Alchemical Exploits in Third Nature


Produced in collaboration with Alexandra Taylor

A 3 week experiment based on the initiation of a modest investigation of the possibility space of the vector, to breathe the ether and find event in which its weirdness is revealed, to render it perceptible in the form of what we will call a ‘portrait’.

Track 1 - Journey 1

We attempted to capture the ambient sounds of the tunnel and how the sounds echoed and reverberated throughout the space. The recordings track our movement from one end of the tunnel to the other, testing the space as we moved through where the acoustics changed and how the sounds of the second nature morphed and abstracted. ‘The passage from modernity to postmodernity seems to me better described as the passage from one form of abstraction to another – from second nature of abstract social spaces created by sea and rail vectors to the abstract communicational spaces created by the telegraph, telephone, television, and telecommunications.’ (Wark 2012, P30)

Our process is embedded within the recordings to create a portrait not only of the third nature but also working in the space, creating a sense of imprinting ourselves on the environment and testing to see how this altered or abstracted the space. There are moments of mistakes and failed experiments but also of amazement where they worked and the images/video achieved created a mesmeric reaction, the element of capturing what was not at first visible led to these surprised reactions and made it seem as though the space itself was reacting to us. ‘We are no one, whoever we are, always oscillating in antipodality with elsewheres.’ (Wark 2012, P35)


Track 1 - Journey 2

Video recordings and projection experiments were very successful to capture the sense of the ether and the ‘fluid, undulatory medium that bathes all objects’ (Milutis 2006, P4) while at the same time displaying the mesmeric nature of the other.


The process used consisted of using a projector with a live feed from a DSLR camera and once they were directed on top of each other to create a feedback loop, we then used an external flash gun to illuminate the space which highlighted the environment of the tunnel which then travelled through the feedback loop to abstract the tunnel walls by turning them into tunnels themselves. These loops hold within them the mesmeric, through the hypnotic movement and through the RGB colours reacting to the two films working on top of each other, ‘The body connects up with the cosmos and superconsciousness through this Aethereal Medium, the irrational element of Newton’s “place of Sensation,” into which all is delivered, becomes infinite.’ (Milutis 2006, P8)


Track 1 - Destination

The culmination of our experiments in the tunnel consisted of filming the tunnel from the outside in the day time and then projecting this back on itself from the inside at night, capturing the portrait of the second nature of the environment and the third nature of the tunnel network and communications/technology through the process of digital projection. This created an immersive experience where you were fully surrounded and part of the vector, the ambient sounds of the tunnel itself added to the experience, which really needs to be seen to be believed.


‘Although the terrain is different, the projection of a vectoral field of total communication extends and completes the projection of a vectoral field of extraction and production.’ (Wark 2012, P30). Both space and time appear to fade away within the projected experiment as the tunnel resembles the other in a way that is somewhat disorientating but at the same time frees you to experience the vector in the ether or the fluid, which cannot be seen.