Binaural Media Residency, Nodar, Portugal, August 2008
Behind every real object there is a dream object. (Jean Baudrillard)
Site-specific installations, video and sound recordings in art residency, developed in interaction with communities and rural landscapes of the Portuguese Lafões region.
As soon as we perceive an object in front of us, we automatically leap from perception into interpretation within our intelligence.
This project intended to think objects as entities of time which are independent from both our interpretations and our perceptions. Since the real duration of objects in themselves can never be experienced as such, it is left to imagination to figure out the changes happening constantly behind our backs.
The project started with the discovery of a place near the village of Nodar located in a small patch of eucalyptus forest. In a loop of the river Paiva, the small hill offers a secluded observation point encompassing the village and the surrounding mountains. Although a dirt road passes by, following the river, no one usually walks inside the woods. A visual constant in everyday life, seen from almost anywhere in the village, it is familiar to the eyes while remote to physical experience.
The piece, made up of two parts, was created by rearranging existing materials in situ to form an unnatural structure carrying the unequivocal mark of human intelligence – an interpretation of space with the purpose of effecting a transcendence of its instantaneous reality.
After a tough walk through the harsh bushes, the site can be found near the middle of the woods. Even in the first few days after completion and even after having experienced the work several times the recognition of the sculptures was not immediate. The dense vegetation and the uncanny disposition of the forms invariably provoked an effect of surprise and disorientation. Furthermore, the shifting light throughout the day drastically affected the perception of space and objects within the woods, making each experience of the sculptures radically different.
A presentation was prepared, using audio and video documentation of the natural processes acting upon the piece, such as wind, light, the passage of small animals, etc.
Six months after, having gone through larger scale actions such as seasons and organic decay, the piece started to reveal its ultimate implications.
It is a piece about duration. It considers the particularities of a place in order to propose a perceptual experience of the landscape and of the passing of time while at the same time being itself influenced by the processes of change.
As time passes and entropy increases, the created structure resembles more and more the natural occurring ones. Conversely, the ontological distance between the real object the artist initially proposed and the possible ones, imagined by the viewer, extends it self to infinity.