David Blandy investigates the different modes of contemporary commercial moving-image, from the documentary confessional and music video to television series, anime and the narrative sections of computer games. Within each work he deconstructs the form, placing himself as the alienated subject in a prefabricated cultural archetype, questioning our relationship with the narratives that form our collective unconscious. Blandy examines our cultural position, finding links between the rarified and the everyday, trying to find what identity might mean in today’s globalised culture. Blandy often plays with different modes of display, often using the visual language of retail or the amusement arcade.
Sea of Ice / Wreck of Hope / Walk at Dusk will be a three screen video work that forms a meditation on our relationship to the sublime in the digital age. The work documents an unending transition between psychological states, a passage of the soul, from fog to clarity, with the constant presence of the “dark wood” of Dante’s Comedy. A digital version of the artist, as though exited from an old computer game, walks through landscapes formed from adapting and combining paintings by the Romantic artist Caspar David Friedrich. Our environment has changed, as we move to a more digitally-mediated life, but our anxieties, confusion and awe in the face of nature remain. This work will be shown on reconfigured arcade machines alongside two other existing video works that refer to the digital self.