Screenings / Exhibitions
•Canterbury Exchange. University Galleries of Illinois State University, Normal, IL, USA (October - December 2013)
• currents 2012 - International New Media Festival, Santa Fe, NM., USA (July 2012)
Concrete embodies the twentieth century modernist dream. A defining symbol of the modernist project, concrete represents a material expression of the utopian attempt to introduce order into a world of chaos. This was the material with which a new society was to be built. However, despite the dreams of architects and town planners, the history of the last century was not one of harmonious order and progress, but rather one of control, conflict, and destruction on a global scale. The hard-edged forms that once inscribed themselves into the landscape and into the psyche have long since begun to crumble - eroded by wind, rain, sea and sun. Overgrown, abandoned and forgotten, these structures now stand as memorials to both modernism's failure and its passing.
The project grows out of my interest in the relationship between politics and poetics. The seeming solidity of concrete locates it within a modernist logos founded on notions of differentiation, individuation, and knowability. This is the order modernism craved and represented, inscribed against the chaos of the undifferentiated, fluid, protean, organic and oceanic. But concrete decays and thus its solidity is temporary, and in some senses illusory, proving no match for the disorganising power of meteorological systems or encroaching nature. As these structures dissolve back into the noise of the universe, so too the utopian ideals they may once have represented fade away. However, while the modernist dream may have promised utopia, the reality of twentieth century history reveals tensions between order and control, between the benefits of civil society and the coercive power of state and military control. ‘Concrete’ explores these themes and tensions through footage shot in Taiwan and the UK.
Shot on a Kodak Zi8 pocket video camera, with additional sound recorded on a Zoom H2 Handy Recorder.