THE MEMORY OF WATER
VIDEO INSTALLATION Media: video projection and sound design
Duration: 8 minute Loop
Various site specific projects made for The Incident, in the city of Fribourg, Switzerland as part of the Belluard- Bollwerk International festival.
The projects explore concepts of deep memory and the water and consisted of installation and performance works made in response to the water courses and medieval fountains of Fribourg reflecting on the anomalous properties of water inspired by the scientific work on vortex subtle energies carried out by Viktor Schauberger and chemist Jacque Beneveniste. Beneveniste carried out homeopathic methods controversially indicating that water has a living molecular memory. I extended these themes to create fluidic databank analogous to a telephone system linking mind,body, earth and water concerned with tracing human technological impact on the natural world.
Installation work was presented in the upper gallery of the Bollwerk fortress consisting of a dual screen video projection and sound, a floor installation of several hundred bottles of water and a diorama of dowsing maps. An algorithmically generated projected wire frame video image composed a wave train ripple pattern deflecting light across the glass and filling the darkened space with ambient patterns and waves of light. These kinetic currents were reinforced by recordings of heart beat, rushing water and white noise.
Tinguley fountain audio feedback recordings with Jeremy Narby
Audiences from Fribourg were invited to write dedications to the Sarine river and Fribourgs figurative, allegorical fountains. These dedications written in German, French and English were read by Jeremy Narby as part of a public performance to the stochastic sound of the Tinguley fountain and accompanied by electronic white noise. The voices were recorded into a portable tape recorder and then played back loudly alongside the fountain as a public sound performance.
"At the Belluard, Rogers created an installation in a gloomy corner loft high inside the fortress. On the creaky wooden floor of the loft stand elaborate patterns of glass bottles each filled with water. Candles flicker on the bottle glass, making the water shine and sparkle. Video monitors around the edges of the room reflect the scene and put it into fluid motion. The theme of Roger's The Memory of Water is the elemental energy pattern inherent in water. The power of the water element that usually goes unnoticed now hovers ghost like through the room. The phenomena can be literally true yet keeps its essential mystery.
Kathleen Roger's The Memory of Water fuses thick darkness with an array of light patterns - computerised and elemental - to coax the viewer into peripheral vision. She also uses sound patterns to gradually widen the edges of experience. The end effect on the viewer resembles James Turrell's luminosity. Both affect the feeling of the space/time dimension. Peripheral awareness renders the present spacious and non-temporal. Relaxing into our physical centre and letting attention sink into the gut, the eyes soften and the attention spreads throughout the entire field of view. The awareness lives in open space as opposed to the brain's linear time sequence. A wide-angle view slows down the frantic race of the logical chains of thought. We find ourselves visited by those cosmologically primal elements in which we live: water and light. They manifest themselves under artfully prepared conditions.
Virtual design stands at the crossroads of interactivity. Two models of world-building beckon: the tunnel and the spiral. The tunnel sucks us further into technology. The tunnel molds human perception to push forward, to ignore peripheral awareness, to fixate. The spiral, on the contrary, rotates us in virtual worlds that return us to ourselves, that deepen the wide-angle awareness of ourselves as primary bodies. The tunnel teaches us to maintain first-person perspective while the spiral attunes us to others from whom we learn about ourselves. The tunnel feeds us more information. The spiral aspires to wisdom".
Heim, M. (1998) Virtual realism. Oxford University Press.
The Incident, Symposium, Fribourg, Switzerland, Belluard- Bollwerk International festival.
Themes resonant in my emerging work led to my becoming consulting artist to curator Rob la Frenais and contributions to the intellectual and artistic concepts of events, the Incident in Switzerland and London 98/99. The Incident expanded on themes of art, technology and phenomena. In Fribourg, the event was composed of exhibitions by major visual artists, performances by theatre companies, music groups, talks debates and symposia that including Jacques Vallee, James Turrell, HR Giger, Kristine Stiles,Terence McKenna, Jeremy Narby, Linda Montano, Ulrike Rosenbach, Roy Ascot and Anne Bean
The Incident, ICA, London
The Incident, Switzerland Leonardo almanac archive