Invisible Descent transports the viewer under the sea-ice in Antarctica to join an unseen diver as he descends into an alien world. Although he remains out of view throughout the video’s duration, we hear his laboured breathing and see the traces of his uncomfortable existence in this hostile environment.
The dynamic angular lines of the safety ropes connect the diver and the voyeuristic viewer to the primitively cut portal that connects this realm with the world above. The regular beeping of his dive watch reminds us that this visit is limited, while the unearthly sounds of unseen Weddell Seals mirror it’s electronic tonality.
This uneasy relationship between the human-made and natural worlds is a metaphor for our wider relationship with nature in a time when we are questioning our impact on the planet’s ecosystem.
This work is currently part of the “Invisible” exhibition which has toured Cranbrook Academy of Art in Detroit USA and BWA Gallery in Wrocław, Poland along with other researchers from CoCA. Due in New Zealand in late 2020.
NB: The online video has been reformatted to 16:9 ratio.