Being human is fundamentally about connecting to others. I believe humanity can be viewed as a web connecting everybody in some way.
The political philosopher Hannah Arendt wrote; “What makes mass society so difficult to bear is not the number of people involved, or at least not primarily, but the fact that the world between them has lost its power to gather them together, to relate and to separate them.” In this essay I will outline how I have explored the issue of humanity being more separate than ever through investigations into the things that allow us to connect to one another.
Scotland’s Moving Image Archive gave me a chance to explore footage of such things, for example, the short film “Harnessing the hills” showing rural villages in Scotland gaining access to electricity for the first time since being connected to mains power. I found the imagery of pylons and power cables captivating as they represented for me the way that people stay close to one another even when vast distances separate them. This is especially relevant in today’s society when a large portion of people’s social interaction takes place through some form of technology. The imagery of objects that enable our connections with others that I sourced from the archive became central in my studio research and practical work.
Experience:Being HUMAN 2020/21
Archive:Moving Image Archive (National Library of Scotland)