Endurance, 2012, 7:33', ratio 16:9, HD, Blu-ray, stereo
ENDURANCE – a video work by Sari Tervaniemi
We equate technology with freedom, the newer the better. We see it as a means to free speech, openness and communication. We move forward eagerly towards technological singularity, embracing the advancement, we have welcomed this digitality as vital part of our lives.
In Maslow’s hierarchy of human needs, on the top of the pyramid of sit ‘self-actualization’ and ‘self-esteem’. The need for approval from others, the need to feel special, the desire to work on our identity, all of these things are now tied up with our new technology. The camera has become a method of delivery. Though we move faster and faster with our technology, we still inside yearn to slow down. In cities we look for spaces where we can recuperate, breathe.
In Endurance three subjects seek this quiet, to inhale - exhale. They find it in the island of Vartiosaari. So close to the city of Helsinki, but still a place where it seems like nature has been left unchanged. Trekking through the island they are physically weighed down by their equipment, slick black tripods hang beside them like extra limbs. The video pans the lush island in slow sweeping moves, almost like a dance the filmmakers sway across the landscape;; they encounter nature through the LCD screens in front of them.
The camera is ever present. The frequency of its appearance could be seen as a need to preserve this space and this moment in time where Vartiosaari is still unspoiled, for it is soon going to be destroyed. The landscape is set for a development, which will see the island make way for a large amount of new houses built on the island. A once untouched world where one could go for respite from the fast ways of the city will now be like any other suburb in Helsinki. This plan will destroy, amongst other treasures of nature, a rare community of bats that need remote caves to live in are going to have their habitat taken from them, and subsequently die.
The group of three come from their urban enviroment and out into nature seeking stillness. Seeming like advanced beings with the warm glow of their screens around their necks. These screens glow back like pools of water, reflecting their experiences, confirming their identity by documentation. For this group of people the experience is lived through the act of this documentation;; they only face nature through their lens. They are tethered to their equipment, allowing it to become a vital part of their time in this enviroment. Only these recorded moments are real, these are the memories that they will commit to memory and share on social media.
The act of their documentation is almost ritualistic;; they are silent as they look out through their cameras across the water and the trees. Though they are together, they seem to experience this alone, individually. Finns are long known to the rest of Europe for their relationship to nature, in Endurance there seems to be a respect and quietness with how they move through the landscape. An understanding of the Island itself. They are silent, together;; no language is spoken, just suggested.
Samantha Conlon, founder of Bunny Collective