John Chrisstoffels, 2018
16mm film transferred to single-channel digital video, sound, duration 2 min 36 sec
Director/Editor: John Chrisstoffels 
Camera: Alexandra Porter & John Chrisstoffels
Courtesy of the artist

Inspired by the David Bowie hit ‘The Man Who Sold the World’, Ritornello from John Chrisstoffels seems to embody the increasing claustrophobia of the lockdown experience. A ritornello is a repeated musical phrase and in the alternating camera shots, upstairs inside to downstairs outside, we are presented with an increasingly manic back and forth, a growing sense of unease at being both locked in and shut out. Chrisstoffels has described this work as a homage to filmmaker Maya Deren, De Stijl architect Gerrit Rietveld and philosopher Henri Bergson.


Spheres: An Online Video Project

An online series of moving image works exploring social distance and personal environments including works from Xin Cheng, John Chrisstoffels, Conor Clarke, Ronnie van Hout, Sonya Lacey, Janet Lilo, Sione Monu, James Oram, Nova Paul, Bridget Reweti, Sriwhana Spong, and Matavai Taulangau.

Considering the recent popularity of the word ‘bubble’, the Spheres series examines how we interact, and our emotions, thoughts and sensations in relation to our surroundings. German philosopher Peter Sloterdijk described societal structure spatially, as spheres expanding from intimate bubbles to globes and foams. These works offer different perspectives on social distance, personal environments and the close radius of home. 

We invited artists to share something of their spheres, the ideas and places they live with and around. Their works touch on a variety of concerns, from environmental issues to consumerism and the importance of preserving cultural knowledge. Experienced online, they also reflect on representation and the contemporary circulation of imagery and information, the transfer to digital that allows us to reach out into the world.