The Long (Distributed) Way

2017, generative video installation.
Premiered at Arraymusic Studio, Toronto, November 18, 2017

In 1968, French sailor Bernard Moitessier departed alone on his sailboat from Plymouth, UK for the Sunday Times Golden Globe Race, the first around the world solo sail race. After rounding Cape Horn and on the verge of winning the race, Moitessier sent a message by slingshot onto the deck of a passing ship, informing the Sunday Times of his withdrawal from competition: "I am continuing non-stop... because I am happy at sea and perhaps to save my soul."

Equipped with a Beaulieu 16mm film camera, Moitessier captured moments of his life aboard during this longest-ever non-stop solo circumnavigation. He described using the camera, with its particular ways of seeing, as an essential technique in his process of attunement with the environment at sea, and as a vector for his spiritual expansion. Yet he also acknowledged his camera’s dark power, the way it influenced and demanded his bodily commitment: "I am starting to realize that I too need to be protected from the camera... You have to give the camera something more. And now it is trying to suck my blood."

The Long (Distributed) Way attempts to revive and tune into the energies of Moitessier's voyage—encoded here in a low-resolution MPEG capture of his original film footage that I found on The Pirate Bay. A kind of computational alchemy, The Long (Distributed) Way layers, loops, modulates, distributes, and dissolves Moitessier's blood-pixels in anticipation of uncovering and reactivating some small residue of this attentional spirit.