What Have We Done?

What have we done?, video 4m 34s

What have we done? takes up Robert Smithson’s rebuke of minimalism and is calling for artists to explore wet and dry rather than hot and cool art.  The work is a response to our environmental crisis and the collapse of modernity. 

The video, What have we done?  reflects on our environmental crisis and the collapse of modernity. In a letter narrated to Smithson, I reflect on the damage done to the world through our endless cornucopian attempts to dominate nature. The letter speaks of my being a lost child on the surface of a baron-folded landscape littered with plastic endlessly following a dialectic path. A path Smithson described as the only means by which the work might avoid the ‘metaphysical junk yard’ and for Hegel, the philosopher exposes the intrinsic flaws inherent in abstract ideas. 

However, in the letter to Smithson, another path emerges in which the dialectic method is merely an illusion. Instead, the two sides of the dialectic are inseparably connected through never-ending folds. A reflection that rejects the rationalist path in favour of what might be called the monist path. A path, which emerged during the baroque period, in which points of view are multiple. 

 Suddenly the landscape re-emerges, transformed into a pair of wings, on which a creature rides. Drifting over an endless dry salt landscape, formed of never-ending hexagons.

 Floating into the infinitely distant horizon the creature reappears in a primordial liquid world,  where land no longer exists just the quantum fluctuations from which all once arose and to which all will someday return.

On the one hand, What have we done? charts an environmental passage from dry to wet, but on the other traces a passage through the sediments of my mind, in which the fluid, naive artist emerges from the dry child-like scientist.