Flight

Flight

description

A contrail is the ice that forms from the water condensation that is left over from the expulsion of a jet engine – a trace in the sky of a plane passing by. It is an everyday modern thing, not human, nor animal, just a temporary fleeting object in a cool blue sky. Yet there is something affective, contemplative and evocative in that thing for me. Flight Pattern, is a series of filmed passenger jet contrails, forming a composited database of a particular trace of human presence and movement. The work seeks to evoke a space of contemplation, uneasiness, and sadness by engaging with the residual and stratified signs of our collective impact on our environment. The contrail lines that rupture the clear blue skies are repetitions of the same act over and over rendered ever so slightly differently. There is a hapticity in the images, operating into a realm of minimalist-abstraction, bending the subject out of shape in order to think it differently. It drifts more towards what Deleuze infers is a cinema of the body than of the brain. Objects or things can have the quality to bring about a pause in the everyday. As Jane Bennett observes, there is a “curious ability of inanimate things to animate, to act, to produce effects dramatic and subtle.” In my practice, I collect databases of images, moving and still, and I piece them together as collections of core samples of subjects which are enormous in their finitude. This work thinks about theorist Timothy Morton’s reading of the “hyperobject,” in relation to our current ecological emergency. Hyperobjects are “things that are massively distributed over time and space relative to humans.” They are inconceivable in their entirety, rendered unimaginable by their vast finitudes that measure in hundreds of thousands of years or more. “Modernity,” says Morton, “is the story of how oil got into everything.” Look hard at that statement and it is difficult to refute. Complexity, interconnectedness, and interdependence are discursive elements of his ‘Ecological Thought.’ To draw back in the human encounter is to imagine, within these lines in the sky, the narrative arcs of tightly packed distant passengers ten kilometres above enclosed in metal capsules. They are vacationers; business people; émigrés; those fleeing the past; those returning to the ones they love. To see the contrail itself is another encounter that catches you out of your normal traverses through the world. You are doing something, drinking coffee, talking to a friend, or taking a walk, and then out of the corner of your eye you see a line that ruptures the immediate, time, place, and action. You look up and think something else. A contrail is never encountered by itself. They are always accompanied by another thought or memory.

Flight

Andrew Denton
by Andrew Denton
media: video and film making
year: 2018
share on:
tags: air quality , atmosphere , carbon emissions , climate change , climate grief , fossil energy , technology , transportation , waste , activism

other images of this work

more works by the artist