Breathing with Styrofoam
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I am interested in the conditions of an emergent understanding of the self: one that has departed from sovereignty yet has not completely lost a sense of self. It is fleeting, always in motion, and cannot be fully grasped. I use the lens as a kaleidoscope, searching for moments of oscillation, hovering along the ontic spectrum of 2 and 1, neither 2 nor 1. Through my work, I aim to visually lodge a fissure between these two states of being that satisfies neither position, but offers an expansive realm where one can dare to reimagine the web called ecology that intertwines them. As the moving image fractures, distorts and reassembles, I hope to expand this liminal subconscious into something one can occupy and see anew within the space of the work. I have been developing an ever-evolving methodology throughout this project that is led by a certain kind of posture towards the non-human, creating work from understanding my position within ecology as something embedded and non-hierarchical. This text focuses on my relationship and work with Styrofoam, as it lends itself well to this examined format and reveals the political dimension of the fundamental ideas in my practice. I first encounter it stark white against the dark sea mulch of Trondheim, Norway. What began as a futile habit of collecting “trash”, became a relentless inquiry into the very impulse. I developed the practice of gazing at Styrofoam for 30 minutes every morning. The Styrofoam project unfolds under the suspension of judgment and association that this daily practice brought.