HD Video File
Edition of 10 + 1 Artist Proofs
HD Video File
Edition of 10 + 1 Artist Proofs
George Morl has a varied and often synergetic body of work. Most recently they have worked with video to produce and compose works which explore the merging of imagination and virtual interfaces of queer spaces for connection.
Following the principle of ternary logic programmes, which centre multitudes of dialogues which Morl relates to neurodivergent experience, their video work oscillates between both a series of poetical, visual, and narrative dialogues.
‘Infinite Beings’ is Morl’s first short film which traces both the artist and their relatives accounts of being trans and disabled, whilst reflecting upon the historical evolution of language in Essex, and the utilisation of visual communication across digital queer spaces as possible vehicles for identity as an autistic genderfluid person.
Taking reference from Colchester born Margaret Cavendish’s novel ‘Blazing World’, the first feminist sci-fi literature text in Britain which imagined a post-gender society, the landscape and social history of Essex is used to reimagine and trace the emergence of the ‘Network’ from physical to virtual platforms in 1990’s, and the ‘infinite’ possibilities and opportunity of modernising technology which facilitates space for queer and autistic commune and connection. In a way out of social barriers whether due to visibility or language barrier together these provide a process of online migration, like refugees in the sci-fi book ‘War of the Worlds’ who fled from oppression to coastline refuge in Foulness.
This evolution is depicted in the video, evidencing Roman Emperor Hadrian’s ‘mansio’ built in Moulsham who’s lover Antinous he had declared a god and an idol following his death, Anglo Saxon burial culture in Chelmsford and Prittlewell, construction of Norman castles to defend nobles or discovery of ‘electricity’ in Colchester, John Macnamara’s international queer tours and pilgrimages, the invention of radio by Marconi in Chelmsford, development of radar by ECKO in Southend, construction of the New York Stock Exchange back up in the Basildon Data Centre, utilisation of queer language ‘Polari’ in South Essex, Chelmsford’s Gay Liberation Front 1972, the LGBT telephone support exchanges Oathouse and Basildon & Thurrock Friends, the emergence of autistic awareness groups which originated in Ilford (1).
These together consider how radar and radio led to the development of GPS to facilitate queer apps, and how also these ‘networks’ in 21st century culture are now a polarised platform for intersectional queer voices due to structure of spaces or language barriers.
This is reflected in queer apps which use GPS to facilitate connections, it’s foundation through immediacy, the possibility of prejudice, and privilege around the access of private space which maintains power dynamics in queer spaces. In contrast, smartphone games like PokemonGo which uses augmented reality has familiar visual imagery with the ability to permeate the merging of both the fictional mobile interface whilst in public spaces, facilitating connections and offering an alternative space to meet others. These are mirrored by explorations in the way autistics utilise contemporary virtual worlds to express their sexual and gender identity, or connect with each other, through video games, servers, or even social media accounts, often because the structures of queer spaces, or the modes queer people connect and meet, may isolate some voices due to language barriers and erasure from a shared history.
Audial production of this script developed from having conversations with other autistic individuals from across Essex specifically from Colchester within virtual spaces. Transcribing these written conversations, Morl wrote a series of dialogues that was inspired by these conversations which seeks to become a growing visual archive which celebrates our presence.
“Using the burial concept of Anglo Saxon culture found within Chelmsford Museum’s ‘Broomfield Burial’ or Southend Museum’s ‘Princely Burial’; these historic sites referenced blue glass beakers, gold crosses, and orange glass beaded necklaces, or being buried with weapons. Morl sees this as an early example in the way society used colours and objects to declare status. This burial is as such is an archive, in the same way a queer person may now use rainbow emojis or coloured flags to communicate information about their sexual and gender identity to audiences, and therefore could be argued that the burial is a historical form of a physical blogging site”
Throughout the video we navigate digital visuals of seascapes, landscapes, buildings, technological apparatuses, microscopic imagery, vigils, tributes, bodies, plants, as well as archived images from Morl’s personal family records which relate to Ilford and Basildon, which become metaphors or vehicles for the subsequent narration. Each image is either rendered through microscopic tools or is inverted using mobile devices, making homage to the music single video ‘People Are People’ (1984) by the Basildon Electropop group Depeche Mode which has become an anthem for LGBT Pride Parades, due to the inverted historical footage of military parades in the video subverted alongside ballads of love (2).
As colour coded images they match colours that are used within queer app logos, instagram graphics by autistics, and flags associated with the LGBTQIA* community, as well as colours of artefacts from Chelmsford Museum’s ‘Broomfield Burial’ and the ‘Princely Burial’ installation at Southend Museum’s Central Museum.
These images are overlayed with a range of alternating audios from the video opening with breathing sounds recorded using scientific apparatuses, to poems about shared intimacy recited from smartphone voice notes. Spoken in various compositions, from notes, lists, sometimes incoherent, or fragmented speech, these echo the fluctuating dialogues that can be expressed by people with neurological conditions. The resulting dialogue is one of profound desire for connection, whilst also recognising that as individuals we do communicate, and are affectionate, confronting realms of true visibility and societal bias.
The dialogues follow the artist’s poetic accounts during childhood to adolescence, whilst presently retelling the evolution of the network and queer spaces from Essex. Between these are interjections exploring their own genderfluidity and experience of being autistic, contrasting and making audial references to feminist approaches in neurological research through the recognition of autism as a ‘spectrum’ by Lorna Wing, whilst also retracing Morl’s shared paternal family history with it’s links to Marconi electronics and memories of their relative Suzie Morl in Ilford.
With an absence of individuals within family records, this work aims to form and build a visual archive and tribute of both Morl’s experiences and Suzie Morl, a disabled transgender woman who moved to Manchester whose name is recorded on the world’s first Transgender Memorial in Salford (3).
Ultimately Morl argues that if queer history and networks are founded on refuge and belonging, often through alternative spaces and the use of secret languages like Polari, then we must adapt to support those with communication differences. Like virtual worlds such as the internet whereas youths we sought to locate our lives which were absent from wider society, or connect with others online via video games, servers, or mobile phone virtual augmented reality gaming interfaces, which are without language barriers and permeate the merging of both public commune and connection. Queerness as an act now could foster these approaches, into a form of queer futurism that celebrates and supports a humanity in variation, whilst recontextualizing the archive that supports a better education within.
Directed, script, sound by George Morl
︎ Assosiated Awards
TOW Residency, 2020