South Pacific

Made in collaboration with radiologist Dr David Perry, South Pacific examines the links between sonar, radar and ultrasound; technologies for making images from non-visual sources. Playing with relations between the visual, aural and textual, the work explores how the Second World War changed the perception of oceanic space and the conflict’s legacy in the region.

In 1954 American radiologist D. Howry and his team created live ultrasound images using declassified material from the gun turret of a B29 Superfortress – planes which, at the close of the Second World War would leave Pacific Island airfields in their hundreds to bomb the Japanese mainland. Reviving a technique of early experimental ultrasound, which required the patient to be immersed in water, Brennan forms images exploring the interface between war, technology and perception. South Pacific recalls stories of tropical lagoons littered with rusting ordnance and coral islands flattened for runways. A vast ocean is glimpsed by radar, video and ultrasound.

Single channel video, stereo sound, 10 minutes (2007)

Auckland International Film Festival 2007

Exhibited in:
The Fifth Bangkok Experimental Film Festival, 2008
South Pacific,  Two Rooms, Auckland, 2008
Cloudland, The Substation Singapore, 2008
The Liverpool Biennial, 2008
Feedforward: The Angel of History, LaBoral, Spain, 2009

About this work:
Video interview for FactTV
Fact Website
Essay by curator Rachel O’Reilly