flight patterns


I go out to Fremantle in the afternoon to see an exhibition called Fieldwork/Fieldwalking by Perdita Phillips. It is the culmination of several years work for a PHD and art and science are key components of the ambitious project. I am particularly interested in one room, where Perdita has done videos using night vision footage. There is a beautiful, painterly quality to the work and she acknowledges the presence of the figure very clearly in these pieces, one of which is almost Chaplinesque in its feel. The green tint of the infrared light is something I wanted to steer away from in my project. Its association with night combat and military surveillance was not an association I wanted to project in grain of night. Perdita has managed to avoid this cleverly, masking one projection so that it appears as a huge circle on the wall and making the other projection tiny and humorous. The reference is much more filmic here, to early silent films rather than smart weaponry.

I take the train back to Perth and it is a football train, the Fremantle Dockers were playing in Subiaco. It is very crowded, but the atmosphere is happy, as the Dockers had been winning for almost two months. The sun is setting, so a honeyed glow streaks through the carriage. I close my eyes and listen to the constant chatter. I imagine the train as a remnant corridor and then it is easy to translate the buzz of conversation into birdsong. If this migratory path to the football arena were cleared, then all of these people would fully acknowledge a loss in their lives. I only wished that this understanding went further, out into areas beyond their normal flight patterns.

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