Composing Archipelagos. Curated by Jasmin Stephens. Contemporary Art Tasmania
materials: obsidian, crystal, transducer speakers, acoustic data
Photo credits: Remi Chauvin
Brothers continues Bleach’s preoccupation with material experimentation through the response to the phenomenon of harmonic tremor – a sustained release of seismic and infrasonic energy typically associated with the underground movement of magma. Within the artwork, obsidian from Tūhua Mayor Island, located off Aotearoa New Zealand’s Bay of Plenty, acts as a resonating body amplifying the sound of the Brothers Volcano in the Bay’s Kermadec Trench. Bleach evinces an appreciation for the ‘archipelic thought’ of Martinique-born French philosopher Édouard Glissant (1928-2011) – a mode of thinking that Glissant posited as lighter and more generative than monolithic continental thought. Characterised as a ‘trembling’ that resists globalising systems, in Bleach’s work such ‘trembling’ exceeds the land-sea dialectic – doubting the divide between the terrestrial and the oceanic. The agency which Bleach accords her materials further destabilises the borders between humanity and planetary forces.
The artist would like to acknowledge the following people for their assistance in realising the work:
Dr. Robert Dziak, Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, for providing hydroacoustic recordings of harmonic tremor from Brothers Volcano; Jon Smeathers for sound assistance; Merinda Young, Tudor Rose Glass, for technical advice and kiln facility; Stuart Houghton for install construction.
The artist is grateful to Contemporary Art Tasmania for their considerable latitude in permitting further incision into the gallery walls, and to gallery and installation staff for their support.
Special thanks to Jasmin Stephens for her generous engagement and nuanced insights.
The obsidian used in this work was originally sourced from the island of Tūhua, the ancestral home of Te Whānau A Tauwhao ki Tūhua. The Māori name for obsidian is Tūhua. The artist acknowledges the Te Whānau A Tauwhao as the traditional custodians of Tūhua (rock and island).
Jasmin Stephens, curator