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Liquid Nothing I-VIII

Looping Cinemagraph Gif studies. HD

These are studies for a film work in progress which imagines the microscopic world that exists inside the last tear ever cried.

The work is inspired by two starting points. The first is Rose-Lynn Fisher's Topography of Tears which maps different kind of tears under the microscope, revealing different patterns that appear to be aerial views. The second is a Victorian short story by Fitz-James O'Brien Diamond Lens. In this the protagonist builds the most powerful microscope lens in the world, through which he can see a utopian landscape within a single drop of water.

 

Liquid Nothing will take these references to imagine what the world would look like within the last tear on earth. We see a collage of eyes and a tear, through which we enter into a mellifluous, shimmering, bleached-white apocalyptic landscape. Already these poisoned places exist - salinated wetlands, and a whole town in Argentina (Villa Epecuén) flooded with saltwater, stained desert-white. There are ghosts here -  flashes and shadows of our own familiar world, haunted by shadowy, not-quite-human figures and curious structures. We see these flashes as mirages - are they a clue to how we got to this apocalyptic world? What is this drenched landscape trying to tell us? Sometimes the landscape seems a body, roots twist with veins, dark pools as eyes or gaping mouths. It is an eerie evocation of the grief inherent in witnessing the destruction of the anthropocene, and a guttural response to being a malign presence on nature. The landscape - already unstable - begins to shrivel, distort and fade, the colour draining, leaving only twisted barren stumps like hands reaching out.

The soundtrack takes samples from old nature films - out of copyright, warped with a doppler effect from age - collaged with mournful vocal sounds to build ghostly, watery layers of atonal sighs.

They are constructions made from footage shot around the swamps of Louisiana, where flooding, hurricanes and salinisation are already wreaking havoc on the wetlands. As environmental catastrophe looms ever larger, these low-lying landscapes will be the first to be destroyed.

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