An immersive video installation that draws on the Western desert painting aesthetic to reimagine the universe.
Media: 2 channel HD video installation with sound
Duration: 10:21 mins
History is Made at Night draws upon philosophical and scientific advancements relating to the existence of dark matter. Informed by the big bang – the scientific, mathematical and observational theories of how the Universe came to be – Boyd transposes the Indigenous Western Desert aesthetic into an animated reimagining of the universe. The two-channel video engages in the varying histories of the tangible influence of the stars, in particular our sun, on life forms and life-forming on earth. The work reintroduces the universe as a mechanism for navigating an expanded sense of history and future trajectory.
This piece points to the limitations of our understanding of the dynamics of the universe: of what is known, what is unknown and what is yet to be discovered. This video experience gives expression to the universe as an infinitely expanding and interconnected system. As the universe incrementally expands, our capacity to define its origin, and implicitly our own, is confounded by our inability to determine its full definition. Just as gazing up at the Milky Way from the vast desert landscapes of Central Australia makes a mockery of humanity’s anthropocentric notions, this work reminds us that we are just a small part of complex, ever changing systems.
Central to Boyd’s painting practice is his technique of partially overpainting imagery. This technique,adapted to the video format, functions to both reveal and conceal information and is designed to question the authority of perceived knowledge. By destabilising imagery and the viewer’s perception of it we are asked to acknowledge the incomprehensible. The work reminds us that on earth we do not have a comprehensive understanding of life and all its forms, let alone what life forms may exist in the vast ever expanding universe.