The Accurate Perception Available When Our Eye Becomes Single is an immersive multi-screen installation evoking the emotional specifics of place (Orford Ness on the Suffolk coast) while exploring the elasticity of time and history. It is an audio-visual collaboration between Richard Ducker (video) and Ian Thompson (sound) with no linear narrative; sound and image are not synchronised, so each viewing is a unique experience.
Orford Ness is an eight-kilometre shingle spit, used for secret military testing during the first world war until the cold war in the 1980s. The site is now desolate but the decaying architecture from seventy years of military occupation remain. These strange elemental structures are formed out of an alien landscape that resembles a lost movie set. It is here too that British atomic bomb detonators were tested. Just along the coast from Orford Ness is Sizewell B nuclear power station. There is a close link between the two sites; the early development of the atomic bomb, and the plutonium produced for civil power that dominated the cold war. This is the dark side of the era’s notion of heroic scientific / technological developments which culminated in the Space Race.
The title of the installation, The Accurate Perception Available When Our Eye Becomes Single, is taken from the writings of the religious cult Heaven’s Gate, connecting the area’s UFO sightings to the paranoia of conspiracy theories. It is this conflation of the military, science, and myth which establishes the strange dislocation and eeriness of the place and constitutes the meaning of the work, while the buildings, landscape, and soundscape are its subject. It is about the site and its sense of detachment in time and, with nationalism on the rise, its past echoing into our future.
Richard Ducker and Ian Thompson, 2022