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Online creation


as part of Fourth Worlds

From 01 June to 30 November 2018

Slow Action by Ben Rivers is part of the “Fourth Worlds” project proposed by Stefanie Kiwi Menrath for the Jeu de Paume virtual space.

The sea level rising to absurd heights, creating hyperbolic utopias that appear as possible future mini-societies. This series of constructed realities explores the environments of self-contained lands and the search for information to enable the reconstruction of soon-to-be-lost worlds. Slow Action is a post-apocalyptic science fiction film that brings together a series of four 16mm works about four islands which exist somewhere between documentary, ethnographic inquiry and fiction. Slow Action applies the idea of island biogeography – the study of how species and eco-systems evolve differently when isolated and surrounded by unsuitable habitat – to a conception of the Earth in a few hundred years.

The film’s soundtrack – narratives by writer Mark von Schlegell – describes each of the four islands’ evolutions according to their geographical, geological, climatic and botanical conditions. Slow Action, inspired by novels such as Samuel Butler’s Erewhon, Bacon’s The New Atlantis, Herbert Read’s The Green Child and Mary Shelley’s The Last Man, embodies the spirit of exploration, experiment and active research that has come to characterise Rivers’ practice.

Ben Rivers

Ben Rivers is an artist and experimental filmmaker whose practice treads a line between documentary and fiction. His work ranges from themes around the exploration of unknown wilderness territories to candid and intimate portrayals of real-life subjects and oblique narratives imagining alternative existences in marginal worlds. His feature-length film Two Years At Sea won the FIPRESCI Prize at 68th Venice Film Festival and the second EYE Art Film Prize 2016. Ben Rivers is represented by Kate MacGarry Gallery in London.