June 27, 2019

Are we ignoring the future we’re creating?

Rory Barclay, 25

My entry is a simple scene set used to display a process extrapolated from larger societal themes exhibiting distressing attitudes and incompetency.

The film features the character in a chair wearing ear defenders to block out sound, who is triggering a small box siren via a foot pedal under interrogation lighting, the ear defenders and expression let the viewer know that the siren isn’t being heeded at all.

This process is orchestrated to mimic political and personal accountability in the face of the drastic consequences of our actions, with undercurrents of ‘blindly’ (deafly) deciding our own destiny. There’s a level of deniability that comes from living in a time of an overabundance in information, opinions and facts both verifiable and false – fake news. In light of Brexit negotiations and developments from conception to present day (think NHS bus), the film tries to display in simple terms what all the prostrating and actions come down to. In a time of personal and political turmoil approaching an uncertain horizon, a siren with its connotations as a precursor to panic and death becomes ubiquitous with denial when considering the future. It’s about our attitude to the world we’re making, and affects us all I believe.

The siren featured in the video was hand made by myself of salvaged scraps from the skip at Gray’s School of Art – mostly MDF, cardboard and an old Dremel motor that needed rewired and cleaned up.

A siren was important because it’s a very well-known 20th century signal for negative events, and the tendency for culture and politics both to dip into the past for inspiration in a nostalgic sort of reusing has become increasingly commonplace in recent years.

The Future Belongs To Those Who Can Hear It,
Video, 2019,