Multi-Screen Video Installation, Vinyl Text, Handmade Communication Devices [Arduino, LEDs, Morse code, + Glass Jars]
Thames Art Gallery – September 11 thru November 1, 2015
Exhibition Essay “Echoes in a Stranger Land” by Ellyn Walker (pdf)
After an environmental collapse based on recent disaster headlines, End Transmission takes place in a soon-to-be future after our own time’s intensifying inequality, debt, climate change, fossil fuel dependency and global food crisis.
Post-collapse, a woman explores a number of extreme landscapes in search of a hospitable future, leaving behind a series of Morse code communiqués as a record of her journey.
A mixed media installation, End Transmission is an expanded narrative told through multiple video loops, sound, and handmade communication devices (Arduino, LEDs, Morse code, + Glass Jars).
Taking a cue from M. Nourbese Philip’s writing on frontiers—in particular, how to work with, work against, or elide racial and cultural ones—I come to Christina Battle’s installations with sensitive eyes. In the expansive, desolate and often obscure landscapes she presents in End Transmission, “absence is deceptive and is really a presence,”* albeit a hidden one. A presence of what, exactly? Of human relations and the histories they elicit, which have included colonization, genocide, climate change, food crises, and economic and natural disaster, all of which are ongoing phenomena across vast and diverse geographies. I see these dystopic transgressions moreso as transmissions, which offer both Battle and viewers alike the occasion to think through what a more hospitable future may look like on this land, and on others. – from the exhibition essay Echoes in a Stranger Land by Ellyn Walker
* Philip, FRONTIERS: Essays and Writings on Racism and Culture (Stratford, ON: The Mercury Press, 1992).