Remainder is a practical work which forms part of an MA project in arts developed at the Studio of Visual Relations led by Professor Prot Jarnuszkiewicz, Ph.D. DSc. The project consists of three video pieces which show human impact on the surrounding matter and the later dispersal of the effects of human actions. Each frame shows the immediate aftermath of people’s interactions with their environment. Not presenting the entirety of the gestures and, consequently, not framing humans as perpetrators was a deliberate decision, since what matters is what eventually happens with energy, rather than who transmitted this energy and how. The work aims to show the ways in which humans interact with matter and space.
Made with a thermal imaging camera, the first video piece presents the dispersal of heat generated as an effect of an action. The recording refers to the traces left by humans involuntarily and unconsciously, that is to their “passive” involvement with the world. As the time passes, the temperature absorbed by the object becomes even with the temperature of the surroundings. No trace of the action remains, and the environment returns to its previous state. Another video piece shows a form made of sand. It has an imprint of a human hand on it – a remainder of an interaction between a human being and the object. In time, the lump incrementally falls apart, whereby the imprint made by the human gesture is obliterated. The recording refers to a subject’s intentional and active operation, which results in a visible impact on the environment. The third video piece shows a resilient material which is capable of bouncing back to its original shape. As in the previous cases, the traces of human interference are erased in the course of time. The material regains its “natural” form. The recording refers to human impacts which stem from applying constant pressure on the surfaces that come in contact with the body.
The piece aims to offer a visual rendering of the human-object-world relations. Objects have properties through which they retain and remember our energy. In all the cases shown by the videos, the traces of human action disappear, and the energy transferred onto objects is dispersed. Its vanishing is caused by the force of entropy, which unceasingly affects the world. The temporariness and transience of the traces left by interactions add up to the key message of the work.
Agata Witczak (1995) – graduated from the Faculty of Journalism, University of Warsaw (2014-2017), and from the Faculty of Media Art of Warsaw’s Academy of Fine Arts (2017-2019). Her video clip for Julian Uhu’s Aha won the main award for debut at the VMA Poland festival (2018), and was shortlisted for the visual spatial design award at the YACH FILM Polish Video Clip Festival (2019). Witczak is a member of the artistic collective MUS Warsaw. Since 2019, she has been affiliated with Professor Prot Jarnuszkiewicz’s Studio of Visual Relations. In her art, she works with photography and video, while her professional practice focuses on stage and set design.