Byte (installation version)

Lyla Rye

2002, 07:49 minutes, Colour, audio intermittent


Byte shows Rye singing into her baby daughter's mouth. At the end of the 12 second clip, the baby bites Rye's lip. Over 40 manipulations of the same base clip form the 8 minute video. Some have superimposed black squares or a section of the image may blur over time to direct attention to different aspects of the interaction.

In the summer of 2002 Lyla Rye defended this work against allegations of obscenity after police confiscated the video on display in the storefront window of eyelevelgallery in Halifax. Rye said she intended her artwork to be thought provoking but never pornographic. "I think to piece is simultaneously beautiful and disturbing but I can't see in any way how it's obscene," she said. "It's become quite absurd what's considered's so narrow...and I feel that's why I'm exploring these issues." No charges were ever laid.

*This work is available in both an installation version and a single channel version.

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