Project Overview

  1. Project Director: Dennis Del Favero
  2. Programmers: Robin Chow, Volker Kuchelmeister, Rob Lawther, Alex Ong
  3. Project Funding: Australia Council for the Arts
  4. 2014-2015
  5. Single channel video installation
  6. Video. 3.30 minutes. BW. Stereo.

Descartes forms part of the four-part Firewall exhibition, exploring the concept of doors.

Typically doors are viewed as human inventions. However they precede and transcend the human world. Not only do they appear in the natural world, amongst animals and insects, but they are also found in the physical world of the atmosphere. It is the interrelationship between their human and non-human occurrence that is the focus of Firewall. The term Firewall characterises one function of a door, namely its immunological qualities, keeping danger at bay while protecting the contents. It explores this through an imaginary descent from heights of the atmosphere through a layer of doors down to ground level.

Descartes explores the concept of doors using the image of water vapour as a door, doors that envelope and nurture the planet. It utilises never before seen processed satellite data from 33,000kms above sea level. It is an adaptation of Descartes’s Meditation I of 1641.

Projected onto a floor based screen 3m in diameter, viewers are able to scale a small ladder to look down on a mass of swirling and complex currents that constitute this multi-substance phenomenon. It uses a three-month period of satellite data, January to March, of 2011.

Descartes is an experimental component of the Nebula project.

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Installation view
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  • Firewall, William Wright Artists Projects, Sydney, 2014