LANDSCHAFT / THE NETHER SIDE





The Nether Side draws inspiration and makes use of cut-up text from Robert MacFarlane’s book, Underland. The present video piece is envisioned as a deep dive into the textured and unpredictable subterranean terrain of the earth, its narratives, histories, myths and metaphors. Stone is thick with sedimented time.

Deep below the surface of our lives lie the mysterious currents of the unseen world. As they emerge from the void and pass through great underground caverns, the scenes from the underland unfold along the walls of a chamber, down in the labyrinth beneath the riven ash.(Robert MacFarlane, Underland) Ruins of our past narratives seem like markings that could announce stories of an alter-tale. From deep within the unconscious unfolds an ancient trance.

To access the inner fabric of our reality, our innermost fears, desires, myths and narratives, we must turn within and allow their disturbing forms to impregnate our imagination. Our ‘flat perspectives’ feel increasingly inadequate to the deep worlds we inhabit, and to the deep time legacies we are leaving.(Robert MacFarlane, Underland)

Stone holds strange worlds within. [...] Even when inscribed with a known language or identifiable pictures, stone will arrive into the present as alien presence.(Jeffrey Jerome Cohen, Stone). Guided by a strange almost non-human voice, we are wandering alongside the flows of an almost liquid and reactive strata. Witnessing and erratic choreography of tectonic sounds, we deep dive into a sea of stone, into a world of movement that defies the immobility to which stone is too often consigned.

The “continually moving lithosphere” is a sea of stone, a perpetual voyage, doomed never to reach port. The lithic is oceanic. Mountains surge and fall, their epochal undulations no less animated than the swell and crash of seas, but impossible for us to view without the aid of narrative and art. Yet volcanoes spurt molten rock that flies, flows, hardens within a human timescale. Ash and lithic powder tumble air and earth in dry liquidity. Though we cannot swim in molten stone—or do so only to face instant immolation, like Empedocles at Etna—we are saturated in the lithic.(Jeffrey Jerome Cohen, Stone)

Like a guided deep meditation into the corridors of our subconscious archetypes, The Nether Side is the beginning of an alter-tale journey and thus the first chapter of  LANDSCHAFT