The video component of News from Nowhere is a five-channel, 4:32 minute continuously looping video and sound sculptural installation. Composed of flat- screened monitors forming a loose eight-foot diameter circle on the floor, it depicts black birds on a red background, programmed in sequences. I manipulated the colour, speed and direction of the birds’ flight. Focusing on a fractured interface between the natural world and technology, I play with nature in order to provoke pondering about our mortality, power dynamics, and interspecies relations in an age of genetic modification and environmental uproar.
I probe the relation between human and bird behaviour and the collective intelligence that gives a group of individuals the power to cope with uncertainty, complexity and change.
JOAN KAUFMAN, NEWS FROM NOWHERE, DIGITAL LAYOUT, 2010
HD Single channel composite view of NEWS FROM NOWHERE, Five channel looping video installation
4:32 minutes, digital video panels mounted on steel frame, video feed and electrical cables
Viewers rotate around the monitors while navigating through the relationships between the movement of the birds that span the five monitors, and the unsettling sounds, which they now become a part. The viewing perspective relates to our ancestral species, similar to grouping around a campfire, a communal behaviour that can be traced back to the earliest human species to control fire for food, warmth, and protection from predators. Moreover, I relate the footage of flocks of birds to individual and communal human behaviour: tempting my viewers to lose themselves among the birds, while becoming more conscious of humanness and its affinity with them.