Works made on residency during 2017 include three video art pieces about climate engineering, the Anthropocene era and anthropogenic influences on our environment.
AnthropoScenes I, II and III were made for the Icelandic SÍM Artists' Residency and exhibited as works-in-progress at the SÍM Gallery in central Reykjavík during Nov/Dec 2017.
AnthropoScene I : Breakdown
The traffic just seems to be getting worse every day at Iceland's iceberg lagoon, Jökulsárlón...
Dur: 4'08" / Cinema 4K HDR video with stereo audio.
Australian video artist Adam Sébire brings wry black humour to global warming’s visible effects at one of the fastest-retreating glaciers, Breiðamerkurjökull, in Iceland's Vatnajökull National Park: its astonishing iceberg procession is here reimagined as a traffic jam of cinematic proportions.
AnthropoScene II : Tideline
The tideline on an island's black-sand beach is blown ever higher.
Dur: 2'30" / FHD single-channel, stereo audio.
Composer Martin Franke & filmmaker/video artist Adam Sébire explore anthropogenic sea level rise in this work filmed with UAV (drone) off remote Eastern Iceland. Reverse motion creates an eerie prolepsis, a kind of previsional prescience of ever rising high tide lines.
Video © 2017 Adam Sébire (AU) www.adamsebire.info
Music © 2017 Martin Franke (DE/NL) www.hethoutenhuis.org
Above: Vertical for smartphones, tablets & immoveable horizontal screens.
Below: Sideways — if you’ve tilted your television or projector 90º left.
AnthropoScene III : Hellisheiði; or, the post-modern Prometheus
At COP21 in Paris, December 2015, the world’s leaders stated their “aspiration" to limit global warming to an upper limit of 1.5ºC this century. On the planet's present trajectory of greenhouse gas emissions there is no way to achieve this without what is termed geoengineering: using technology that does not yet exist to “engineer" the climate.
Carbon capture and storage (CCS) is arguably the most benign of these technologies, however it has previously proven both difficult and expensive. Furthermore, all forms of climate engineering potentially come with what ethical philosophers such as Clive Hamilton term “moral hazards”.
Hellisheði in Iceland is the site of the CarbFix 2 & ClimeWorks projects, and of these stills. Since October 2017 this pilot project has been "carbon scrubbing" directly from the surrounding air, mixing the captured CO₂ with water, and re-injecting it into basalt rock formations surrounding Hengill, an active volcano, where it mineralises: carbon sequestered as rock. Australian artist Adam Sébire is drawn to this site for its modern-day alchemy (though here dematerialising carbon dioxide rather than materialising gold!) and for its Promethean overtones: these other-worldly injection wells seemingly embody an unshakeable faith in the technological superiority of Homo sapiens over their planet.
In a future geological era complex lifeforms seem to have disappeared but the planet appears to be correcting an atmospheric imbalance itself as geological processes reverse. After only a few hundred thousand years, equilibrium — homeostasis — will have returned.
Tallscreen (vertical video) artwork made to accompany an exhibition of still photos documenting early geoengineering and carbon sequestration attempts at Hellisheði, Iceland, in late 2017.
Dur: 2'18" / FHD HDR single-channel video, 2.1 stereo audio.
Photographic stills & video art exhibited as a work-in-progress at SÍM Reykjavík, December 2017.