Whiteout (2020)


Two Channel Video, 15 minutes
Essay originally written for AX15 (a project by Mario de Vega).
Whiteout was re-published In: Photoresearcher 33 (2020) site here / pdf.
Whiteout was inspired by my time during the CERN Collide International residency award 2019, our climb of the Brocken and time on a boat with the Chilean army crossing the Drake Passage to Antartica and back. 

In Whiteout, Menkman presents the story of a mountain hike in a snowstorm. As Menkman made her way up the mountain, she noted not only her physical sensations: inability to see, hear, or orient herself, but also the oversaturation of the environment, the realization that spatial dimension was seemingly wiped out.
What does it mean to navigate a grey, dimensionless space? To move without visual or auditory references and to physically plot a course when there is no sense of direction or even horizon? For Menkman, the experience of Whiteout is one of “slices of consciousness, and traversing a virtual axis to nowhere. A landscape with multiple horizons, in which orientation between top and bottom does not exist except within the mind of the wanderer. And even though things seemed to happen in the same space, this state created different places, all layered at once.”



The sound starting from around minute 9 is from a live performance recording by Mario de Vega.
Some of the footage is also taken by him during our shooting of AX15.
The stroboscopic images are all from the slides of the 2 year colloquium “Resolution Studies,” which is documented here.
Some images of Whiteout in AX15 (a project by Mario de Vega) :