Sampling The Breath of an Island

HD Video (9:16) + soundscape of artist's breath, 2024

‘Sampling The Breath of an Island’ is a video-work that combines a series of actions made whilst encountering the active, volcanic landscape of Iceland. The video’s images are all shot on location on the island, but the soundtrack of the film is created entirely from sound samples of the artist’s breath – woven together to create an imagined soundscape for a volcanic body.

At the timescales that humans live within, landscapes feel like passive backgrounds. Rolling hills or flat plains seem like static material over which we roam – spaces against which the actions of our lives take place. We speed over them, we dig into them, we build our cities incrementally across them. They seem to be inert arenas for our agency and extraction. But stumbling across the folds and fissures of Iceland, is to feel the thinness of the Earth’s living skin. Iceland, like the Earth itself, is a creature busily remaking herself in fire. In the timescales of geology, Iceland is a young beast. Hissing out steam and deathly gasses. A creature that vomits up its liquid insides through sudden, iridescent mouths. A belching, burning thing born of the depths. A pregnant, shuddering disaster that heaves and splits along a great fault-line. Here, directly beneath my feet, I can feel the boiling guts of our planet, and sense (even in my human timescale), that ‘landscape’ is a process not a background.