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nature is a delicate machine, we’re clogging it up


As a surfer who lives by the coast, ocean pollution is something that deeply upsets me. Paddling out in the surf and scooping up a plastic suspended eerily in the brine is a deeply un-settling experience.


Capitalism promotes consumption unabated, without burdening the consumer with the responsibility of ethical disposal. As a result, capitalism results in a constant stream of detritus into the sea. Feeling overwhelmed in the face of ocean pollution inspired me to make ‘Ghost in The Machine’,


The fish sculpture, the central protagonist in 'Ghost in The Machine' has a complex yet brutalist design. This speaks to the idea that for so long, mankind has seen nature and the oceans as their trash can that can absorb whatever they choose to throw in it. Only now in the 21st century we are truly seeing the full impact of our misdemeanors. 


The start and end shots of ‘Ghost In The Machine’ are framed from the same front-on angle. This is no accident. At the beginning, the closed sculpture represents the world before genesis, a dark world before nature has blossomed. The final shot shows a plastic-clogged sculpture closing again. It is as if nature chooses to shut down until the next genesis, many millennia from now. 


I could not conceive of a happy ending, naive optimism simply is not in my DNA. I do hope however, that my narrative is in fact too bleak, and that we find a way to save the oceans, all of nature and ourselves.


Direction & animation - Simon Robson

Score & sound design - Gavin Little (Echolab)

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