Deborah and Richard Cornell Eclipse/Phase


Deborah and Richard Cornell
[ United States ]

The installation Eclipse/Phase is a cross-disciplinary conversation between sounds and images, the interaction of fixed image and video, pigment and light. It is a cross-media collaboration between Deborah Cornell, visual artist, and Richard Cornell, composer, utilizing digital mural, video projection, and sound.

Eclipse/Phase invokes the complex interferences between human acts and natural forces, and proposes phases of climatic transformation of increasing intensity. It connects transient human culture to deep time, and human fragility to immense geophysical forces – the rhythms of the moon, solar explosions and flood. It seeks the restoration of equilibrium, a realization of our vulnerability, and reengagement with our environment. Expanding the dialogue between science and art, it uses printed image and video projection, remotely sensed sounds and images, computed animation and images created by ancient humans.

Eclipse/Phase is presented on line as a video. Installed, Eclipse/Phase includes a printed mural of 8 ½ x 13 feet, overlaid by an 8-minute single-channel video, and immersive sound. It embeds the viewer in transformative experience. The still, printed surface interacts with the video, making the boundaries between the two uncertain, in a deceptive conversation of pigment and light.

Eclipse/Phase is one of a body of works from recent years in which we have questioned policy and practice, told cautionary tales, or tried to raise alarm. Our installation, Sleep of Reason, challenges the ethics of some forms of gene manipulation and its potential unintended consequences. A later cross-media work, Reflecting Place, raises issues of cultural loss relating to environmental injustice. In Quiet Skies, we address species loss due to anthropogenic habitat degradation. With Eclipse/Phase we consider again the fragility of life against powerful geophysical and environmental forces, forces that we as a species have put out of balance. It seeks a restoration of equilibrium, a realization of our vulnerability, and a reengagement with our environment.

Primary Project website:

  • Year Produced: 2018
  • Medium: Installation with digital mural, single channel video, surround sound.
  • Duration: 8:24 minute video

Deborah Cornell

Boston University, College of Fine Arts, School of Visual Arts

Deborah and Richard Cornell are on the faculty of Boston University College of Fine Arts. Their collaborations are presented worldwide, including at New York Town Hall, Krakow Print Triennial, Taiwan Normal University, Kala Institute, Proyecto ACE Buenos Aires, and Zayed University/Dubai. Deborah Cornell’s awards include the Grand Prix, Krakow Triennial and a Bunting Fellowship, Harvard. Her works have been shown internationally, with recent solo exhibitions in Krakow, Istanbul, Melbourne, Buenos Aires, and Los Angeles, with presentations in Australia, Krakow, New York, Dallas, and San Francisco. Her work is in the collections of Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Hangzhou Art Academy, Turku Art Museum Finland, Purdue University Museums, RISD Museum, Boston Public Library, RMIT Melbourne, Weisman Art Museum, IBM, and many others.

Deborah Cornell’s website:

Richard Cornell

Boston University, College of Fine Arts, School of Music

A member of the faculty at Boston University College of Fine Arts, Richard Cornell works in acoustic and electroacoustic media. His awards include the National Endowment for the Arts and the Fromm Foundation, with performances worldwide. He has received commissions from Boston Musica Viva, A Far Cry, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, and the Muir Quartet. Recordings of his work are on Sony Classical, Albany, Summit, EMI Virgin Veritas, and Ravello labels.

Richard Cornell’s website: