United Kingdom, 2021, 61′
Reality has countless layers, many of these will remain invisible to the untrained eye. In this elegy humans appear like ants, walking around their habitat in a preprogrammed way, while animals and plants act like individuals. This upside-down world has a strange attraction which is at once alienating and deeply familiar. The surface of the film material itself is present like a skin that breathes and interacts with the living world in manifold ways: grainy, ephemeral, tinted, vibrating. Time and space are blurred into a reality that is both specific and universal. The film is simultaneously a documentary, a home movie and a symphony. We see scraps of the filmmakers’ personal history including encounters with his friends and family. But beyond those commonplace scenes, the film offers an unusual encounter with the real, embedded in a delicate composition of images and sounds. This is not a journey from A to B but rather a dive into the swirling yet nurturing waters of an ocean. If there is a story to be told than it is an unfortunate one. A recurring doomsday clock is counting down, reminding us that in the here and now species are disappearing rapidly from the planet. How long does it take to realise that our destructive behaviour is irreversible and threatens to destroy everything we love?
An independent artist, filmmaker and researcher whose practice investigates the relationship between culture and nature by means of analogue and organic process, experiment and co-creation. He studied Fine Arts at the Hogeschool voor de Kunsten, in Arnhem, the Netherlands, graduating in 1990. In the same year he co-founded Studio één, a DIY film laboratory. In 2001 he co-founded Filmbank, a foundation dedicated to the promotion and distribution of experimental film and video in the Netherlands. In 2017, he received a PhD from the University of the Arts London. During his research he developed ‘phytography’ a technique that combines plants and photochemical emulsion. He has employed this technique to investigate how culture and meaning can be shared between the human and the vegetal realm. His work has been shown worldwide at festivals, in cinemas, on stage and in galleries. In 2012 he received a FOCAL award for his film Liquidator. He regularly gives workshops in analogue film practice and lectures at Ravensbourne University London.