Solastalgia by Robert Campbell & Babette Pendleton

This week the Currents Team is starting a new series of posts “Revisiting” that highlights past video artists!

Our first artist is Robert Campbell, who has shown single and multiple channel video in several of our past festivals. This video is a virtual representation of a four-channel video which was shown in 2017 and made in collaboration with choreographer and costume designer Babette Pendleton.


Solastalgia is an historical image-based research project being conducted by Ecco Tecchi, well known in the field of early 21st century elemental digital archaeology and reconstruction (AEDR). She has been working for five years at a site in the Civita di Bagnoregio archaeological sector (SACB) of central Italia in the region known at that time as Lazio.

The project is comprised of approximately one hour of recovered image data. Each reconstructed data segment is introduced by two identical identification tags on the outer panels, and a single frame of visual data interpolation in the center. The linear order corresponds to the data modification dates retrieved from two aluminum data discs unearthed at the site.

The originating group behind the image genesis is unknown. It is possible that the imagery might have had some sort of speculative documentary relevance in its day, but the reconstructed files reveal little if anything. Tecchi is fairly certain that the images are from disparate parts of the world: the metal, glass and cement buildings in one of the image data reconstructions, for instance, have been positively identified as belonging to the lost city of Seattle on what once was the west coast of North America. Most of the data reconstructions portray the architectural features of human civilization in and around the SACB (as noted in the archives of noted 20th-century architect Astra Zarina, a long-time inhabitant of Civita di Bagnoregio) before it was destroyed by a series of powerful earthquakes three centuries ago. Though not included here, Tecchi has also identified incomplete bits of written materials discovered at the site as connected to the originating group, repeatedly referencing topics such as markers, empire, the singularity, and solastalgia, a term describing forms of existential distress caused by environmental change, such as mining or climate change.

A note on sound: many of the reconstructions had damaged sound data embedded in them. Wherever possible, that data has been activated for the viewer to hear.

Ecco Tecchi’s Solastalgia project has been curated for Currents by media artist Robert Campbell and choreographer/costume designer Babette DeLafayette Pendleton. Tecchi usually presents the reconstruction in a live context, acting as presenter and interpreter of the data.

Robert Campbell’s body of work includes video art, digital media, multi-media performance, installation, and documentary film. Since 1984, his single-channel video art work has been exhibited at festivals and exhibitions in the U.S., Europe and Japan. For the past 20 years his new media, installation and digital print work has been featured regionally and nationally at the Frye Art Museum, Whatcom Museum, Kittredge Gallery, Henry Art Gallery, 911 Media Arts Center, COCA, Fuel Gallery, SOIL Gallery, Kirkland Art Center, Peeler Art Center, Commencement Art Gallery, MOV-iN Gallery, Santa Fe Center for Contemporary Art, Cheekwood Museum of Art, Museum of Northwest Art, University of Arizona Museum of Art, and included in the 2012 International Symposium on Electronic Art (ISEA) and eight of the past ten annual Currents Santa Fe International New Media Festivals. His video/dance/music collaborations have been featured at On the Boards, Bumbershoot, Cornish Playhouse, Port Angeles Fine Art Center, MOXSonic Missouri Experimental Sonic Arts Festival and Lincoln Center.

He has produced documentaries in the U.S., Italy, Ukraine, Cambodia, Zambia and South Africa, with excerpts of his work in Africa selected for the Journey to Planet Earth series on the PBS network. He was the 2016 Astra Zarina Fellow with The Civita Institute in central Italy; Artist-In-Residence at: Pilchuck Glass School (2006, ’07); Centrum (2000, ’05 and ’09) in Washington State; and Burren College of Art in County Clare, Ireland (2000). He has taught courses in video art, documentary, animation, digital imaging, experimental cinema, video for dance, and video installation at Cornish College of the Arts since 1991.

In 2012 he founded the Institute of Emergent Technology + Intermedia (iET+I) at Cornish, which he currently co-directs with composer Jarrad Powell, Cornish Music faculty. Campbell received his BFA and MFA degrees from the School of Film and Video at California Institute of the Arts.


Babette DeLafayette creates activated environments through her multidisciplinary work as an artist, curator, and producer. Babette utilizes her background as a choreographer and performance artist to build immersive body, sculpture, and multimedia based installations and performances.

Within highly collaborative environments, Babette works with others to combine elements of choreographed movement with endurance based tasks, sculpture, and video in haptic, embodied, and visually untamed performances and installations. Using surrealism as a way to subvert reality, roping together energetically authentic sources of pain, pleasure, and power while pursuing freedom through non-linear, psycho emotional releases that cultivate mystery and an unknown journey for the viewer, Babette builds physical collages that are emotional visual narratives filled with cacophonies of chaos, subtle disruptions, and empowering, thoughtful, risks.

Babette is the artistic director of Yellow Fish Durational Performance Art Festival, an experimental festival that presents, engages, and supports artists with a platform for durational and time-based performance art.

Her past curatorial work in Seattle includes building the Pendleton House, a creative collaborative entity that was a conduit for interdisciplinary artistic experiences to merge, and running a multipurpose art photography studio, New Tomorrow, which allowed for the integration of art, business, research, and communion.

Beginning in 2019, Babette stepped in as a producer and project manager for Sarah Cameron Sunde’s, 36.5 | A Durational Performance with the Sea. 36.5 is a time-based art project, spanning seven years and six continents, that engages people directly on personal, local, and global scales about the crisis of sea-level rise. In 2019 the project will be produced in Brazil and Kenya. 

Babette is currently based in Brooklyn, NY. 



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