en masse

East Kimberley

Every year or so, towards the end of the wet season, these grasshoppers arrive en masse. They move in swarms and within days the grass has lost the height it grew over the wet. This video is an ode to the distinct power of small things en masse.
This work was made on Gija country in the remote north west of Australia. While the grasshoppers en masse were an awe inspiring sensation in their own right, they also brought to mind events occurring in India at the same time. In early 2016 a number of students I knew of at Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi were arrested. They were showered with accusations of being “anti-national” after organising a poetry reading in tribute to a Kashmiri man who had been executed by the Indian state. A media trial ensued, and what began as a small cohort of individuals attending a poetry reading grew into a massive movement whose political and educational ramifications are still unfolding in South Asia today. This video is also an ode to the distinct power of these small things en masse.

Read more about this work and its inclusion in the 2016 Waterhouse Natural Science Art Prize at the South Australian Museum in Adelaide’s In Daily.

Total duration 32 minutes. Edition of 10. Artbank Collection, purchased 2017.