Cluster is about being out on the marshes at night: the sound and feeling of the wetlands at dusk, with the sounds of amphibians disturbing the dykes or crayfish crawling out onto the paths. The strangeness of the landscape is heighteneed : a sense of submersion in an aqueous biome - the ethos of the book of the show Waterlog - Martin Coates' preserved bittern skins, or Susan Collins' Silicon Fen
We think of the ecologists who resisted development of this area, so it now sits, literally teaming with aquatic and other life, directly against the development at Empuriabrava and the town of Roses to the East, and to the West Camping Nautic Almatà, with which it shares a fluctuating boundary :
in Winter the deer from the reserve come onto the grass pitches, the poplars are full of goldfinches and sparrows and the hedges of nightingales;
in May, a few birdwatchers camp by the fence, groups of deer continue to come first boldly, then more tentatively in among the tents at night, leaving fresh droppings - and the semi wild grey white horses that graze on the thick marsh grasses come running into the camping from the beach ..
by June, the buildup of caravanners from the Netherlands, perhaps instinctively drawn to this horizontal scene, and German youth tours, has pushed the deer and even birds back into the reserve. For the birds the pressure to sing is down: the nightingales are still, after singing literally night and day - sparrows twitter and serins sing sporadically from an exposed perch - the deer are all but invisible, except at night, when their eyes shine in the beam of a torch
This is also about forms of attachment
The solitary recordist, more often now engaged in collaborative practice, gives way to a person in a household - casually / inextricably accompanied by other family members .. lacking professional equipment .. it's a blurred affair, snatched on the spur of the moment in response to what: barely a scene; barely a sketch of a configuration of persons - no overt plan: something catches the attention : out comes the camera - switched to the kind of low light feature provided on some cheap camcorders of the period
What galvanises this minimal vignette is of course nothing more or less than what is shown: the image of the family walking away from the camera: down a track that, even now, I can clearly envisage after many years, shining as paths like this shine when they have some flints and rough aggregate on them: the frame rate is reduced automatically to prolong the exposure, creating a curious slowed down effect even though the action is in real time : the little group going both away and in to darkness - the viewer is left behind, temporarily alone -