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ADAM SÉBIRE

The 'video polyptych' : an aesthetic approach to the visual representation of climate change

As a filmmaker I struggled with whether documentary, reliant as it is on ‘visible evidence’, could explore climate change, a process that is (so far) largely imperceptible to our senses? A process in which effects are displaced from their causes in both time & space?  My PhD looks for a new aesthetic approach via moving image art. I am drawn to Svalbard by the sheer spatiotemporal proximity of the causes and effects. Remnants and continuations of a fossil-fuelled extractivist history sit cheek-by-jowl with retreating glaciers, disappearing sea-ice and melting permafrost.  We even find traces of (abortive) geoengineering experiments. It is this  proximity — richly laden with paradox — that draws me to reinvent a particular form from art history: the polyptych. In the hands of artists like Hieronymus Bosch these multi-panelled paintings were able to bring together here/there, past/present/future, cause/effect in aesthetic reconceptualisations of hyperobjects which occupied spatiotemporal dimensions beyond everyday human perception. In my video work, Svalbard — practically a showcase of the Anthropocene — becomes the ultimate Boschian landscape, providing the perfect site for my practise-led research thesis.

https://www.adamsebire.info/the-works/anthroposcenes


Contact: adamsebire@gmail.com

Planned fieldwork periods:  

September-October 2017

April-May 2019

January-March 2020 (exhibition at Galleri Svalbard)

2021 tbc

September-October 2017

April-May 2019

January-March 2020 (exhibition at Galleri Svalbard: https://svalbardposten.no/vi-er-som-jordskjelv/19.12091 )

2021 tbc

 
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