Community 5-channel video installation (2007) Sound design Petteri Mård Dimensions variable
Entropy, the second law of thermodynamics, is a measure of a system’s tendency towards spontaneous change. Entropy describes the gradual process of decline into disorder in the universe. All systems tend to progress in the direction of increasing entropy; differences between states and entities gradually disappear. Entropy also suggests an arrow of time: the process of entropy is irreversible.
When we die, the difference between us and our surroundings vanishes. We give away the energy needed for sustaining life, we lose the coherent form of our body, and finally, we become dust. We see this happening to others, but never to ourselves: death is always for someone else. In times of climate change and the mass production of animal products and other commodities, we can see that entropy and death are allied with the capitalist economy. The faster the commodities rot, the more effective the circulation of capital. But despite the illusion of the endless return of goods, this process is irreversible, as predicted by the law of entropy. Individuals and species inevitably tend to disappear.
The installation Community consists of five video projections and sound. Each video shows the cooling of an animal’s body after its death recorded with a heat-sensitive infrared camera. The videos are projected on round surfaces in life size. During the process, the image of the animal slowly vanishes from the screen as its body loses heat. Spectators gathered around the disappearing images become part of the scene. The durations of the videos vary from two to five hours.