Pamela Phatsimo Sunstrum
Polyhedra, 2016
Single channel animation with sound

The animation POLYHEDRA is a poetic interpretation of cosmogony and the order of things —stars, earth forms and that which is beyond-what-we-can-see. The film was created with a body of work including drawings on paper, drawings in space and sculptural objects. POLYHEDRA contains references to star mappings and the superimposition of mythological characters into the movements of celestial bodies through the sky. The animation also includes archival photographs and plates by 18th-century amateur photographer and volcanologist Tempest Anderson. Volcanic imagery ties in with Sunstrum’s idea of ‘seeing through’ the body of a volcano as a portal by which we might glimpse the inner workings of the earth. That those inner workings present themselves as powerfully destructive, simultaneously recalling notions of the beauty and sublime. Sunstrum explains; “In creating this work, I began with the idea of ‘seeing through’ — seeing through the earth, seeing through bodies, seeing through to the stars. I was interested in finding a visual language that superimposes forms—geological forms, astronomical forms, and human forms in such a way that we might see through them and see the congruences between them. I was interested in early understandings of mathematics and geometry and how this knowledge used to be considered quite sacred knowledge. It was a knowledge that reflected a desire to know the building blocks of the cosmos—to know the codes and the equations that make up the universe.”