Playing Fetch With Laika takes the tragic life and death of Laika, a stray dog from the streets of Moscow who became the first living creature to orbit the Earth in 1957, and re-presents her legacy in a speculative context with a bittersweet twist. The work is heavily influenced by the Russian philosophy of Cosmism, which dictates that the souls of those who die in space will live on eternally beyond the confines of the Earth’s gravity.
The film exists as a monument and a tribute to Laika’s lonely sacrifice in the name of science. The suggestive gesture of throwing a ball into the sky and the sound of a distant bark invites the audience to contemplate the possibility of Laika’s cosmic immortality among the stars. Through the notion of Cosmism, a simple game of fetch is transformed into a connective ritual between two souls, bound together across time and space. After all, if Laika is still up there, then someone has to throw her a ball every now and again!
My series of four reactive short video works, Geez a Honk!, Chuck It, Maiden Flight and Tramalamadingdang, confront mundane aspects of the human experience with a dose of surreal humour; with the diversity in subject matter and short length of the films reflecting their spontaneity and temporary existence within time. This irreverent quality stems from my own desire to abandon the restrictive sense of dignity that comes with adulthood, instead finding the freedom to indulge in our playful and somewhat immature impulses.