Egress: Dreams of a Dolphin

2020

 

Egress: Dreams of a Dolphin is a collaborative journal of the last year recounted from two very different places in a single mind.

 

With the COVID-19 pandemic creating unprecedented health, social and economic crisis, for many of us its impact has yet to be truly processed. As someone who lives a regimented life, the immediate removal of most forms of social interaction greatly affected me. I found myself unable to adapt and quickly diverted back to my high-school mentality. Escapism and nostalgia seamlessly substituted for social interaction. I spent my time alone continuously consuming media. Overwhelmed by the relentless barrage of news on the pandemic and politics, I found myself needing to dissociate from reality further. To help satiate this need, I obsessively researched and collected more content than I could possibly consume. As my interests continuously diminished, I jumped from one form of media to the next. Eventually I found myself burnt out but with no other choice but to reconnect to reality, so I began to make this artwork.

 

I was reinvigorated through routine and purpose. Ambivalent Fantasies were quickly replaced with a hyperfocused sense of realism. I mapped out the free space available in my home and created a 3D model from it. I documented my movements in this space through motion capture sessions in my living room. I recorded ambient sounds from my home to be used in the production of the soundtrack. The result was a bland depiction of my time making the work that didn’t really confront or capture any of the feelings I’ve had over the past year. To rectify this, I started to allow the influences of the media I had previously consumed into the work. Inspired by comics, I began to insert narrative boxes. This allowed me to run a second parallel narrative that would be more reflective of my initial mindset. Through the confrontation of my initial reaction to the pandemic and the realization of more recent android like behavior, I began to find some balance. I wanted the work to reflect this awareness, so I began to bleed the narratives into themselves. The surreal visuals from my fantasies gradually began to infiltrate the clinical monotone depictions of my surroundings. A second narrator was added to anchor the original narrator’s imaginings. Eventually as the two representations meld into one, the narrative takes its first steps back towards normal.