I have just finished drafting an artist statement for a new work “Shipping Translated”; this is a silent two channel video [duration 1h 5m 20s]. I am pleased that the total number of frames [188,160] is similar to the gross tonnage of the largest of the container ships that I observed during the making of the work.

Here is a copy of my Statement:

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Shipping Translated

The global transportation of produce, goods and waste by increasingly large container ships, and containers moving around the world concealing their contents from general view, demonstrates our mutual interdependence. This includes world wide connections and connections that are not readily apparent.

This interdependence is underlined by the natural environment in which the ships operate. Both sea and sky/clouds are part of the same global water cycle. Furthermore, both are part of global systems of currents; what happens in one place has effects elsewhere.

These global (closed) systems of interconnectedness deeply resonate with three extracts from John Donne’s Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions: 17 – Meditation that influenced my making of this work:

… all mankind is of one author, and is one volume; when one man dies, one chapter is not torn out of the book, but translated into a better language; …

… No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. …

… any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind …

To underline this interconnectedness and interdependence, the entire work was recorded at the UK’s largest container port, Felixstowe, during lent 2014.

RWB

May 2014

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