Medium: Multimedia video
Bloodline is a narrative of our journey through time — a traveller traversing the world from dawn to end. Starting at the heart, the centre and beginning, he moves into an uncertain future. The journey is represented as a visual narrative on a cross-cut tree trunk, symbolising not only growth over time, but also death; the tree no longer lives. We depend on the natural environment to sustain life — the very oxygen we breathe has been exhaled.
This vulnerability and fragility is depicted as a figure walking across, but also within, the cross-cut tree trunk — entirely encapsulated. We are made aware of our own finitude as the walking man nears the outer bounds of the rings of life. At the heart of the artwork is the notion that, just as a tree is planted and grows up in stature, so too has spacetime itself. Whatever begins to exist has a cause; the universe began to exist, therefore, the universe has a cause (Aquinas, 1265-1274: a. 3).
I chose the cross-cut log as the 'stage' for the narrative because of its deep symbolism. The concentric rings of a tree are marks of seasonal change, a natural timepiece and record of the tree's age, and represent cyclical time, whilst the figure walks the 'bloodline' — a linear path from the alpha to the omega.
Cycles in nature “form a faint estimate of the magnitude of that lowest step in the chain of reasoning, which leads up to Nature’s God” — Charles Babbage, father of the computer (Babbage, 2010:33-47).
Aquinas, T. 1265-1274. Question 2. The existence of God. Available: https://www.newadvent.org/summa/1002.htm [Novemeber 15, 2022].
Babbage, C. 2010. The ninth Bridgewater treatise. Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge
University Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511700712.