Sakurajima near Kagoshima was my first stop in my research. One of the most active volcanoes in Japan, this giant mountain is a constant threat to the local population as it continuously erupts volcanic ash covering the city. During the past week I travelled around the Island of Sakurajima by foot and by bike, spending full days researching, gathering information and recording different elements. I was amazed at how active it was there. The activity of the Island seemed to mimic that of the volcano; constantly active, things constantly happen, people moving working rushing. I captured some movements in audio and video recordings while conducting my minor experiments on the Island.

First Sakurajima Film Experiment

Second Sakurajima Film Experiment

The first experiment shows the actions as they happened with my physical presence very evident in them, while the Second Experiment features the sound of the event over a recording of the finished object in situe. The audio recording reveals the sound of the ramming rod compressing the ash while the image shows a still solid object. This disconnection between the visual and the audio creates a different resolution. The overlying of the sound disconnects the making from the object and disrupts the timeline of its life. The Sound of the action continuously plays over the stationary form as if mirroring the quiet form of the volcano as it remains constantly active.

DCIM100GOPRO

Closer to the summit the material appears a lot darker, sitting smoother and solid. A small chunk has fallen off. This image makes it feel bigger than it is, depicting its importance to me in my journey but as I constructed it, and filmed its creation you can see the huge trucks and other vehicles passing and reducing its magnitude to miniture proportions.

First set of experiment Number one images. This was my first time using the compression mould on location. I was initially worried about how I was going to be able to make this work, it took some getting used to, working out the kinks in the methods of using it but I am happy with the results. These small temporal forms are part of my time on the Island, very discreet and unassuming really but mirrors my presence in a foreign land. I am out of place and finding my way in this alien location and leaving this little trace connects me to the space I’m inhabiting for a short period of time and will inevitably fade away shortly after its creation.

I am very excited and appreciative to be given this opportunity to travel to Japan and explore its culture and Landscape.

This residency was awarded to me by Lateral Labs in Kinghorn, Fife, where a part of this residency will take place. The first part will be held in Japan where I will be able to travel throughout the country exploring the culture and landscape of a country I’ve long wanted to visit.

This is the first year that this residency has implemented a nomadic element which I plan to make full use of, using the volcanic landscape as my map I will go from site to site, researching, making, documenting and recording with the intention to expand upon on my return.

The volcanic landscape of Japan really has caught my imagination. The notion of constant threat coupled with the need to continue living in close¬†proximity is such an alien thought to me but common place in Japan. I’ve decided to explore these sites and communities to help me understand more and look at the materials produced, predominantly volcanic ash. I’ve constructed a steel ramming mould to use with the ash to create small compressed objects on location, leaving traces of my research and presence in situe.