Depth of Discharge

Marjolijn Dijkman

Immersive abstract film

A quick search reveals that “Depth of discharge” or “DoD” is a technical term used to describe the depth to which the battery is discharged or must be discharged.

Depth of Discharge is viewed in a black box, the projection is the only form of light and delivers sequences of energetic interactions, which create a visual spectacle in thousands of shades of monochromatic blue. The frequency of the sound and image create a mesmerizing experience, giving the feeling that both the frequencies of the brain and the film are synchronized into one. The scientific use of the term Depth of Discharge is associated with the life of a battery. The life of the battery is measured by its ability to recharge.

Depth of Discharge was created by high voltage photography where the electricity and electrified objects became the protagonists and the discharge the drama. In Dijkman’s black out studio, she documents a process of Corona Discharge, which creates a glowing aura caused by ionization and an electrical disturbance caused by contact with air. The discharge is captured through a touch screen, which originates from smartphones and other flatscreens. The film depicts modern empires based on minerals’ energy economies. The symbols in the film are taken from a table of standard electrical units and reveal the metaphors associated with utopia and electrical dystopia. Concepts related to the electric sign language indicate the ideals that the symbols represent beyond their technical meaning.” – fragment from ‘The Lightnings Slayers’ by Galit Eilat, 2021

© Still from ‘Dept of Discharge’, Marjolijn Dijkman, 2021

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Marjolijn Dijkman (BE-NL)

Marjolijn Dikjman’s work focuses on the residues of Enlightenment ideology, the manifestations of collective memory, and the blind spots of representation. It problematizes our dependence on institutionalized systems in order to assert the politics of presumed knowledge. The works propose alternative systems of knowledge through their entanglement of different temporalities and geographies.

Dijkman’s labor-intensive process involves activating conductive material with high-voltage electricity and photographing it through conductive glass similar to that used in smartphones and other devices. The resulting blue and violet halos and irregular linear rays.

Crédits & mentions

Produced as part of research conducted for On-Trade-Off, an ongoing artistic-research project that raises awareness about environmental and economic implications of the extraction and processing of Lithium, the main raw material needed for the global production of Green Energy, initiated by the art organisations Picha (DRC) and Enough Room for Space (BE).