The title of Nakaba’s video (a component of a larger installation artwork) describes its own process, one of unearthing the latent and forgotten connections between person and planet, live and non-life, human and non human. At one point, we see the Earth rise above the horizon of the moon, a blue and variegated orb, floating. The captions that accompany the video read, “No need for a separate self. I give you the word membrane,” which at once asserts unity while also pointing to the conditions of a boundary necessary to identify a unified self. The Earth is like a cell suspended in water, both myriad and singular at the same time. — AY
Unearthing I, II, III
2018, Video (found and original footage)
Text and images by Rebecca Nakaba. Music composed, performed, and recorded by Atticus Lazenby.
Artist Reflection —
Unearthing I, II, III is an installation and video essay that explores suspended states of life through animals and landscapes that preserve and redistribute organic and inorganic matter. Outer space, technology, glaciers, subterranean decay, insects, and marine life work holistically to impose isolation and reunion between humans, each other, and the environment.
About Rebecca Nakaba
Rebecca Nakaba is a queer Japanese American writer and artist. She uses the biological and cosmological to show that the boundaries between the body and self, and the natural and supernatural worlds, are thin and flexible. Specimen collections, family history+myths, folktales, sublime landscapes, and scientific research are the source materials for her work. Her videos and writing have appeared in Joyland Magazine, TriQuarterly, Hip-pocampus, and elsewhere.