Catherine Truman and I have been working together on projects bridging art and science since 2006. Here is a glimpse of our project, The Taken Path, undertaken in 2022-2023. This is a speculative, durational project that hangs of a poetic idea: what would we notice if we walked the same path, once a month over the course of a year and filmed the journey?
Carrick Hill estate, nestled in the foothills of Adelaide, presents a conundrum of the delicate connections between humans and the greater environment. Here, pure fantasy and the hard reality of both ancient and present life can be encountered at once. It is like a microcosm of the wider world.
Using an iPhone and a professional-quality video camera, we recorded a defined path that traverses natural and altered landscapes at Carrick Hill, at monthly intervals over a year to bring focus to these constantly shifting interrelationships.
The concept is simple, yet this embodied action, repeated over time, reveals profound shifts of climate and impacts of human industry. There seems to be an innate drive in us to intervene in, alter and reorder the natural environments around us, even if we have no place in them.
The exhibition includes two videos: The Taken Path: Durational Sequence (left screen in the image below) and The Taken Path: Periphery (right screen below). The exhibition also includes selected texts from Catherine and me, and three wonderful glass objects to test your comprehension…
The Taken Path: Durational Sequence runs for over three hours and has largely unprocessed walking footage from Catherine (right panel, taken with an iPhone) and me (left panel, taken with a Canon XF200 video camera). There is a little animated map and time line along the bottom showing when and where we are along the path.
The Taken Path: Periphery runs for about 50 minutes and shows examples of different ways of looking, remembering and processing our experience, that are outside our usual lines of sight as we walk along the path, focussing on our camera screens.
Together, the two videos attempt to illustrate the largely unsolvable problem of representing the uniqueness, the ephemerality and perceptual uncertainty of lived experience. We cannot attend to everything that happens around us and we cannot fully portray those elements of our experience that do take our attention, form memories, generate lasting significance.
There is much going on here, both technically and conceptually. After nearly a year working on this project, we barely scratched the surface of understanding its nuances and implications: this really is just the beginning…
The Taken Path is part of a larger project A Partnership for Uncertain Times, featuring four exceptional South Australian artists working at the intersections of art, science and technology: Brad Darkson, Deirdre Feeney, Niki Sperou & Catherine Truman. Co-developed by Dr Deirdre Feeney and ANAT (the Australian Network for Art and Technology), A Partnership for Uncertain Times references both the precarious and unpredictable nature of the world we live in, as well as the complexity and conjecture of creative research.
Supported by the Australian Network for Art and Technology (ANAT), the University of South Australia and Arts South Australia.