I’ve been thinking about metaphors A LOT lately; the ways in which they allow us to give form to abstract and complex ideas but also the ways in which they can unconsciously shape our behaviors in a sometime disturbing bait and switch that happens when our brains confuse the figurative for the literal. The short film below, Best of Luck with the Wall directed by Josh Begley, is made with 200,000 satelitte images downloaded from Google Maps. The result is stunning and hypnotic. I love the intention behind the film: to look, to really just look at a vast and real geographical space that is often reduced to a manageable metaphor.
“The project started from a really simple place. It was about looking. It was about the sheer desire to understand the visual landscape that we are talking about when we are talking about the southern border of the United States. What does the southern border of the United States actually look like? In that sense it was a very simple gesture—to try to see the border in aggregate. If you were to compile all 2,000 miles and try to see it in a short space—what would that look like? In another sense it grew out of the discourses as you suggested. The way migration is talked about in our contemporary moment and in particular the way migration is talked about in terms of the southern border of the United States. So part of this piece is a response to the way migrants and borders are talked about in our politics. And it’s also just a way of looking at the landscape as a way to think about some of those things.
I think that there’s a way in which, with the rise of the Donald [Trump], that space is not even a geography anymore. That space has been reduced to metaphor. So the simplicity of the gesture is about insisting on that geography and simply looking at this vast landscape that gets reduced to this sound bite about building a wall. And if you think about a wall, a wall is just a border brought into 3D relief. So tracing that entire space, as a viewer, allowed me to think in a little more detail about what that actually means.”
– Josh Begley
Source: Interview with Josh Begley, Director of Best of Luck with the Wall via Field of Vision
<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/189015526″>Field of Vision – Best of Luck with the Wall</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/fieldofvision”>Field Of Vision</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a>.</p>