Final year project
Samuel Thompson - Plant [Read more]
I have a fascination with how the camera might act as a ritualistic tool for summoning, or at the very least searching for an image of clarity. This image might be a moment of flow in the midst of instructional performance, such as in this work, in which the participants are instructed to play a game of tig (or tag). To achieve this, the camera is often handheld and directed towards the face to allow the complexities of human expression to play a role in generating visual energy. Through this, everyday experiences are re-framed and re-shaped into something which transcends their original state.
'Jazz' 2021 (Screen 1)
This is a screenshot from Screen 1 of a multi-channel video installation with a sculpture for my physical degree show work. The piece depicts a game of catch being played by a human and a dog. Action cameras are placed on the wrist of the human and on the neck of the dog.
'Jazz' 2021 (Screen 2)
'Bedtime Story Conservatory' Project 2020
A project consisting of a mailing list, to which I sent out 100 daily audio recordings of myself reading interesting texts, poems, short stories and other bits and bobs I have gotten excited about. Alongside the reading is often some visual material, thoughts, feelings, anecdotes and reflections. The project began in March 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In building this archive, the material included morphs together to form some sort of larger image or feeling, generates abstract links thematically and visually, and in turn gives rise to meaning.
"I can only hope, in this time especially, that these emails act as moments of warmth, clarity, engagement or escape for the receiver."
Link to archive of emails and recordings: https://www.samuelthompsonplant.com/bedtime-story-conservatory
'Lie on a Surface on Your Back' 2020
'Bobbins and Spuds' 2020
'Like Butter Spread Over Too Much Bread' 2019
My work has developed into a searching for a sense of heightened reality, expanding the use of video and sculpture to generate new multi-modal perspectives on relationships between the internal and external world.
The work I make involves a searching for 'raw' experience, that is an experience that pierces through the chatter in the brain, and may touch a feeling of clarity, or escape from the mind.
A strong thread runs through the work I have produced over the course of my studies, which identifies 'mediation' asana core concern of the films and sculptures I produce. Often, the work comes about from a feeling of clarity in a particular experience, which develops into attempts to reclaim that clarity. Because of this, the work regularly reenacts lived experiences in the exhibition space, not in order to entirely reconstruct the feelings of a particular moment, but instead to deconstruct a moment, and question why it is important.
By deconstructing an experience, I see the work as a ritualistic practice, in which past, present or possible experiences are ritualised, and act to conjure up associated memories, emotions and perspectives, resulting in a questioning of said experiences.
These experiences can be moments of clarity, in which those appearing on film are engaged in a pre-determined set of instructions, such as a game, which aims to break the performer away from the performative, the body away from the brain, and the experienced away from thought, by entering the subject into a situation in which they may escape from themselves. The camera then can act as a tool for 'searching' for an image of clarity, amongst the thousands of frames of a moving image.
Final year project
Samuel Thompson - Plant
1 Year of study abroad at the University of the Arts Helsinki, Finland 2019-2020.