A Companion for Departure

By February 21, 2024

i dreamt it was a dream that you were gone

Alien Observer (in a world that isn’t mine)
Director of Photography: Adam Hogan

A Companion for Departure pulls from an unusual network of sources—Esther Williams’ epic and almost fatal high dive in the 1952 aqua ballet Million Dollar Mermaid, my father’s passing in 2020, and Apollo 15 Mission’s hammer-feather drop on the Moon. The exploration of these sources resulted in a three-channel video Alien Observer and I dreamt it was a dream that you were gone, a video in which the phosphorescence of cremated particle pulsates.

A Companion for Departure explores the relationship between traveling bodies, high altitude attempts, the planet’s rotation, weightlessness, and illusion. Utilizing nonrenewable materials to reference the increased competition for natural resources, the works sample current and historical instances of ingenuity in both terrestrial and extraterrestrial exploration to speak to anthropogenic climate change.

The two works presented consider retracing and longevity. I dreamt it was a dream that you were gone is less than two minutes, yet many of the color changes are subtle and may lose one’s attention quickly. Alien Observer is a slow-motion video that reveals content over its twenty-two-minute duration, requiring not only precious time on the part of the viewer, but a certain level of devotion to see it through without pause. Together these pieces balance real and theatrical materials and events—my father’s passing and cremated remains as seen through a microscope, a Hollywood production based on a true story, and a resurgence of disbelief related to documentation of 1960s Moon landings in the era of artificial intelligence and deep fakes. These are experiments in evolution, an inquiry into perception and seeing as believing, a levitation in the absence of ground, and a re-evaluation of departure as becoming.

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