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Mariele Neudecker: For Now We See

Date uploaded: September 4, 2013

Mariele Neudecker: For Now We See

British Science Festival 2013

Launch Event: Saturday 7th September, 5-8pm
Venue: The Church of St Thomas the Martyr, Haymarket Lane, Newcastle Upon Tyne. (Transport: Haymarket Metro)
Opening hours:
12noon–6pm on Sunday 8th September and 10am-6pm from Monday 9th to Thursday 12th September

Artist Mariele Neudecker was given complete access to the 16 terabytes of video taken by cameras attached to a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) that travelled to a depth of 3000m from the RRS James Cook, a British Royal Research Ship, to the bottom of the world’s deepest oceans.

Neudecker became fascinated with this footage that shows traces of human activity and debris which has fallen to an incredible depth and which no one was ever supposed to see again.

For Now We See is being exhibited as part of the British Science Festival 2013 in the interior of St Thomas’ Church, Newcastle. The building becomes a portal to the undiscovered, impenetrable and mysterious places hidden within the world’s deepest oceans thousands of metres beneath the surface. Neudecker has sited a series of video installations throughout the peripheral spaces of the Church to reveal some of the world’s most isolated and fascinating marine environments and the vast abyss of deep-sea space.

Neudecker’s addition of sound to the original silent video footage, (the scientists have no requirement to record sound) heightens the sense of exploration and drama as the viewer experiences deep underwater space. The acoustics of the Gothic building lend themselves to the different installations as we hear the thwop-thwop-thwop sound signature of a helicopter chopping the air, heart beats, ticking of clocks and a dramatic classical score by Peteris Vasks called Voices of Silence (c1996), a piece that was originally composed for the silence in outer space.

Neudecker’s body of work has been produced through conversations with Professor Alex Rogers, a leading world marine biologist at Oxford University who led a team of UK Universities on expeditions of the South West Indian Ocean and Southern Ocean to find new species, mapping the deep-sea floor that contains some of the world’s least known ecosystems. He is investigating the marine life that lives 1000′s of metres below the surface. It is a place where only the hardiest of animals can survive.

Rogers set up IPSO (International Programme on the State of the Ocean). Currently, the Ocean is in a critical state of health. If it continues to decline, it will reach a point where it can no longer function effectively and our planet will be unable to maintain sustain the ecosystem services that have supported humankind throughout history.

Neudecker’s artwork engages with unknowable murky spaces and landscape often exploring the subconscious. She has been interested in Roger’s personal perceptions and emotional response to the deep sea and how he feels as a scientist researching such a little known area of the earth, with comparisons to outer space in terms of our knowledge and understanding.

British Science Festival 2013, Newcastle 7th-12th September
Each September the British Science Festival transforms a different UK city into a vibrant celebration of science, engineering and technology. In 2013 the Festival will be hosted by Newcastle University with associate partners Northumbria University and Newcastle City Council. Newcastle 2013 includes events with Robert Winston, Maggie Aderin-Pocock and Iain Stewart.


 ‘For Now We See’ Mariele Neudecker, 2013

‘For Now We See’ Mariele Neudecker, 2013