Lena Dobrowolska & Teo Ormond-Skeaping
2015 - Ongoing
Feedback Loops presents works from Dobrowolska’s and Ormond-Skeaping’s ongoing body of work on The Tibetan Plateau that began in 2012, which highlights the region's geo-political and climatic importance.
Known as the Third Pole the Tibetan Plateau plays a crucial role in global climate and the Asian water cycle. Rising temperatures on the Tibetan Plateau has resulted in rapid glacial retreat and desertification as the permafrost melts and the fragile grass lands deteriorate. As the water tower of Asia dries up hydropolitical tension is increasing in Asia and the plateaus influence on the formation of high pressure systems in Eurasia is felt as far away as Europe where summer heat waves have broken all records.
Working with medium format film cameras Dobrowolska and Ormond-Skeaping depict the high altitude plains, geological formations, glaciers, inhabitants and manmade topographies of the Tibetan Plateau surveying development, pollution, desertification and glacial retreat. Exploring the region’s cultural history they intertwine the ecological and cultural significance of the Plateau, a place revered as the symbolic threshold of human exploration, spirituality and as a crucial climatic component in global warming with the intention of considering how to represent human natural hybrid systems.
Dobrowolska’s and Ormond-Skeaping’s diptychs and triptychs not only suggest phenomenological state change but also comment on the near invisible condition of changes that are inherent to climate change, socio-political change or psychological change.
The construction of sequences is also intended to highlight Dobrowolska’s and Ormond-Skeaping’s ongoing negotiation with the documentary mode of representation by presenting the viewer with multiple representations of the same subject.
Struck by the intangibility of geological, social-political, economic, climate and ecological systems that are visible yet unimaginable Dobrowolska and Ormond-Skeaping document site specific traces that reveal the impact these global systems have upon the landscape of the Tibetan Plateau and the phenomena that feedback into the same systems.
Dobrowolska and Ormond-Skeaping intend the idea of feedback to imply that every action humanity takes has consequences that feedback through these global systems and return to shape the future in a way we cannot foresee.
The projects name “Feedback Loops” derives from Jay Forester’s cybernetic systems theory. The mechanism of feedback allows scientist to see the way in which the earth’s dynamic systems influence one another in order to predict unforeseen changes and interrelations. This mechanism has been applied to many branches of science, especially climatology, where it is a fundamental part of the mechanics of global warming.
Teo Ormond-Skeaping (born 1987, UK ) & Lena Dobrowolska (born 1985, Poland) are a Polish British artist collaboration working with conceptual documentary photography and artist film currently living and working in both England and Poland.