MOIRA HOLOHAN

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Subsurface

Subsurface: Annex Arts (Castine, ME), 2019

A culmination of a residency and solo exhibition: Subsurface marked the first iteration of an ongoing collaboration with geophysicist Dr. Xavier Comas. In this series, I use geophysical profiles(radargrams) collected by Dr. Comas with a ground-penetrating radar (GPR) instrument across peatlands in Maine. Comas’s research methodology reveals the presence of buried esker deposits, glacial landforms that are more than ten thousand years old. Eskers are long ridges of gravel and other sediment, typically left by meltwater from retreating glaciers. I use the images tracking these formations as a reference to generate hand-woven models that resemble radargrams. In these weavings, bright green areas mark the presence of the eskers. The process of replacing the green areas with collage video mimics that of the physical world—the absence of everything but green leaves space to fill.


Similar to the Green project, the work has two parts, the woven objects and the documentation of documentation. I recorded the four weavings of Esker 1 in real-time and replaced the green with up close self-footage. This work explores the similarities between radargrams and the woven models, and their duality. On one hand, both are generated as a distance-time relationship.While radargrams are “immediate” images of extremely “slow” geological processes, the hand-woven pieces are “slow” models with portions that are later “accelerated” with video. This work further investigates a way to accelerate time and links it to very slow landscape and subsurface evolution processes.

Subsurface III(Installation photo of exhibition), 2019