Tommy Bourque, digital video/animation, 4 min loop, 2019
Inevitable Arrival is a direct response to video artist Bill Viola’s Eternal Return (2000) in its representation of a transition between two worlds. Viola exhibits in Eternal Return a shift from “the daily world and the hidden world” (i.e., life and death). Inevitable Arrival showcases the hidden world as a new digital world or cyberspace by replacing Viola’s water particles and droplets with digital particles and pixels. My work continues to suggest ideas of life and death; however, the work inverts these notions through representing the death of the natural world and the birth of a synthetic reality. Viola himself even states (just under two decades after Eternal Return) that “[t]he digital revolution is essentially the opening up of the unseen dimension, the articulation of the invisible world” (qtd. in Electronic Renaissance, 2017: p. 165). Inevitable Arrival embodies this thesis and articulates these concepts through the obvious choice of digital technologies – but with a slight twist. Not only is the work displayed through the projection of pixels, but it was also almost entirely created and animated within digital video editing software. Contrary to Viola’s depictions of ascension, Inevitable Arrival demonstrates a decent into a technological world where we all are inescapably becoming victim to a new world, to a hidden world, that is inescapably becoming our daily world.