“Minga Pill” Installation February 2016

Happy Sunday.  My installation Mingapill starts tomorrow at Odeonsplatz, Munich, Germany and will exhibit for the full month of February 2016.

I had two weeks to work on this installation and I’m happy with what I created. The art piece is inspired by this photo that I snapped at Odeonsplatz and flipped into black and white.

File 21-01-16 09 36 23

For the installation, I took the black and white image, printed it and dipped the prints in encaustic wax.  the four blank pills have additional ink on the black sections (I was testing to see if it made any difference.) The artwork looked better with just encaustic over the digital print so I used the inked versions for the blank pills separating the two sides so that I can make a version that is coloured and backlit.  I already know that backlighting doesn’t really work in this window so I kept the piece simple and ready for the scorching light of the window.

The pills are hung on fabric using magnets.  Here is everything looking perfect at the studio.


Originally I was going to have a second layer in the visual plane between the pills and the video but after contemplating the space a bit more, I decided that it wasn’t needed.  I decided to keep the piece simple enough that people who are seeing it from a distance can enjoy it.

The text for the video comes from the following flash fiction piece I wrote last week.  Here is the first draft of Mingapill

Its a hard pill to swallow 

but you know you want to try

what the candyman has to offer 

so freely

even though its big and bitter and leaves

something to be desired.

You’ll Grab one

no doubt about it.

It’s a hard pill to swallow

Scraping down 

it may even scar you 

in places no one can see.

The candyman 

he waxed his way in 


You can handle it, I’m sure

Just Pick one.  There all the same,  

no sugar coating to ease the pain,

cause you never said 

you wanted wonderland

and you’ll settle for whatever

comes your way.

Nothing wrong with that.

It’s a hard pill to swallow and leaves something to be desired and

Mingaland is where you’ll land.

 Once I wanted one

cause I never wanted wonderland 

until now.

First draft wich means that as I was editing the video, I changed the words.  It felt wrong to repeat lines in the video and I didn’t want to focus on Candyman.  The candyman is a man from the southern part of the US who gives away sexual favours for stuff- a sort of gigolo which is what I’m referring to in the story but, I didn’t want people to think of the other two meanings – a drug dealer or, a horror story character so I cut out candyman and focused on talking to a person and their decision to eat a minga pill.

Here is the new text:

originally the video was going to be old creative commons footage but it didn’t go with the pills so I scraped the video and just focused on the text to go with the pills and used the photograph of myself with those pill shapes all over my face.  As I was making the video, I was thinking about that fortune teller box where there is a face and it tells you what will happen. so I’m the fortune teller in the video box.

fortune teller image

I love living in Munich but at the same time I find it very difficult to accept the back off until it’s proven to work attitude. Luckily even after 10 years, I still have the optimistic American attitude I was raised on and I’m willing to trudge my way forward. The only difference now is that I’m not worrying whether other people settle for less then what they deserve.  I see it now as their right to settle and my right to move on which is what I’m saying with the Minga Pill.

Here is the final installation in the window.


I moved the video screen right in front like the fortune teller’s box. I bought the black stand after creating the pill wall piece. I think I may print some more pills and add a bottom row if I show it again.

I may edit the video and make it smoother and add my face to “the swallow” text.  It is the only segment without the face. Initially I had several of those black spots with just words but I changed all of them to the gypsy face…. The video in the installation will remain the way it is because I don’t want to keep opening and closing the big glass window and I’m ok with the video as it is, it can just be better which is what I will work on a bit this week.

It is amazing how many hours you can spend editing a two minute video.  My favourite part of the video is the last bit which is inspired by my encaustic artworks on LED boards.

If I had a scorching spotlight like the ones in the Window, I may have gone with just plain paper instead of the encaustic pieces because I can see every drip of wax and scratch from moving them around. They were so beautiful when I first made them.  It is very humbling to see how imperfect they all are and how something printed digitally can be made to look handmade and used.

If you are in Munich, please go check out the installation.  I will be giving away a few more pills for Free art Friday.  I gave away one pill last Friday. I hope the person likes it.


yup. So that is my installation notes.  I had a thousand ideas floating around in my head but this one latched on and things flowed. The video was a bit of a snag point but once I stopped using creative commons footage, I was ok.  I’m guessing this is something to remember, I shall stick with my own footage in the future to avoid wasting time.



2 thoughts on ““Minga Pill” Installation February 2016

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s