Sunsets, Notes From Underground, Waves

 

 

The concept of the liminal permeates the videos in this series: drifting between day and night, above and below ground, land and sea. Each piece narrates an engagement with an enigmatic writer, but not unlike any conversation, seemingly inconsequential things pop-up and take hold. A phone call interrupts, a stranger asks a question, translations are needed, and the sun starts to set.

Waves

2014-15

HD video with sound

19 minutes 23 seconds

Variable installation

 

 

Departing from Virginia Woolf’s experimental novel The Waves, the video Waves imagines how consciousness forms in relation to society and its technologies but also to expressions of geological and hydrological processes. Filmed at the threshold of land and sea, a conversation forms between disparate hydro-relations, such as Woolf’s prose, Courbet’s paintings of waves, Google’s data centers cooled by the Baltic Sea, invisible jellyfish, and transoceanic cables.

 

In Waves viewers see and hear the video’s script as it is being written on a computer, an object which also acts as a vehicle in the work for materializing distance and the passage of time. Through the activity of searching for Courbet’s paintings of waves on Google Cultural Institute, the artist (and by extension the viewer) is connected to a data center outside of Helsinki. The servers are cooled with water from the Baltic Sea— creating a nearly unfathomable relationship between looking at The Wave online, and that of Courbet’s own looking in 1869, as he painted an image whose digital dissemination would entail the force of the sea he depicted.

 

- Associated texts

- Exhibition history

 

 

 

 

 

Notes From Underground

2013

HD video with sound

23 minutes 45 seconds

Variable installation

 

 

Notes From Underground connects the Stockholm metro and Susan Sontag’s sojourn in Sweden during the late 1960s, with a cavern system 5,000 miles away in New Mexico – not far from where the artist was raised. With Sontag as guide, the video takes a journey through geological time, through experiences of liminality. What’s discovered are persistent questions of violence, felt reverberating between strata of personal and cultural history.

 

The video was made between the Swedish general elections of 2010 and 2014, when the populist, anti-immigration party garnered enough votes to reach parliament for the first time since the party’s founding. Sontag’s voice reappears as a sound-wave, translating her words into the language of stalactites, a cardiograph, the path of a subway moving above and below the the surface of the earth. Distinct horizontal and vertical movements mingle with frequencies from the underground – and with the specter of Sontag. She answers a question posed to her on the cusp of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, not long before her own death: what should the artist’s role be in confronting a society’s ills?

 

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- Exhibition history

 

 

 

 

Sunsets

2012

HD video, sound

Variable installation

22 minutes 30 seconds

 

 

Sunsets is comprised of scenes filmed at either three o’clock in the morning during the summer solstice, or at three o’clock in the afternoon during the winter solstice, in Sweden. The video opens with the sound of a scratchy internet call between two people: the artist – who is largely undetectable, save for the sound of her keypad as she types – and a friend of hers who has agreed to translate an interview from 1977 with the Brazilian writer Clarice Lispector, found on YouTube. This recording, both halting and casual, forms the soundtrack. In the interview, we hear Lispector describe aspects of her working method and philosophize death’s role in her creative process. “If you couldn’t write anymore, would you die?”—asks the interviewer. The author’s response: “I think that when I write I am dead.” The forces of light and mood converse with the enigmatic Lispector as she chain smokes, seemingly fueling transformative states of becoming, and turning translation’s liminality into a material presence.

 

- Associated texts

- Exhibition history