• Video Installation
  • Paris, Budapest
  • 2012

I See Infinite Distance Between Any Point and Another

Etel Adnan's highly influential writings, in French, English and Arabic have been read around the world. Her recent epic poem, Sea and Fog, published by Nightboat Books, in 2012, evokes the sea and the fog as metaphors for power and time, exploring the nature of the individual spirit and the sentience of the natural world. The Otolith Group's film, shot largely in Adnan's Paris apartment, centers on a reading of the first chapter of her poem, Sea. The sound of Adnan's gentle voice, and the quiet but ever present ambient noise in her apartment, create a powerful, meditative atmosphere that draw upon the powers of philosophy to pursue the continuous mutation of matter into velocity. If poetry can be understood as a study in constraint, the film, I See Infinite Distance Between Any Point and Another, can be understood as an experiment in concentration and a study of gestures, that speaks of the mobility of language and the movement of the ocean. "Etel Adnan sharpens the starkness of the world of matter and anti-matter. These texts are psalms that stretch from the sublime to the violent, journey from Yosemite Valley to a soldier's jeep in the desert, and gather from Dostoevsky to Scalapino. A history, a gospel, a prayer book, it dwells in the divine." — Elmaz Abinader Etel Adnan is an Arab-American poet and writer who studied at the Sorbonne in France, U.C. Berkeley, and Harvard. She taught Philosophy at Dominican College in San Rafael, California. She is the author of Sitt Marie-Rose (The Post-Apollo Press, 1982), the celebrated novel on the Civil War in Lebanon (translated into ten languages). She has written more than ten books of poetry, essays, and cultural writings. Among her recent works are The Arab Apocalypse (The Post-Apollo Press, 2007), Seasons (The Post-Apollo Press, 2008), and Sea and Fog (Nightboat Books, 2011). She is a recipient of a 2010 Pen Oakland-Josephine Miles National Literary Award. She lives between Sausalito, California; Paris; and Beirut.  I See Infinite Distance Between Any Point and Another (2012) following from Hydra Decapita (2010), is part two of The Otolith Group's trilogy of works on hydropolitics and hydroaesthetics. The Radiant (2012), completes this trilogy. The Otolith Group were commissioned by a partnership of Brighton's leading arts organisations, as part of the Voices of the Sea initiative that include Lighthouse, Fabrica, Brighton Festival, Blast Theory, Photoworks and The University of Brighton's Faculty of Arts.