Wil-O-Wisp (2018) is an immersive video installation created by artist Rachel Rose as the first recipient of the Future Fields Commission. The work was installed in the Philadelphia Museum of Art from 2 May - 16 September 2018, and the Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo in Turin, Italy from 2 November - 3 February 2019.

Rachel Rose creates video installations that ruminate on our image-saturated culture and histories of the past. Wil-o-Wisp explores how the practice of magic and coincidence influence the fate of a woman named Elspeth Blake. Rose frames her story against the backdrop of England’s Enclosure Movement, which privatized communal land and spurred violent upheavals in agrarian life. Weaving together the harsh realities of the rural English landscape with ghostly sprites and the ethereal forces of magic, Rose questions how our perceptions of the world, and of others, can so radically change within the fluctuating norms of society and the seismic shifts of history.

I worked with Rachel to create a lush sonic landscape, combining my own field recordings and original music with collages of archival materials to develop a saturated surge of sound to accompany her visual storytelling. Listen to an excerpt of my score for the piece below.


All images are Courtesy of the Artist, Pilar Corrias Gallery, and Gavin Brown's enterprise.

Isaac Jones