Drew McDowall: Rhizome – NOWNESS

Scottish electronic musician Drew McDowall presents this, the latest music video from his new solo album of unnerving electronics, The Third Helix. Shot by Sigrid Lauren, the video—moody and corporeal—was based around a workshop with a community of dancers, friends, and internet-culled participants. Each day, the group read a script focusing on accountability, trust, and support, which would shape the succeeding performance. It’s the perfect visual accompaniment to the staggering drones that the former Coil member has become so adept at producing.

“Each member practiced trust-falls with these friends and strangers, and were encouraged to dare a drop taller than felt comfortable,” explains Lauren of her powerfully corporeal shoot. “Members were informed that each was responsible for every last other. If member A hurt member B, member C would be equally responsible for remedy and for care. Each action, good and bad, physical or psychical, however small, carries consequences for every other being, our own being included. There are no such thing as by-standers. To really support each other is, then, a form of radical, intentional, interdependent presence.”

For Lauren, this methodology explores society’s common reversion of this attitude—where the social is replaced by the isolated, “transacting individuals and skittish, discrete bodies.” As they put it, “When really, if we let go, we come to understand a deeper social reality—and a net gain. An unseen thicket of limbs, words, and gestures holds us all up, and in our networked being, the smallest efforts can sometimes mean salvation for another and the softest touches have the most forceful effects.”

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