Vertical Drift, The Joinery, Dublin, 2011



“A fall toward objects without reservation, embracing a world of forces and matter, which lacks any original stability and sparks the sudden shock of the open: a freedom that is terrifying, utterly deterritorializing, and always already unknown. Falling means ruin and demise as well as love and abandon, passion and surrender, decline and catastrophe. Falling is corruption as well as liberation, a condition that turns people into things and vice versa. It takes place in an opening we could endure or enjoy, embrace or suffer, or simply accept as reality [...] falling does not only mean falling apart, it can also mean a new certainty falling into place. Grappling with crumbling futures that propel us backwards onto an agonizing present, we may realize that the place we are falling toward is no longer grounded, nor is it stable. It promises no community, but a shifting formation. ” [1]

To engage with the vertical axis is to shift the reference points of orientation; from the stabilising illusion of horizontal perspective that imposes a reductive geometry upon the earths surface, to the vanishing points of the stars above, and to below, towards the molten core of the earth and beyond. If, as Hiro Steyerl suggests, we cannot assume any stable ground on which to base metaphysical claims or foundational political myths, freefalling can be considered more like the feeling of floating during weightlessness, where the denial of any stable bearings situates us in an ambiguous position that feels both like a form of limbo and a space of potential freedom.

Vertical Drift was exhibited both in physical space offline, in a series of installations, and online, as a webpage presenting collated live twitter feeds parsed from keywords including: "floating / drifting / plummeting / I don't know where I am".

[1] Hito Steryel: In Free Fall: A Thought Experiment on Vertical Perspective., E-Flux Journal #24, 04/11

Seismic Drift [#AmbientEarthVibrations], Installation view, 2011

Adapted simple roller bearing base isolation structure (typically used in geotechnical engineering to protect structures against seismic damage) with designated protective wear (acupuncture sandals).

Contemplation (if today was perfect there would be no need for tomorrow), Installation View, 2011

Linoleum (wave cycle structure), Neon Perspex Plate with sugar solution stalagmites mounted on LCD display, Posters.

Remote Reflections [#VisionDrift] , Digital recreation of physical installation, 2011

Monitor, Rope, Metallic Spandex, Smoke Machine, Speakers.

Originally made in collaboration with Professional Remote Viewer Paul O'Connor. Remote Viewing (RV) is the practice of seeking impressions about a distant or unseen target through extra-sensory perception. Remote Viewers use physical models to organise their perceptions and to stabilise the virtual umwelt. Typically a remote viewer is expected to give information about an object that is hidden from physical view and separated at some distance. In this case, the Remote Viewer was given co-ordinates to the gallery where this physical work was displayed several weeks before the show.

PeripheralStream [#MetaDrift] , online version of Vertical Drift, 2011

Live collated Twitter streams parsed from keywords including: "floating / drifting / plummeting / I don't know where I am".

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Secrets of Remote Viewing