On The Impossibility of Perpetual Motion

On the impossibility of perpetual motion was commissioned as part of The Arts Institute Covid-19 art fund, launched in June 2020, which invited 5 artists working in the South West, UK to respond to the provocation ‘Everything has changed. Nothing has changed. Change is coming’. It was presented online in November 2020 as part of The Arts Institute’s 5x5x5 series.

Our embodied awareness of the global systems and crises that affect us is rooted in small-scale, mundane experiences and changes to our everyday routines. Reflecting that, this piece uses the stories of inanimate and domestic objects as a lens through which to consider the dislocation and isolation felt by many during the UK lockdown. The poems explore the impact of this on our relationships with physical and social space, and our continuing need for communication and interconnection.

On the impossibility of perpetual motion is divided into three parts that cycle through the experiences of UK lockdown life. They move from a growing paralysis, through stasis, despair and frustration, and finally into a cautious acceptance, and a return to a degree of momentum and re-engagement with the world. The accompanying video mirrors the claustrophobia and domesticity of the subject matter and was filmed on a smartphone within 50 meters of my house.