August 13 at 13:30 PM, 2022
August 13 till September 2, 2022
CEAC, Xiamen, China
Nothing evidences the importance of casting a net with no anticipated catch, or predetermined focus.
On the 17th of January 2020 I began capturing videos every day, three per location and each for 20 seconds. Using my phone, I captured the Nothing videos from wherever I happened to be, with the exclusion of any human presence and with no limit to the number of video sets per day.
For the film, a sequence was constructed with a new video appearing every 2:3 seconds and remaining visible for 19:07 seconds, (19:07 is apparently the average length of time someone looks at an artwork in a gallery). The videos sequentially roll through time covering a period of one year starting on the 17th January ending on the 16th January the following year and rolling into the next year on the 17th.
At the outset, the videos were personal to me, the three 20 second videos amounted to a one-minute rest break, necessary while out walking, as I was striving to recover my breathing through asthma.
I couldn’t have known of the impending, significant shift in daily life that would be
brought about by Coronavirus; socially, culturally, in employment and with human
visibility and physical contact diluted to an absolute minimum, ‘Nothing’ had been
contextually relocated and questions regarding solitude and isolation while on my walks
became more significant.
Living in the remote village of Allenheads in rural Northumberland has provided space,
quiet, and a strong sense of seclusion for the last 27 years. But Covid brought a whole
new silence and with my senses on high alert my experience of place was amplified and
the magnitude of all around me from the smallest particles to the grandest expansive
vistas had become as if in high definition. The seemingly inconsequential had been
stirred, redirecting the way I had previously and inadvertently engaged with planet
Earth. Normality had lost all meaning and ‘Nothing’ was growing in scale and importance.
‘Nothing’ had become a new way of recognising time as it passes and reconnected me with
the place I have lived for 27 years. ‘Nothing’ and the covid isolation rebooted me and
I became more able to see and feel my locale with a new purpose.
Personally, I am astounded by the immense power that each set of three videos has to
trigger detailed and specific memories of each location, time of day and feelings.
Engaging with the seasonal changes the twelve month cycle has gifted me a time-lapse
of life events, meteorological movement and psychological and emotional shifts.
I am now in my third period of ‘Nothing’ which will end on January 16th 2023, I have
to ask myself will it continue? I am starting to believe that ‘Nothing’ can last forever.