Medium: Video/Digital Animation
Length: 21' 22"
Pandemonium reflects on the 2020-21 COVID-19 pandemic, relating it to pandemics and epidemics of the past. Pandemics and epidemics are hardly new phenomena for mankind and clearly each time, they are characterised by numerous dystopian moments. The current pandemic, however, is unusual in that the prosperous West has not known one in living memory. This aspect has contributed to the frequently haphazard and incoherent response on the part of both governments and ordinary citizens. Current reactions strongly echo those of the historical past, documented many times over and demonstrate a human resistance to learning from the lessons of the past.
This work contains spoken excerpts from the mid-20th century fictional novel by Albert Camus, La Peste (1947) in which he describes a plague epidemic based loosely on one in Oran, Algeria during 1945 and a broader research concerning pandemics/epidemics historically. The novel takes the reader through the various stages of the epidemic as well as the reactions of the populace. It uncannily resonate with the COVID-19 pandemic.
The spoken words (in the French original accompanied by English subtitles) are interactively converted to a background of abstract waves of colours on the basis of generative parameters while a 3D-modelled animation of coronaviruses endlessly snows its human viewers under.
An intrinsic aspect of this work is the question of how a spoken text can be translated visually into an image, in this case a computer animation. In the video, voice is melded into image, gives rise to it, precedes it and completes it. The natural character of spoken discourse is visualised. Images take their rhythm, form and meaning in and through language and as such are inseparable from it. The voice and the word are mediations that go beyond visual realities, while also being tools to explore these realities.