Semiconductor. Worlds in the Making

Worlds in the Making (preview), 2011

Inferno Observatory, 2011
Music: “Revival” by Peeesseye (Evolving Ear, 2007)
Archive footage courtesy of Mineral Sciences Department, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, Washington DC

Since Black Rain earlier this year, British artist duo SEMICONDUCTOR never ceases to amaze me. Their new show (and first major UK solo exhibition) at FACT Liverpool is the product of three weeks on the Galápagos Islands and a month in Ecuador in South America, as well as a residency at the Smithsonian Mineral Science Library in Washington.

Through documentary footage, ethereal animations and a soundtrack composition by multi-instrumentalist OREN AMBARCHI, gallery visitors are transported through lava landscapes, volcanoes, rocks and minerals to a world where science fiction meets science fact.

In the work, these films have been re-contextualised to emphasise and examine three distinct relationships; the erupting volcano as all-powerful and humbling the spectacle as people gather to watch in collective amazement, photograph and be photographed and the taming of the volcano through scientific probing, measurement and human endeavour.

We’re really playing with the idea of the science documentary. Everyone is very familiar now with the very standard format of creating a narrative and a way of documenting science, and hopefully we’re challenging this. SEMICONDUCTOR

Worlds in the Making is on view at FACT Liverpool (UK) until 11 September 2011.

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