The bodiless voice of She Reflects is contained, perhaps even trapped within a minimal white cube. A large window looks out into a strange digital world. Odd blue and gold vehicles move up and down past the window. The voice is not at all natural but, as it moves around this other world we feel an empathy towards it. The nature of this digital character and the world in which they reside questions the notions of dreams and memory brought up within the appropriated spoken words.
Q&A WITH BEN SARGENT:
CC: Through your work, you create entire new worlds. Are these worlds reminiscent to personal notions or are they ones you wish for?
B.S: They are certainly not worlds that I wish for. I see these places I am creating as being insubstantial, in that they lack a physicality that we experience in our real world. Although there are visual aspects that resemble buildings or objects that we see and touch every day, to be in that virtual world would be almost like being in nothingness. Architecturally aspects of videos are lifted from my own personal experiences. In She Reflects the large window and its view is influenced by my current home in Leeds which looks out onto the university’s very varying architectural styles.
CC: What does memory mean to you, and how does it interconnect with space?
B.S: I am interested by the imperfections of human memory. Misremembering can create an interesting disconnect between perceived reality and the real world. This is something I have used to insert an element of confusion into my work’s narratives. The moments in which places or people are mistaken are fueling my thinking at the moment.
CC: Describe the character we are introduced to in “She Reflects”
B.S: I like to imagine that the entities employed for feature films are eventually dissuaded to roam a strange computerized world, left to ponder life and existence for eternity. I picture the reanimation of Peter Cushing they made for Star Wars roaming around in a confused rage, questioning why he’s been brought back to life like a twenty-first century Frankenstein’s Monster. The character in She Reflects is one of these digital entities, perhaps not even aware of its own inexistence. I do believe that despite this there is something within this character that resonates within our real lives.
CC: Elaborate more on the colour pallet used in the video.
B.S: The colours are important in stepping away from our real world. The pristine environment in almost unnatural which creates something of an uncanny effect. There is a clear detachment between the plain white cube in which the character resides and the warmth of the outside world.
CC: The digital world in “She Reflects” seems busy yet empty, was this intentional?
B.S: When I first moved into my current flat in Leeds I used to sit by the window which eventually made its way into She Reflects. I could spend hours watching people and cars moving around outside. I felt quite detached from what was happening outside. That is certainly an effect that I was looking to create in the work. In the summer it certainly felt like everything was happening on the other side of the window but at the time I didn’t mind that. I’m not sure that is how the narrator in She Reflects feels.