30.05. — 30.07.2024

Is it cold in the water? at 3hdTV

Water’s entangled implications and symbolism on film.

The monsoon is a seasonal reversal of winds that brings rain to a region during its wet season (and none when it’s supposed to be dry). Crossing West Africa, Asia–Australia, and North and South America, this cyclical phenomenon of exceptionally regular winds is one of the reasons behind the development of civilization. As humanity walked out of the volatile Ice Age into the predictable weather of the Holocene Epoch, more temperate conditions allowed for agriculture and settlement. For Creamcake’s “Is it cold in the water?” moving-image program—screening online at 3hdTV from May 30 to July 30—a curated selection of films reflects on the distinct systems within which water circulates, and its entangled historical, political, social, and cultural implications.

Five works by five artists and collaborations mirror these interdependent global atmospheric wind patterns in the unique approaches to addressing existential issues of colonial extractivism, capitalist ecocide, and environmental collapse—water being both their symbolic and literal catalyst. Seba Calfuqueo’s Kowkülen (Liquid Being) draws parallels between concepts of gender and sexual fluidity across bodies of water and historical attempts to both control and restrict them in Chile, while Black Ecology by Davi Pontes explores how advances in science continue to uncover ideas of racial extraction that have no end in a specifically Latin American context. Emilija Škarnulytė’s Sirenomelia links human, nature, and machine to posit possible post-human mythologies through her portrait of a mermaid, and Rita Macedo’s Farewell recording for an observer of an unknown time and place is an essayistic digression on capitalism, the environment, technology, and death through hypothetical temporalities across coastal and inland wetlands. AbuQadim Haqq, DeForrest Brown, Jr., & Dopplereffekt share their multi-generational epic tale of The Timeline of Black Exodus Technology, a mythological science fiction from within the underwater Drexciya universe.

The question of how the history and politics of water has shaped humanity—and the environment on which it depends for its own survival—is a complex one. Its influences and effects are as interrelated as the monsoon winds that helped civilization flourish in the first place and the global impact of these shifts and disruptions could be catastrophic. Together, these five films speculate on how, why, and where to now. 

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Image by Helin Sahin
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