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HUMANS

2022

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A reflection on humanity following its extinction, where the culprit of our demise is in fact humanity's own self-destructive behaviour. This piece considers what will remain to indicate our existence by appearance and form. It is a documentation of human movement, to be analysed from a future perspective.

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- Jena Gregory 
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What's it about?

Working towards my Final Major Project titled ’Remains’, I introduced a new medium into my work, video, which I had only briefly scratched the surface of in my previous project – ‘Room’. I felt as though there was so much more for me to explore through this medium, and that I needed to use it to its full potential. I wanted to focus on this idea of what will remain as evidence of humanity after we are long gone. How will we be remembered as a species? Will it be for our self- destructive actions and behaviour? Will it be our appearance or our actions and what we do with our bodies? I decided to focus on the latter, but in its simplest form; by looking at human body movement and behaviour.

I began my research by referring to Mark Fisher’s exploration and discussion on what the weird and eerie is, what it is constructed by, and associated with. I knew that I wanted to gravitate towards the eerie rather than the weird, as I think that it aligns more with the ideas of presence in absence that I have been looking to explore. It also highlighted to me the key elements and features that can indicate the eerie. These included enclosed and inhabited domestic spaces, which to me related to the sense of familiarity, but also the output of the unfamiliar because of the disturbing human forms, leading the viewer to feel uncertain, and begin to ask questions. In front of a green screen, I idly walked around the small space in my bedroom on film with my features concealed. After identifying my interest in the use of layers when painting, I decided to apply the same technique to my editing process. With no specific outcome in mind, but still applying the concepts and ideas learnt in my research, I created multiple layers of the same video over each other, as I had acknowledged from previous examinations of the eerie – that repetition emphasises the eerie.

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I wanted to focus on this idea of what will remain as evidence of humanity after we are long gone. How will we be remembered as a species? Will it be for our self- destructive actions and behaviour? Will it be our appearance or our actions and what we do with our bodies?

"

- Jena Gregory
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The result: an array of various haunting figures interacting within a confined space, but with the ability to phase in and out of each other. This disorientating merge of forms, that suggest a sense of non- physicality, due to their ability to intertwine, fade in and out of states of being, as they flow around the void-like space. The chaotic system of these forms is more suggestive of the themes that I am trying to portray referring to our actions as humans (and our negligence towards the consequences they may bring.) It is a documentation of human movement, illustrated by the large mass of "flesh" or human parts suggesting a sense of community and collective existence within a society.

In the next project - "Remains", I continue with my current themes, and consider: What will remain as product of our species to indicate our existence? 

References:
  • Fisher, M. (2016). The Weird and the Eerie. London: Repeater Books.

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