Commissioned by: 'Superposition: Equilibrium and Engagement', 21st Biennale of Sydney, 2018
SUPERPOSITION: Equilibrium and Engagement examines the state of ‘superposition’ by examining how it might operate in the world today. We are surrounded by conflicting ideas across all levels of humanity: different cultures; readings of nature and the universe; political ideologies and systems of government; interpretations of human history, the history of art and definitions of contemporary art.
Curated by: Mami Kataoka
Directed by: Marjolijn Dijkman
Editing: Inneke Van Waeyenberghe (editor), Léo Ghysels (assistant editor) and Marjolijn Dijkman
Animations: Jeroen Koffeman
Camera and magnetic experiments: Marjolijn Dijkman
Text editing: Marjolijn Dijkman, Amelia Wallin (assistant)
Sound design: Pôm Bouvier
Voice over: Tess Bryant, recorded at La Vita E Media (Brussels, BE)
Research assistants: Soline Bredin, Achiel Buyse, Sven Dehens, Amelia Wallin
Thanks to: The Center for Curatorial Studies / CCS Bard (NY, US), Maarten Vanden Eynde, all the writers and thinkers referenced in the work.
Supported by: Mondriaan Fund (NL)
"Navigating Polarities, an immersive film installation, investigates the history of navigation and the natural forces of polarity and magnetism present in the physical world. The work takes the Earth’s geomagnetic field as a starting point, considering the ways in which micro- and macrocosmic elements are contingent on these properties to operate. Interested in the correlations between systems at different scales – from the quantum to the cosmic – Dijkman explores how humans and animals alike synchronise and coordinate their behaviour and activities within the Earth’s inherent laws.
The film is projected upon a dome-shaped screen that mimics the circular form of the globe. On the concave screen, a combination of scientific and historical materials – images of magnetic fields in space, animal navigation, cardinal directions and compasses from different cultures and periods in history, maps and scientific diagrams and experiments – bleed and merge into one another. The range of reference material is overwhelming in scope, presenting the universe and its systems as intrinsically unified. The accompanying soundtrack and narrative explore these phenomena from a human-centred perspective, identifying the philosophical, psychological and moral consequences of these various natural states through critical thought and interpretation."
- 21st Biennale of Sydney
Duration: 24:02 minutes (HD 1080 x 1080 px)
Dimensions: Dome projection 190 diameter x 50 cm. high, wall text 240 x 190 cm.
Materials: projection dome (wood and polyester), wooden benches, light grey vinyl wall text / printed booklet with references. (the credited fragments referenced in the text have been adapted for this work)