Joyce Campbell (2015) Flightdream

“This Monster first approached me through a dream. I was the monster, or so it seemed. I was flying as one flies through the air in dream. I did not know I was under water…And then I saw myself.
Unseen, it may be accurate to call the Monster beautiful. Full of the beauty of nakedness so secret it might as well be dead. It has no arms, no legs. It extends a nervous system into pure volume. A sensory flowering, delimning the currents as they stream deep through the frigid hydrosphere.”
Mark von 
Schlegell, Flugtraum (excerpt)

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I find it hard to describe how mesmerising I found this moving image work and the accompanying soundtrack by Pete Kolvos. The changing, disintegrating forms flow in slow motion within a landscape that could be equally the depths of space or the bottom of the ocean. It could be a journey through a nebula, an encounter with an intergalactic entity, or the birth of a diaphanous sea beast. The forms are suspended within a blackness so deep that it’s volume is unknowable and the light that illuminates them shifts and pulses with the scrape and groan of the soundtrack.

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The 25min looped video was inspired by the short story Flugtraum (Mark von Schegell) which was in turn inspired by Campbell’s Marianas (2002-2003) photographic series – interesting to see an artist and a writer reflecting back and forth upon each others work. Flugtraum is apparently about a diver plummeting into the ocean’s depths onboard a bathysphere in search of a ‘monster’ and with the knowledge that his own end will be found within the belly of the beast. The formless strangeness of the beast is conjured in Campbells ephemeral shapes and movements, tendrils and uncurling systems. I was even more excited to discover that the process of creating these forms was by electrochemical corrosion within a liquid bath. Knowing how much I love chemical (and alchemical) processes the whole idea of the creation of forms through the destruction of other forms through a chemical reaction was very appealing to me.


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