Photo London, Somerset House

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May. 2016

"Fermata" 

The phone and other digital devices have slowly but surely been playing an ever growing role in our lives. They punctuate it, distract it, record it, stress it, inspire it. A glimpse at the screen and we disappear into another world, another dimension - for a time actually ceasing to be present to those physically closest to us. 

 

It has become socially acceptable to dip in and out of presence, in and out of the 3D physical world. We are the “everywhere” people - Always in a state of co-presence. We have become the 4 Dimensional human.

 

Historically it seems we always imagined that the 4th dimension, this foreign land, this other world, would be separate from our own and that access to it would be gained via a form of travel – a vernacular still used in internet vocabulary –safari, explorer etc-. But, the 4th dimension doesn’t actually sit neatly above or on the other side of the 3D, physical dimension, rather it has grown around the first, distorting it, contorting it. The 3D world itself acquiring a 4th dimensionality.

 

The pressures of everywhereness, which call for a collapse of here and there, can produce a sense of absenteeism, and the suspicion that, despite being in many places at once, we’re not fully inhabiting any of them. It feels we lead increasingly disembodied lives – it is actually said we increasingly “live” our lives online. It weights immediacy with a new form of inhibition. Makes us question our sense of self. If someone face- timing us kisses the phone goodbye it makes sense to wonder where do our bodies begin and end in a networked world?

 

With this piece I wanted to capture the last domestic safe-haven. The 4D non-porous space.  And I realised the only one left was probably the bathtub. The bathtub as the sacred space of the physical 3D world.

 

A world of in-between. Protected by the elements – the danger of water-, the bathtub comes to incarnate a parenthesis, an elongation of time. A beat where thought, reflection, waiting, visual silence can happen, the body grounded in its physical contact with matter. It is the moment of presence for presence’s sake. The pause. The fermata where thoughts can settle.