“The whole mystery of commodities, all the magic and necromancy that surrounds the products of labour as long
as they take the form of commodities, vanishes therefore, so soon as we come to other forms of production.” – Karl Marx, Capital, Vol.1
Three ships sail under the flags of Japan, Panama and Singapore; Destiny, Providence and Eos (goddess of the dawn). This landscape has been observed for many years allowing for a shift from one way of seeing to another, revealing the deserts of far-away planets. A long burn. And through this act of looking, and re-looking, time has started to fold in on itself. Everything is out of time and what we think should move doesn’t. From somewhere (in China) three workers desperately peer into the void. Their actions only made more frenzied because of the stillness of the screen grabbed image. Something is wrong.
There is a certain conjuring of chaos through the juxtaposition of landscape and failure. But this is not all. A framing of agency is presented in a way that the Afrofuturists know. An object, a spaceship, or a relic from another era orbits and the merging of past, future and present offer a speculative subversion of the documentary form. Out-takes from the world and (science) fiction signal in the glowing translucent wakas heading out to the cosmos, a reconciliation of a future which is both bright and distant.
David Cowlard. March 2020