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A jagged bluff of rocks juts out into a grey and moody sea as waves lap at shore

4 Waters: Deep Implicancy

4 Waters: Deep Implicancy

4 Waters: Deep Implicancy (Denise Ferreira da Silva & Arjuna Neuman, Turkey/Greece, Haiti, Australia, Marshall Islands, 2018, 29 minutes)

What would a world and an ethics look like free from the destructive consequences of the Western mind?

Enfolded within and structuring the collage of images, sounds and arguments in 4 Waters is the theoretical physicist David Bohm’s idea of implicancy. Bohm imagined the “unbroken wholeness of the totality of existence as an undivided flowing movement without borders”, in which there’s a constant folding and unfolding between the apparently intuitive way of understanding existence (the ‘explicate’ order of classical physics, dominated by space and time) and a more complex and seemingly counterintuitive reality (the ‘implicate’ order of quantum physics, where entanglement and nonlocality are possible). This back and forth between parts and the whole, between the virtual and the actual reveals how every consciousness and every particle contain detailed information about every other element in the universe.

Reading this technique through ideas of fluidity and phase-changes, 4 Waters poetically collages a constant folding and unfolding between simple and perhaps more fundamental worldviews or ways of reading reality. It asks why the Western mind considers the restricted, simplistic and colonial worldview to be ‘common sense’, as opposed to the radical, generative movement of blackness as a mode of existing in the world: an existence underneath or prior to the Western mind, and the ground that makes possible entirely different ethics and ways of living.

Denise and Arjuna’s exhibition Corpus Infinitum, featuring their follow up to 4 Waters was due to be at the Centre for Contemporary Arts, Glasgow from 23 April to 7 June 2020 as part of Glasgow International but was postponed due to the coronavirus crisis.


Denise Ferreira da Silva is a Brazilian philosopher, ethicist and artist, tarot reader, reiki master, student of unreasonable knowledges, and a Gemini. Her book Toward a Global Idea of Race asks “why, after more than five hundred years of violence perpetrated by Europeans against people of colour, is there no ethical outrage?”, and presents a critique of modern thought that shows how racial knowledge and power produce global space.

Denise was present at Episode 6: Make a Way Out of No Way and participated in the programme for Episode 7: We Can’t Live Without Our Lives with Valentina Desideri.

Arjuna Neuman is an artist and filmmaker based in Berlin. He works with the essay form with a multi-perspectival and mobile approach where ‘essay’ is an inherently future-oriented and experimental mode, becoming the guiding principle for research and production, which shifts between the bodily, haptic and affective through to the geopolitical, planetary and cosmological.

Text about the Film by Denise Ferreria da Silva & Arjuna Neuman

“…an earthquake is coming…” – Jean-Jacques Dessalines/C. L. R. James (from Black Jacobins)

“What is often forgotten in the traditional retelling of the Haitian Revolution, is the earthquake of 1784. This earthquake not only razed Port-Au-Prince to the ground, but it also and importantly, shook down, if only temporarily, the entrenched social order of Colonial Hierarchy. Slaves, who had fled for safety to the mountains, began to collectively realise the power they held over their European masters. Amidst all the geo-chaos, liquefaction and tectonic-shifts, Port-Au-Prince and its plantations ground to a halt; 20 years later the very same would happen, this time, by the free-will of the slaves.

This earthquake marked an indigenous foretelling of Black Independence and the revolution to come (note: distinctly not of French or Enlightenment origination). At a cosmic level it brought knowledge from the unmeasurable moment prior to separation, prior to bacterial-life as the first metric of time – a moment or state we call Deep Implicancy.

4 Waters emerges from this deep-soft state, bringing with it a set of gathered and imagined knowledges that begin to image a pre-life cosmos. Towards this imaging we study with water, both as it phase-transitions with and into other matter including life and/as non-life, but also as it combines disparate geographies, bodies of/in water, and four historically and cosmically contentious islands within them – Lesvos, Marshall Islands, Haiti, Tiwi.

What we learn through water and its phasing, is the possibility of transformation – that thing that makes us universally human in its spiritual-ethical and labour-value sense (Hegel and Marx). But importantly, we also learn of the radical potential that comes from stripping transformation of time – an absence that makes us more-than-human in an elemental sense.” – Denise Ferreira da Silva & Arjuna Neuman

This event was a film screening and does not have any documentation in the archive.

Image Description: From the top of a cliff, a grey seascape with the shore in the foreground. Many lines of rock, tilted by geological time and erosion, cut the image from bottom left to middle right. A foamy sea washes back and forth across the rocks.

Review of 4 Waters in Canadian Art Interview with Denise & Arjuna at the Berlin Biennale


2 images
Denise wears a long read scarf and glasses
Arjuna stands against a plywood background, they are smiling
Denise wears a long read scarf and glasses
Arjuna stands against a plywood background, they are smiling
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