To celebrate the release of Death to All Actors we collaborated with biochemical art director Lichen Kelp. Lichen makes lurid liquid landscapes with plant matter, ice, water and domestic chemical ingredients that investigate the materiality of process.
DTAA is situated lyrically in the heightened materiality of life when death is looming, a song written before covid but with a strong plague theme – disease, corruption of flesh, taste, sensation, rotting colours and smells in contrast to the idea of the clean and clear spirit world beyond this realm. Real dirt, ash, fire, shit, cracked and calloused hands working of splintered oars, insect bites, sores, illness, contagion, decomposition, bodily fluids and fungus, all these things I imagine being considered fondly when one is leaving the world.
Lichen’s practice creates a performative time period of lush visual decay, where soft living plants sink, burn, change colour and form in technicolour detail. Filming the processes closely allowed us to revel in the tiny details of bubbles bursting, ice melting, life wilting, emphasizing the fragility and strength of the materials. Lichen made several floating, floral paintings which were filmed by Thomas Hyland in close-up while the chemical processes agitated, aggravated, flowed and festered. Lichen conducted the movements of various plants within the landscapes to create in an erotic choreography of transition and decay.