Living Data

Living Data

Evolving conversations  

University of Technology, Sydney Main Entrance Foyer, 3 Sept 2014 - 20 Nov 2014
In Ultimo Science Festival, Sydney3-12 Sept 2014

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COMMENTS

  Todd McMillan

Within the philosophical framework of Romanticism, the Albatross is a poetic symbol of the human soul. In Samuel Taylor Coleridge's poem Rime of the Ancient Mariner, the death of an Albatross is a portent of death for those who killed it.

 

Work for screening:
Todd McMillan. Albatross
Video. Duration 00:15:34

The work has previously been shown at Linden Art centre, the Museum of Old and New Art and the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, Sydney. The work is shown courtesy the artist and Sarah Cottier Gallery

 

In November 2011 I participated in an observational voyage to Pedra Branco, an island off the South Coast of Tasmania. Using a 16mm camera, I filmed the rare and endangered Shy Albatross in its natural environment. Within the philosophical framework of Romanticism, the Albatross is a poetic symbol of the human soul. In Samuel Taylor Coleridge's poem Rime of the Ancient Mariner, the death of an Albatross is a portent of death for those who killed it. In Albatross, the film installation work this project became, I represented this symbolic bird in its natural and actual environment, to show the beauty and strangeness of both the bird and the tumultuous Southern Ocean. The work poetically documented a Romantic and melancholic symbol of impending doom, on the precipice of its ecological demise. The significance of the project was the manner in which it brought attention to the vulnerable status of the Shy Albatross. Not simply a poetic symbol, the significance of the project hinges on the vulnerable status of the Shy Albatross under the Threatened Species Act.

Todd McMillan