8 - 12 March 2024

Site 1 - The Old Hospital Facade, Church Street

Yandell Walton

Remnant Futures

Artist statement:

Remnant Futures is a site-specific installation incorporating an existing façade in Beechworth with moving image projection and light. Confronted first with the immense architectural remains of the old hospital, completed in 1864 and then demolished in 1940 the facade inherently represents the past. An LED countdown clock also highlights time, but this clock has an endpoint as each second, minute and hour counts down to the year 2030. This is when the International Panel on Climate Change predicted our planet could exceed 1.5ºC of global warming above pre–industrial levels. Regardless of the designated end date, a countdown is literally alarming and tells us something is coming, arousing tension, reinforcing the need to act now.

As you move through the installation the projected moving image work is revealed. The computer-generated video has been created using emergent technologies including mobile scanning devices, photogrammetry, motion capture, and 3D animation. The complex arrangement shifts between actual and imagined spaces, we see floating figures, perhaps ashen statues like the victims of Pompeii, cyborgs, or ghosts of the past. The speculative future presents the plant life as dominate in a post human existence, while the floating windows that fit neatly with the windows of the existing façade, act as portals revealing other landscapes offering the hope of alternate futures.

Since the industrial revolution Humans have become the single most influential species on the planet, causing significant global warming and other changes to land, environment, water, organisms and the atmosphere. This immersive installation makes us acutely aware of time, the past and the potential future. Whether we focus on the big picture or on the second–by–second present, what becomes clear is that time is running out—both for us as individuals and for the planet. As a silent witness to global action (and inaction) on climate change, the work encourages us to be aware that we are looking towards an unknown future.