liquid landscape


4K video, single channel, stereo sound, 8:10 min

Volcanoes have been shaping the face of the Earth for millions of years. They are a symbol for the cyclical nature of the Earth’s history of birth, destruction and re-creation. Looking at volcanoes from a geological time perspective, it becomes clear that they also play an important role in climate change. Volcanic eruptions can enrich the stratosphere with gases that affect the climate. These form an aerosol layer that reflects the incoming sunlight back into space at an increased rate – causing the temperature on the Earth’s surface to drop. Scientists and researchers are discussing the notion of artificially reproducing this natural process. In the future, however, climate changes will also have an impact on volcanic activities. If global temperatures soar, ice masses melt and sea levels rise. This, in turn, substantially changes the pressure and tension of the Earth’s layers and increases the risk of volcanic eruptions.

The video work “liquid landscape” is a visualisation of primordial geological energy and the tremendous transformative power of volcanoes. The video is based on spectacular, hitherto technically impossible footage shot by the artist together with an Icelandic drone pilot shortly after the eruption of the Fagradalsfjall volcano in Iceland in March 2021. Over several days, the two of them climbed the mountains of the Geldingadalir valley to approach the craters from different angles. Fountains of lava shot up to 200 m into the air while new fissures were continually opening and disgorging lava. In an 8:10 minute flight the camera moved over a newly born volcanic landscape. The video begins with a flight over an archaic-looking abstract landscape of intertwined stone formations. During the flight, the landscape becomes more and more liquefied and the camera always keeps a bird’s eye view of the increasing activity until it finally reaches the crater and plunges into a Dantesque inferno. On the acoustic level, a complex sound composition enlarges the increasingly dramatic happenings on the surface. The unusual immersive visuals draw viewers deeper and deeper into the landscape and lets them feel the transformation process and creative power of the Earth.


Personally liable:
Michael Najjar

Design concept & coding: Matthias Hübner,
with support by Marco Land

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