Taking George Berkeley’s theory of subjective idealism, (the ‘theory that the physical world exists only in the experiences minds have of it’ ) as a starting point Mark Essen developed a new film work with accompanying soundtrack heard through a concrete radio.
Filmed in the area around Wysing, Archangel George presents the traces of human disruption in a landscape that is now abandoned and deserted. Viewed with Berkeley’s question, ‘Is there anything visible but what we perceive by sight? ’ in mind, Essen’s landscapes might become alien or abstract. We could begin to question not only which marks have been left by human activity, or how Essen’s framing of the landscape affects our understanding of it, but perhaps even how much of it exists without our perception of it.
Appearing as obsolete relics from this context, Essen’s concrete and ceramic sculptures accompany the film in which they feature. His solar powered radio, which appears heavy and inert, is in fact an active and receptive object with the ability to pick up information from a wide geographic area.