• Group Exhibition
  • ICP, New York
  • 2007

Ecotopia: The Second ICP Triennial of Photography and Video

We filmed Otolith I in 2003 during the months in which antiwar demonstrations were taking place across the world. The group experienced intense sensations of political impotence in the face of a war in Iraq that seemed inevitable. This impotence infused the meteorology of mood that is particular to Otolith I, a mood that we termed 'ambient fear'. Ambient fear, a notion that we extracted from the writings of the theorist Brian Massumi, is a perpetual, low-level panic that seeps across and between the social and the symbolic. In such a context, it becomes difficult to separate a specific concern about global warning from a generalised worry about avian flu from depression over impending war from anger over the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Ambient fear is osmotic and porous; it is inseparable from the environment understood as a complex ecological matrix. Adapted from Ecotopia: A Virtual Roundtable in Ecotopia: The Second iCP Triennial of Photography and Video edited by Joanna Lehan, Steidl, 2007, p. 19.