Exhibition: Ben Rivers: Slow Action, Picture This, Spike Action, Bristol, November 20 – December 18 2010
Last year, Somerset-born artist Ben Rivers toured festivals across the world with I Know Where I'm Going, a 29-minute contemplation on 16-millimetre film of a world purged of human action, traces, constructions and the empty world, taking the assumption that civilization will disappear in the near future.
Starring an impressively hairy geologist discussing the barren world a hundred million years down the line while lighting up a fag, it reimagined the outskirts of Britain as a wilderness people by stragglers, winning popular reception at events from Rotterdam to Ontario.
He reappears with Slow Action, an investigation into islands shaped by his infatuation with Charles Darwin and biogeography. Loneliness is the returning theme, dreaming of possible utopias in isolated outposts of Lanzarote, Japan and Tuvalu.
Presented in a multiscreen installation, it comprises animation, a soundtrack, spoken text and a script partly devised by American science fiction and art writer Mark von Schlegell.