Presented for the first time at Breathe On, Flight Plan (2022) presents the conceptualization of upcoming performance artwork On Autopilot by Jessica Laraine Williams. The work will document a 3644 nautical mile/6749 kilometre speculative flight from Tyabb Airport (the artist’s place of flight training) to Tan Son Nhat International Airport, Saigon (home city of her relatives and extended family). Jess holds a Recreational Pilot’s License, and will perform and record the entire flight from home using Microsoft Flight Simulator in a Cessna 152 aircraft, which she qualified to physically pilot in 2010. The planned work is a reflection of societal and personal languishing within the closed borders of pandemic-time, emphasizing a long duration to mark a protracted era of separation and daily functioning ‘on autopilot’- pending further directions from higher authorities, operating at a low ebb. Freedom to pass between borders via airport gateways continue to symbolise loaded zones of conflict, violence and suppression for people seeking refugee status globally. As a flight of fancy, the journey also signifies the artist’s desire to plot out an alternative imaginary of self-determination, exodus, and reunion.
Flight Plan (2022) comprises an installation featuring speculative flight diagrams and a 3d modelled, ‘speculative artifact from a future’ has been scaled up to the size of walkable terrain. The artefact is conceived as an iterative collaboration between Williams and Ingrid Petterson (who chose the artefact); Michael Morgan (who originated the artefact); it is used in Ingrid Petterson’s performance with black helmets, developed by Michael, that will be staged as part of the exhibition before being symbolically interred to the waters of Port Phillip Bay. Other speculative cargo will be added to the Metaverse installation before the flight planned in On Autopilot; this will include photographs- these items are based on gifts previously given by the artist’s mother to bring to relatives in Vietnam, and those given in return to bring to Australia (a block of Cadbury’s chocolate and a bag of dried shrimps).
Visitors can visit the virtual installation in their internet browser. It is also recorded as a showcase for projection on display, as shown above. Visit https://hubs.mozilla.com/fCSRpR4/flight-plan-2022/ -best viewed on a computer.