Enscapism (2015)

Medium: Single channel video

Duration: Plays continuously (looped)

Year: 2015

Technological innovations have shifted subjectivity in the twenty-first century. Google Earth offers an easily accessible “God’s eye view” of the entire planet while medical technology can enter the body and return images from within. How do these new viewpoints alter our perspective of the earth and ourselves? How has the relationship between these two entities shifted?

 

By presenting a dystopian landscape that lacks water or plant growth combined with an appealing tactile and visual sensation, the complexities of living in the geological era known as the anthopocene are invoked at a distorted scale. Global climate change threatens to cause severe weather and environmental events on an unprecedented scale within the era of human life on Earth. Even though we are living with this reality on a daily basis it is not clear how to effect change. Indulging in visual escapism through media including visual art could be considered an act of indifference or resistance.

 

The projected video file features a torso covered in dried clay which cracks and shifts with the movement of slow breathing. Filmed at close range the image resembles an arid landscape or a reptilian epidermis. Through touch the viewer can control what areas are obscured and what may be revealed in the work, altering the landscape and leaving traces behind for future viewers. The projected video adds a topographical layer to the sand or, if interrupted by the hand of an audience member the image merges onto the skin. A tangible, material connection is emphasized between landscape, digital media and the physical body of the viewer. The ambiguous textures create a sensory experience that is dis-jointed and incongruous, highlighting the pervasive contradictions that plague 24/7 culture.

​© 2012 - 2019 by Emilie St-Hilaire

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