© 2019 Dave Hebb - contemporary fine art photography, video and installation art

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Monitor

Monitor is a year-long video and photographic documentation of an environmental intervention. A computer monitor was placed in a field and videotaped several times a week for the duration of a year. During that time, a symbolic burning and minor excavation was performed around the perimeter of the monitor that echoed its rectangular shape. Over time, the excavation eventually filled in with new growth, asserting the cyclical regenerative power of the seasons in nature over the disposable artifacts of technological obsolescence. The video is played as a seamless endless loop to echo the repeating cyclical rhythm of the natural environment.

 

The title "Monitor" is seemingly straightforward, but also has a dual meaning. The video's subject is an object called a computer monitor, but the word "monitor" can also serve as a verb. The video itself is "monitoring" the landscape over a long span of time. This poses open-ended questions about time, site, entropy, growth and decay, and the desire to reconcile our relationship with nature. The video uses time and the contrast between personal interior and natural exterior space as a metaphor to examine how technology influences our relationship to nature. The implied conclusion is that nature will outlast us, and ultimately surround our discarded attempts at technological perfection with the messy but loving embrace of flowers and greenery. The implied question of our own mortality as a species remains unanswered.

This project has been exhibited in a variety of forms including as printed photos, a photobook, video loop projection, and a sculptural installation at Art Laboratory Berlin in 2012 that consisted of vintage computer monitors playing looped video files as seen below.