THE THING IS ALL AROUND ITSELF. with Curtis Tamm, 2014 (16mm film transferred to digital, exhibited in various formats)
“Humans can live on an island only by forgetting what an island represents. Islands are either from before or for after humankind.” – René Malaise
lecture performance for the Lorquin Entomological Society, Bioquip, Los Angeles (2014)
Malaise is a feeling of sickness or unease. It is also the name of a fly trap, modelled on the form of a human tent, and the name of the man who invented it. The Swedish biologist and explorer René Malaise (1892 – 1978) based his design for the Malaise trap on the form and proportions of his own canvas tent, and used this trap as an entomological tool to help him gather insect flight-path data – information which helped to steer his life-long search for Atlantis. Malaise hypothesised that Atlantis had sunk somewhere around the Mid Atlantic Rift, and spent the latter years of his life attempting to prove it. In The Thing Is All Around Itself we continue this search for a sunken utopia, using the Malaise trap as our guide.
The project is based around a long, multi-site journey dedicated to the intimate unravelling of Malaise, and its architectural/operative inversion from a tent (a place of human shelter) into a death trap for flying insects. The Thing Is All Around Itself is also a topographical map which plots the event-structure of the fly trap upon a lecture upon a film upon the context in which the film is performed. This context includes my evolving relationship with my collaborator, and our conversations with René malaise himself. A gap opens up. An earthquake occurs.
video & 16mm film transferred to video (1 hr, looped) installed with quadrophonic sound and live performance, including documentation of the earthquake that occurred during a previous presentation we gave of the film at Bioquip Entomology Supply Store, Los Angeles.