The impossibility of things disappearing (2022)

A video made using, Blender and OBS.

We see a desiccated fish that has risen above the waves. It may appear at first to simply be spinning in place, but with each turn there are subtle differences in the way it moves. While it appears to be dead there are moments that seem oddly expressive; it might seem to be playfully splashing in the water, or at other moments it might hesitate in the air before resuming its movements.  

This video work was made by using the video game,, as a raw material. The intended purpose of this game is to simulate the experience of driving with ‘realistic’ newtonian physics. I created a simple mod that swapped the player-vehicle with the fish and then recorded its movements within the physics simulation. Besides the fish, everything else about the game was unaltered. I found alternative ways of using the game’s interface as a kind of ‘animation’ technique.

Using this technique I have limited control over what movements actually occur. They are a result of the 3D object (the fish) interacting with the physics simulation in the game. I set up initial parameters for the scene such as the setting, lighting and position, and then recorded what happened. This gives the fish a sense of its own agency and liveliness which lends a bittersweet feeling to the vignette; it has both a sense of freedom and morbidity. I have been thinking of this work in terms of resurrection and in-betweenness. The title 'The impossibility of things disappearing' refers to the idea of the fish existing beyond the moment we encounter in the video. It is presented in a state of transition, endlessly floundering somewhere across the ocean. Here we can consider what this fish will become, and where it came from.