Close Up

11 March 2018: Extracted and Circulated: Material Exchange


Responding to their ongoing conversation around their individual practices and methods Graeme Arnfield and Beny Wagner’s programme commingles their own recent film works with images collected and recontextualised from their ongoing archives collected from YouTube. The screening as a whole takes the form of a sine wave as we traverse the surfaces of the earth and the human body, plunging inside and emerging outside over and over, to the point that the boundary between interior and exterior is slowly forgotten. Media is experienced as a metabolic process wherein beginnings and ends are abandoned for the sake of perpetual movement, the material exchange of matter and energy. Using Beny Wagner’s Outside, and Graeme Arnfield’s Shouting at the Ground as starting points, the screening submerges these works within images of cameras being swallowed, smoke billowing inside homes, men cursing the potholes in roads and people diving into and out of the earth.

Extracted and Circulated: Material Exchange is the second edition of the Extracted and Circulated screening series. It is a series as compilation, as assembly, as a production of new work where each video folds and unfolds into the next and where the hierarchies of found, processed, and produced material dissolve.

Beny Wagner
2017 | 14 min | Colour | Digital

Outside traverses two metabolic paths in the attempt to forge a reciprocal relationship between the two. Moving from the metabolism of the human body to the metabolism of waste infrastructures, the film creates an inverted exchange wherein the concealment of waste inside the human body turns to the concealment of the human body inside waste. The boundary that divides waste from production would seem to contain an underlying set of moral implications. The film considers these as situated somewhere between law enforcement and class structure as defined through labour positions.

Shouting at the Ground
Graeme Arnfield
2017 | 17 min | Colour | Digital

In a peat bog in North West England a Spanish woman was murdered, her body buried and subsumed into the treacherously dense ecological matter. A matter which labours have extracted for centuries, selling this fertile material as fuel worldwide; a material which upon burning releases timeless carbon deposits into our increasingly precarious and damaged ecosphere. After laying dormant under the rich dark peat for an unknown amount of time a body returned to the surface but its identity had become dislocated; it has become entwined with the history of its material host. Taking the real life disappearance of Malika Maria De Fernandez along with the global trade of fossil fuels as an poignant opening, Shouting at the Ground is an agricultural & archaeological murder mystery circling around a void, oscillating it’s images and sounds between states of violent networked embodiment and pitch black absence, of burial and exhumation.