As part of your process, and in the spirit of sharing time without sharing physical space, we have been going on weekly video-call walks together. It was interesting to see the faces of the group in motion, walking through changing surroundings as apposed to the still environment of the home. We walked. And as we walked, we talked.
We talked about Melancholia by Lars Von Trier, a film we watched as part of our shared practice. It engaged with similar themes to our work - melancholy, the personal and the cosmic. We thought that the film's characters and the place they were in seemed completely isolated from the rest of the world, and how that in itself was quite melancholic. But we also spoke about how that left us feeling disconnected from the film, so outside of it that we remained unaffected by the impending doom hurtling towards the story. The solemness with which they accepted their fate seemed to be a rebellion against the chaos and sensationalism of apocalyptic films.
Thinking about the end of the world got us talking about the beginning, about the creation of the universe, when something came from nothing. And what that nothing was. Maybe nothing was immaterial energy that exploded into matter in the Big Bang.' In the beginning, there was word, and the word was God'. Maybe the word was soundwaves and frequencies.
PLANTS & POSTCARDS
We talked about how we wanted to produce work that has no end.
To plant seeds and start a gifting sort of chain mail that would spread beyond our company and this process.
We want to take the element of gift-giving which has been central to our process of tasks and responses, and give it a physical form. Linda and Dana thought of putting kisses into an envelope and sending them to each other. Chris has camera slides from the 70s he wants to gift. There is something romantic about the post, about the real journey it goes through, over time, through space. The feeling of touching something someone else has touched, which is rare nowadays.
Imagining the performance we are working towards, we want to maintain the essence of gift-giving in its form. To remove the product and consumption element of the artistic event, and turn it into a sharing of moments. An invitation. An antithesis of the commodity.
The retro-space aesthetic is something that we've explored in a few of our workshops with practitioners. There is something about the past imagining the future which resonates with our starting point of Future Library. Analog special effects are also relevant to our practice, because knowing they are made by something tangible, even if it is an illusion, makes it feel more real than hyper-real CGI. How can we take this element of the past and project it into our own image of the future?
How has space-travel/the space race effected our perceptions of our place in the universe, and the future we now imagine?
Why is Elon Musk making indestructible cars whilst investing in colonising Mars?
I'll leave you with this.
As the Curiosity Rover died on Mars, the last data it sent to NASA was the Billie Holiday song I'll be Seeing You. A very melancholic choice for a machine.