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6 April 2014


Project Details
Incursion — Damp
Durational performance in the Morton House vitrine.

For MAP’s Eco Spirit exhibition at Morton House, John A Douglas performed a new site specific experimental work, Incursion — Damp.  Inhabiting the delicate, enclosed eco-system of the vitrine, Douglas lurked in the foliage as an invasive green life-form, insinuating himself around the damp surfaces. All things, human dwellings and human bodies, the built environment and the natural environment, are subject to incursions of growths, detritus, dirt and decay. Life is often an ongoing battle against the incursions that seek to destroy it.

Incursion # 1 (Firebird Suite)
Duraclear, LED backlit acrylic photobox, batteries, timber, 30cm x 30cm x 10cm.

John A Douglas made this work in response to the discovery that his classical CD collection had been damaged by an accidental spill/s of dialysis fluid. The discs had been forgotten and neglected after being digitized so by the time the damage was discovered the inks had bled into the paper and a coating of black mould or mildew had formed on the discs, covers and booklets. 

Douglas is kept alive by life support treatments, but sometimes things go wrong causing chaos and, in this instance, damaging physical surroundings and proliferating lower life-forms. Mould, spores, fungal life can all, sometimes, infiltrate the human body causing sickness and sometimes death. Decay is a part of life and to live is to decay. Yet out of decay, life burgeons. 

This memory of this particular incursion was forever marked onto the printed matter of the symphonic recordings. Incursions are often random, futile and without reason.


Incursion was commissioned as a site-specific work for the Eco Spirit exhibition at Morton House, guest curated by Dr Jacquelene Drinkall. The event was part of the series by Modern Art Projects (MAP) exploring the curation of contemporary art in unique architecture and gardens.


Production Credits

Performer: John A Douglas

Costume Design: John A Douglas

LED photobox design & production: John A Douglas & Sandy Prints

Macro photography and compositing: John A Douglas

Stills photographer: Alex Wisser

Videographer: Melanie Ryan

Video Soundscape: Mendelectric by Tim Hilton

Special thanks to Dr Jacquelene Drinkall and to Sarah Breen-Lovett and Billy Grunner of Modern Art Projects. 

Thanks also to SNO Contemporary Art Projects, Blue Mountains City Council, Australian Modern and The Cloudscape.

Lung specimen courtesy of the Museum of Human Disease, School of Medical Sciences, UNSW.