and gaps in information that are created when I scan myself. The resulting 3-D models are a copy of my body and how it inhabits the space of my home, but they also expose the blind-spots, errors and limitations of trying to see oneself. The LiDAR scan is not really two dimensional or three – it sits in between, functioning as an index of the space and a marker of what it cannot see. This surface knowledge seemed such an apt parallel to the surface presentation of so many chronic illnesses to me. These screenshots of a distorted virtual model somehow reveal the hidden symptoms of this illness that are invisible to most but affect me daily. I still look “normal” and it is difficult to convey how profoundly different I feel, at times even to myself.

Amy Giese is an artist and educator in Boston, MA. Giese’s practice is grounded in photography but sits at the edges of the medium, critiquing the materials of production and consumption. She also attempts to locate herself within distinct spaces, whether physical, psychological or virtual. Her work has been exhibited in the US, China, New Zealand, Czechia, and Scotland. She received her BA from Amherst College and her MFA from Parsons School of Design.