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On the horizon, just above the waves

2022
Audio-visual installation
6:20

The earth is not static, nor is the life on it. Existence as we understand it is more vast than can be captured on a human scale or timeline, even with the advanced technologies we have at hand. On the horizon, just above the waves explores the impact of non-human entities in the establishment of plant life on Rangitoto Island, the youngest of Tāmaki Makaurau’s volcanic peaks. The work explores the transformative lichen ecologies and volcanic geology present on the island, and the parallel connections between its origin and surface and that explored by the Martian rover Perseverance thousands of kilometres away on Mars.

The video is comprised of photogrammetry-based point clouds derived from Rangitoto’s lichen communities and scoria fields, while the accompanying audio track follows a reflective narrative around the visible geological and speculated ecological similarities between Rangitoto and Mars.

In an age where the ecological impact of industrial human activity is becoming increasingly visible and the topic of space exploration is present in global discourse, reflecting on these deep ecological histories offers a way to explore both our relationship to and conceptualisation of the natural world, and to examine the boundaries we may perceive, either ideologically or physically, between ourselves and the wider ecology.

As an artist creating work in this space, I would like to acknowledge the tangata whenua of Motutapu and Rangitoto and recognise their custodianship of these lands.

Installation views: Whitecliffe MFA & BFA(Hons) Graduating Exhibition, Whitecliffe, Auckland, 2022; and Window Gallery, Auckland, 2023

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