The video projection of salmon rushing upstream ignites the spirit of the body. imbuing the house with a life force. The journey of the salmon is a transformative passage - from the salt water of the ocean to the fresh water of the stream, from the deep water of the ocean to the turbulent, rushing water of the stream. They persevere, with the determination to return to their birthplace to spawn and give birth. Driven by their acute sense of smell, they travel hundreds of miles jumping up fiercely turbulent waterfalls. against raging currents of water, fasting the last portion of their journey. This salmon run embodies the struggle of elderly people to stay alive.
In the US many elderly people choose to live in retirement homes, assisted living facilities, or by necessity, in nursing homes. This breaks the continuity of the familial cycle, ignoring the value of remaining contextualized in the nuclear family. Even though their struggle to stay alive is intense, the meaningfulness in their lives is stretched thin because they are fragmented from their familial cycle. The cyclical perspective has become invisible. This artwork repositions older age people into the natural cycle, through the ritual of the journey. My objective is to provoke a critical re-thinking, a re-evaluation of the current mythology of elder care, and to provoke a dialogue about this issue of the quality of life for elderly people,
This house is infused with the spirit of the salmon, depositing its life-giving force. The journey of the spirit is parallel to that of the body, until it is transformed into another form as the body fades.
Joan Truckenbrod has exhibited her artwork internationally. A pioneer in Digital Art, her artwork has been included in exhibits at the IBM Gallery in New York City, the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., Museu de Arte Moderna in Rio de Janeiro, Musee d'Art Modern de la ville de Paris, Les Cite des Arts et des Nouvelles Technologies de Montreal, the Villa Chianni in Lugano, Switzerland. Her work has been shown in a one person exhibits in Chicago, Kansas City, at Galerie Eylau'5 in Berlin and Colville Place Gallery in London. In December 2000 she had a one-person exhibition at Glaz’art in Paris, followed by a one-person exhibit in Wiesbaden, Germany in February 2001. Collections such as Parade Publications in New York and ISA Holding in London include her work. She has been a Visiting Artist at numerous Universities and Colleges, and has given presentations of her artwork at various conferences throughout the US and Europe including the Institute of Contemporary Art in London and the International Symposium on Electronic Arts in Helsinki. Ms. Truckenbrod is a Professor in the Art and Technology Department at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her artwork is represented by FLATFILE Gallery in Chicago, The Digital Art Museum in Germany, and The Williams Gallery in Princeton, New Jersey. She has received a Scandinavian American Foundation Fellowship and a Fulbright Fellowship.
Recently her multimedia installation Spirit Site was reviewed by John Brunetti in ARTnews. Her work has been featured in an article "Instantanes sur l’art d'electronique a Chicago, Computer Art@Chicago" by Annick Bureaud in artpress #246, May 1999, as well as in books such as Computers in the Visual Arts (1998) by Anne Morgan Spalter, Art in the Electronic Age (1993) by Frank Popper, Photographic Possibilities (1991) by Robert Hirsch, and Digital Visions (1987) by Cynthia Goodman. Ms. Truckenbrod published her own pioneering book titled Creative Computer Imaging in 1988.