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Plant Power: Animated Engagements with the Botanical
Dan Torre, RMIT University

In this 20-minute presentation, I will consider our relationship with plants (and the wider environment) and in particular consider the anthropomorphic representation of plants in animation and cinema.

This presentation will survey some of my recent writings into how plants have been represented in film and animation – and how animation in particular is well-placed to engage with this subject. Although many such representations have ranged from the horrific to the humorous, others have taken a subtler approach. This more nuanced approach
appears to be evolving in tandem with advances in our scientific understanding of plants and of our increasing understanding of the complexity of their associations within the environment. This discussion will also consider how anthropomorphic considerations of plants can lead to a more empathetic understanding of our natural environment.

BIO

Dan Torre (he/him) is a Senior Lecturer in Animation at RMIT. He is author of several books including: Animation-Process Cognition and Actuality (2017), Cactus (2017), Australian Animation-An International History (2018), Carnivorous Plants (2019) and Grendel Grendel Grendel. Animating Beowulf (2020). Torre has presented at conferences around the world; recently delivering the key-note address at the Animation and Public Engagement Symposium at Texas Tech University, 2019. His current work focusses on articulating the nexus between animation-studies and plant-studies.


Indeterminate: Flora, 3D Scanning, and the Instability of Data
Rebecca Nadjowski, RMIT University

Photons bouncing off quivering leaves, branches, flowers, and succulent forms. Patterns of light and shade. Infrared wavelengths, liquid crystals, light-emitting diodes, indium. These are some elements that are entangled in Echo, a project that explores the potential of testing the affordances and limitations of digital photomedia technology when it comes to visually translating depictions of nature. Using a 3D scanner, I recorded plants found in the Royal Botanical Gardens in Melbourne. There, the environmental conditions and the physical flora objects in the landscape were beyond the imaging threshold of the scanner. Uncontrolled light and complex textures translated into digital 3D models that are riddled with flaws and information gaps. Echo enables the agencies of environmental forces, and photomedia materials and processes, to create artworks. To help underscore the intensive links between digital material behaviour, signaletic movements, entropy, and indeterminacy I evoke media theory discourse and materialist philosophy. This presentation discusses how the 3D scanning process, used at the threshold of viability, can illuminate the fragile conditions of data and the complexities of photographic representation.

BIO

Rebecca Najdowski (she/her) is an artist investigating material possibilities of photography, video, and 3D modelling. Her work centres on the complicated ways perception of nature and photomedia are entangled. Rebecca is a lecturer in Photography at RMIT and recently submitted a PhD in Visual Art at Victorian College of the Arts.


How to Care about Coral Rubble: The Cinematic Realism of Undersea Camera Systems Simon Troon, Monash University

This April coronavirus restrictions meant that the Schmidt Ocean Institute research vessel Falkor mapped the Coral Sea with no scientists aboard. On this expedition a camera-equipped remotely operated vehicle recorded hours of footage of the seafloor, livestreaming via YouTube with audio commentary from scientists at home across Australia. These exceptional circumstances highlight the important role that recording and watching images plays in deep sea science. This presentation will approach HD video recorded by undersea camera systems in imperilled Australian waters from a film-theoretical frame. It will situate their long take-like perspectives on deep sea life (and death) amidst distinct contexts for film theory and practice, positioning them within traditions of documentary filmmaking that conjoin scientific exploration and experimental aesthetics. In environments inhospitable to human life but catastrophically impacted by human activity, undersea video technologies function beyond their purview of producing scientific knowledge to provoke an ethics of attentiveness and care in a manner described by thinkers like Deborah Bird Rose and Anna Tsing. Their capacity to simply record images, observing the material world, makes them a crucial way of engendering attunement to pervasive processes of anthropogenic despoliation and ecological degradation that, occurring at depth, usually remain hidden from our view.

BIO

Simon Troon (he/him) teaches sessionally in Monash University’s School of Media, Film and Journalism and is an associate member of the School’s Environment and Media Research Program after receiving his PhD in 2019. His research explores representations of disaster across film genres and styles, with a particular interest in environmental documentary.


Walkabout‘s Détournement: Exposing the Instability of Human Structures
Richard T Dyer, University of South Florida

In this video essay I analyze the mise-en-scène in Nicolas Roeg’s 1971 film Walkabout, investigating a visual motif of combining the dissimilar elements of man-made structures and the natural environment within single shots. I deploy Guy Debord’s concept of détournement to read the visual incongruity Roeg presents as a critique of how human structures, and the delineations they create, serve to perpetuate alienation between classes and between humans and the natural world. The artistic practice of détournement illuminates the inherent instability in images and thus interrogates our willingness to rely on them to make sense of the world. Roeg’s mise-en-scène creates a similar focus on the instability of structures and the potential perils of utilizing them to define our world. Making sense of Roeg’s critiques via détournement simultaneously reveals Walkabout’s call for a more harmoniously blended societal structure that aims to maintain both human and non-human longevity.

BIO

Richard T. Dyer (he/him) is a Graduate student in the department of Humanities and Cultural Studies at the University of South Florida. His current research investigates the cinematic presentation of vast or isolated spaces in the Australian bush. 


Storing Weather: Media Representations and Rare Experiences
Ellen Chang, University of Washington

The subject of weather in its various forms of presentations and representations has long reflected, shaped, and affected our daily experience of it, from everyday small talk to deadly natural catastrophes. Weather’s enveloping presence is at the same time truly mundane and yet absolutely extraordinary. The dual qualities of weather open up a space for inquiries into the shifting boundaries between representations and experiences—both as media for storing weather reveal the different understandings of how human minds and bodies’ contact with nature. Invoking John Durham Peters’ call to bring back natural environments—the “forgotten infrastructure,” this project takes weather, the ubiquitous subject, as the basis for exploring how humanity’s continuing attempt at containing the big data of nature has been cultivated. It explores how the usually neglected and thus insensible weather reveals itself at unexpected moments in the human creations that seek to contain and simulate natural phenomena in various ways. Through analyses of the diverse modes of failure that emerged from works ranging from architecture to land art, from gallery installations to films and photography, and from weather simulation rooms to in-flight safety demonstrations, this project seeks to make sense of humanity’s encounters with weather through different technological and artistic mediations.

BIO

Ellen Chang (she/her) is a CLIP Fellow and Ph.D. Candidate in Cinema & Media Studies at the University of Washington, and is writing a dissertation on the transactional encounter between contemporary Taiwanese video art/installation, cinema, and popular culture as processes of
aesthetic decolonization. She is currently also the managing editor for Feminist Media Histories: An International Journal.


Posthuman Cities: Being with Complexity
Troy Innocent, RMIT University

Rapidly expanding urban centres mean the relationship between design and cities is now critical. Cities are complex systems governed by spatial, social, operational, commercial and cultural codes. They are layered with digital and material traces and permeated with clouds of data. Our encounters with the city occur at various scales of public space: micro and macro, monumental and intimate, transient and permanent, personal and public, individual and collective.

The pandemic arrived within a critical moment between the fourth industrial revolution and the sixth mass extinction. At once, invisible and unknowable, pervasive and pernicious it has disrupted life globally. It has also been a moment for reflection, seeing the world differently. Public spaces are mediated, material expression of collective social imaginaries – sites of change and transformation.

New understandings of urban complexity are challenging reductionist views of cities, taking a material and affirmative turn in response to the failure of smart cities to provide a solution and the pervasive, dystopian urban present. Through posthuman knowledge (Braidotti 2019), assemblage theory (de Landa 2016) and seeing like a city (Amin & Thrift 2016) alternate social and urban imaginaries will be explored that situate cities in relation to the existential threat of climate crisis.

BIO

Troy Innocent (he/him) is an urban play scholar and artist gamemaker. During his creative practice research he has played in Melbourne, Bristol, Barcelona, Istanbul, Ogaki, Sydney and Hong Kong. Innocent is creator of 64 Ways of Being, a free-to-play app making cities playable through augmented reality.


No bad word for fire
Kim Munro, RMIT University

In late July, before the lockdown went to level 4, I went to Mallacoota to film Bruce Pascoe and some of the aftermath of the bushfires. This trip primarily involved two modes of filmmaking – the first to record Bruce speaking about Aboriginal agricultural practices and the relationship to the land for a conference, and the second, my attempts to record the environment through what Haraway refers to as “the embodied nature of all vision.” 

In this presentation, I’ll show some works-in-progress which illustrate my attempt to create a dialogue between different epistemologies: sensory ethnography and documentary practices, Aboriginal Australian ecology, and interpretations of the environment beyond both disaster narratives and the “hummanist-centered subject, colonialist imaginaries, and landscape as excess” (Pederson and Zimmermann 2016, 226). Through this presentation, and the work more broadly, I explore how a documentary work can foreground impartial knowledge while encompassing multiple epistemologies.

BIO

Kim Munro (she/her) is a documentary maker, lecturer in Media and Communication at RMIT University, and the Conference Programmer at the Australian International Documentary Conference. Her research focuses on the intersections between emerging media, documentary and social and environmental justice.

Dissolving linear narratives through moving collage and experimental photographic techniques
Isabella Capezio, RMIT University

How do we grieve a landscape, or photograph loss?

Exploring the terrain of the video essay/ installation, and the burnt landscapes of NSW forests, this work in progress engages with the personal processes of mourning and unlearning traditional approaches to landscape photography.

As a photographer who uses the photobook as a process, I am currently experimenting with movement and sound to enhance the sensorial experience. Through presenting the video work I hope to discover what affordances the photobook offers such as pacing, sequence and stillness and how that translates to a video form. The visuals weave together a range of footage taken, borrowed and reflected up, both staged and improvised in order to facilitate a disassembling and reassembling of meaning, intent and memory. Drawing from Alexis Wright’s ‘The Swan Book’ as an orientation of place that uncovers the relationality and agency of both human and non-human subjects; alongside Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s philosophical illustrations of the limits of objective vision and phenomenology, my work treats ‘landscape’ as a verb in order to acknowledge and elucidate the body in relation to place and making work on a damaged planet.

BIO

Isabella Capezio (she/her) is an artist and lecturer at RMIT, PSC and co-ordinator of the Asia Pacific Phonebook Archive. Currently completing a PhD through RMIT, her research is concerned with the problematic relationship between landscape photography and colonial perspectives. Isabella is currently considering how ‘queering’  the approach to landscape photography could hep us explore beyond the stagnant nature / culture divide.


A bushfire visual communication tool: Co-operative media methods to tackle the climate crisis
Seth Keen, RMIT University

This paper explores the methods used to co-design a visual communication platform for fire agencies managing bushfires. The paper aims to provide media researchers and practitioners with critical insights into the processes used to design software.

This paper argues that co-design is particularly crucial for this project and the end-users. A sophisticated, high-risk digital product integrated across multiple government agencies requires collective input from a highly specialised project team, government ICT staff and the end-users.

The study was conducted by examining the processes and procedures used across four phases of co-design that includes: scoping, field research, technical feasibility and prototyping (2017-20). The paper looks at mobile media experiences of firefighters in the field, collaboration design, interaction design processes and how particular co-design methods worked with the end-users. This paper contributes to contemporary discourses on new media studies and design. Within new media studies, there is a particular focus on social, mobile and everyday media practices. The contribution to the design field focuses on the adaption and modification of co-design methods for media practitioners into a proposed co-operative media approach.

BIO

Seth Keen (he/him) is a practice-led designer, researcher, and educator in the media program at RMIT University. He is interested in working with industry partners across teaching and research on the co-design of innovative approaches towards media communication. His teaching focuses on photo and video technologies and practices, within the fields of interactive, mobile and social media. He uses his research practice to engage with design and information technology specialists on the co-design of media platforms. Seth has worked on research projects with academic and industry partners in the areas of development aid, cultural geography, social services, and disaster resilience. He is a co-winner of a Good Design Australia Award in Social Impact, 2018.


Digital Games and the Climate Crisis
Ben Abraham, University of Technology Sydney

Digital media has often suffered from certain dematerializing tendencies which render invisible (or at least difficult to describe) their material and environmental impacts. Digital games, which until very recently have escaped close scrutiny of their environmental impacts, are typically overlooked in favour of broader discussions affecting the technology sector, such as ewaste (Taffel 2012; Maxwell and Miller 2012) and global communications total carbon footprint (Andrae and Edler 2015). Nevertheless, games deserves sustained attention to the dark consequences of digital play.

In this presentation I propose to outline the results of a multifaceted investigation into the environmental consequences of digital gaming that takes a number of forms – a study of the carbon footprint of game development, via a survey of developers own energy use and emissions, and the results of an inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) analysis of a particular game console’s combined CPU/GPU. The former allows for an emerging picture of the carbon footprint of the process of game development around the world, and the latter allows for the identification of the atomic componentry that are embedder in a current-generation gaming console, and allows for initial tentative gestures towards the many social and environmental harms that are embedded in gaming devices.

BIO

Ben Abraham (he/him) is a lecturer in the School of Communication at the University of Technology, Sydney, teaching into the Digital and Social Media major since 2016.He has published journal articles on digital games and climate and sustainability themes in journals like Games and Culture and Transformations, and is currently in the final stages of a manuscript for Palgrave titled “Digital Games After Climate Change” due for release in 2021.


Instagram data analysis: #hurricaneirma
Mihaela Coste, Universitatea Babeş-Bolyai, Romania

This study aims to explore two different data extraction approaches suitable for Instagram content analysis: web scraping and API interrogations, following how a climate change event was covered by a wide range of users on social media. Specific data, such as hashtags used, the frequency of posts, number of likes and connections between hashtags or users on posts containing #hurricaneirma, provide patterns when it comes to the user behavior of sharing and interacting on Instagram and on the usage of popular hashtags with the purpose of gaining visibility on social media. 

The research methodology consists of quantitative and content analysis of more than 5,000 user-posts varying from memes to press photography, taken by Instagram enthusiasts or professional photographers worldwide. The study shows the difference between the two ways of extracting data, the types of data that can be gathered and analyzed from public posts, how these can be linked to other events or nowadays currents, patterns identified in the photographs and, in the end, the applicability of the research. The study also aims to show how a hashtag could be used as a primary tool for following an event, by providing answers to some important questions: What? Where? When? How? Who is affected?

BIO

Mihaela-Alina Coste (she/her) is a PhD Candidate at Babeş-Bolyai University Cluj-Napoca, Romania. Her work focuses specifically on the coverage of climate change events in social media and in exploring new ways of gathering and analyzing visual data and how users are interacting with it, by combining two of her biggest interests: photography and data analysis. 


Where there’s smoke: Memory and the virtual mediation of environmental attunement
Daniel Binns, RMIT University

Growing up in Australia means a keen attunement to the rhythms of the environment. From extreme weather events to the simple sensory stimulations of the nation’s flora and fauna, this paper reflects on memories of youth that have become an academic interest. In particular, this paper observes a nuanced mediation of this environmental attunement, using the example Memories of Australia (2020) by Andrew Hamilton.

BIO

Daniel Binns (he/him) is a screenwriter and producer who moonlights as a Media Lecturer at RMIT University. He teaches storytelling and worldbuilding, and weirdo experimental film stuff. Dan is the author of The Hollywood War Film (Intellect, 2017) and Material Media-Making in the Digital Age (2021). He is currently writing a book on The Hurt Locker and further exploring media tools and technologies, including machine learning and video game engines.


A History of the Present: Documentary and the Australian Environment
Belinda Smaill, Monash University

The aim of this paper is to map the history of an Australian ‘documentary public’ of environmental knowledge that has shaped conceptions of ‘nature’ and what we now know as the Australian environment. There have been a number of crucial turning points in this history, form the post-war focus on nation building through to the dawning environmental movement and the more recent proliferation of strategic impact documentary. Pinpointing key moments and films, this paper addresses an under-researched aspect of the Australian film archive with an eco-critical mapping of this significant history of nonfiction filmmaking. This paper argues for a deeply historicized account of how documentary media has fashioned contemporary environmental consciousness. Such a project is crucial if we are to understand the changing relationship between people and the Australian environment.

BIO

Belinda Smaill (she/her) is Associate Professor in Film and Screen Studies at Monash University. She is the author of The Documentary: Politics, Emotion, Culture (2010), Regarding Life: Animals and the Documentary Moving Image (2016) and co-author of Transnational Australian Cinema: Ethics in the Asian Diasporas (2013). She leads the Environment and Media Research Program at Monash University and is currently working on an ARC Discovery Project titled Remaking the Australian Environment Through Documentary Film and Television (with Prof. Therese Davis (Swinburne) and A/Prof. Chris Healy (Melbourne).


Anticipatory Documentary and Cli-Fi Futures
Djoymi Baker, RMIT University

This paper examines a range of documentaries that operate at the emerging liminal nexus between science fiction and ecocinema: The Age of Stupid (Franny Armstrong 2009), 2040 (Damon Gameau 2019), and Metamorphosen (Sebastian Mez 2013). Each work seeks to make connections between past and present human behaviour and the potential implications for a safe environment into the future, such that they function in what Juan Francisco Salazar terms the “anticipatory mode” of documentary (2015: 44), operating in the future tense. The alignment may seem, at first glance, an odd one. As James Chapman and Nicholas Cull note, “the realms of science fiction and documentary film have seldom intersected. Documentary is limited by an inherent requirement to represent what is. Science fiction represents what is not (or not yet)” (2013: 131). Our own era is one where the environmental “what is” and the “not yet” are rapidly colliding. Presented as scientific projection rather than science fiction per se, these liminal films charge the human face with bearing witness to environmental damage in the past, present and future.

BIO

Djoymi Baker (she/her) is Lecturer in Cinema Studies at RMIT University. She is the author of To Boldly Go: Marketing the Myth of Star Trek (IB Tauris 2018) and the co-author of The Encyclopedia of Epic Films (Rowman & Littlefield 2014).


Civil Discobedience: Environmental activism and the role of popular music’s past in imagining new futures
Catherine Strong, RMIT University

On 9 and 11 October 2019 members of climate activist group Extinction Rebellion took to the streets of Melbourne for the first iterations of the ‘Disco Disruption’ – a climate protest that involved progressively occupying various intersections throughout the CBD and performing a choreographed dance to the Bee Gees’ song ‘Stayin’ Alive’. The event caught the imagination of XR protesters worldwide, with a video of the action being watched over one million times on twitter. On 6 December a ‘Global Discobedience’ event was held where the protest was reproduced in over 20 countries on the same day. This paper will use analysis of the initial event and related media to explore the ways in which the cultural memory associated with this particular song was key to the event’s success. By evoking a specific historic era and musical genre, disco, with recognisable fashion and dance elements, the organisers utilised the shared understanding of the past to draw in both participants and observers. I will argue that this use of music in activism has the potential to create space outside of the current reality of the climate emergency where imaginings of different possible futures may become possible.

BIO

Catherine Strong (she/her) is the Program Manager of the BA (Music Industry) at RMIT University. Her research deals with issues of gender inequality in music, and how popular music is remembered and heritagised. She is the co-editor of Towards Gender Inequality in the Music Industry (Bloomsbury 2019) and The Routledge Companion to Popular Music History and Heritage (Routledge 2018).


VFX as Technology of Enchantment
Gina Moore, RMIT University

This presentation centres around a series of animated artworks inspired by Australian animals and their worlds. Created using industry standard visual effects (VFX) software, the works aim to inspire a sense of fascination, caring attention, affection and respect – in short, they aim to enchant.

According to anthropologist Alfred Gell, the enchantment of art objects rests in the technical virtuosity they display; artworks are beautiful things because they have been beautifully made. Gell’s theory of art assumes viewers have some understanding of techniques used to create a work, but VFX involves (human) practices that are unfamiliar to most viewers and computational processes that are obscure to many makers. Inspired by Gell’s description of art and enchantment, my animations explore ways of revealing VFX creation processes and re-enchanting the computer-generated image.

Ubiquitous in contemporary disaster films about ecological degradation and climate change, visual effects are usually designed to fit seamlessly into live action film. In these mainstream productions, invisibility is a measure of success. In contrast, my animations use an experimental approach to VFX (xVFX) in order to reveal processes that are usually hidden. The aim of xVFX is twofold; to make enchanting animations and to contribute to a broader discussion about the politics of computer graphics technologies.

BIO

Gina Moore (she/her) is a visual artist, researcher and lecturer in the Animation program at RMIT University. She has a background in fine arts (drawing, painting and sculpture) and fifteen years experience as a 3D animator in the advertising industry. Her research involves 3D animation and VFX, virtual reality, and digital design.


Indefinite Terrains: Fieldworking and Filmmaking
Polly Stanton, RMIT University

This presentation and screening seeks to explore the lived and embodied experience of fieldwork as a dynamic and generative form of artist filmmaking. Using my recent moving image work Indefinite Terrains as a launching place for this discussion, I consider the practice of fieldwork and the situation of field sites as a generative and speculative form of knowledge making. Indefinite Terrains is an audio-visual essay that interprets the site of the forest plantation as a dynamic assemblage of colonialism, capitalism and country. Through the location of the plantation, the actions and effects of industry and the more-than-human world are considered through narration and the audio-visual tracing of the forest’s controlled and operationalised terrains. Meditating a space between documenting the natural world and storytelling, I consider how field research and working with community presents a rich story space for engaging environmental encounters and the inclusion of other voices both human and otherwise. 

BIO

Polly Stanton (she/her) is an artist and filmmaker. Her work primarily investigates the relationships between environment, human actions and land use. Her films and installations focus on contested sites and extractive zones, presenting landscape as a politically charged field of negotiation, entangled with history, technology and capital.


Learning how to smash the pieces: Youtube, everyday life and growing food differently in the wake of ecological crises
Brian Morris, RMIT University

This paper is an initial exploration of ongoing responses to natural disasters such as floods, bushfires, climate change and COVID-19 as articulated in various media produced for and distributed via Youtube. It focuses on channels offering an informal education in food growing and sustainability across genres such as lifestyle, small-scale farming, homesteading, gardening, green ways of living and ‘prepping’.

I propose that these media be analysed as indicative expressions of what Raymond Williams (1979/2015) conceptualised as an emergent ‘structure of feeling’ responding to climate change and its associated crises; that is, ‘a pattern of impulses, restraints, tones’ (p.159) found in widespread popular cultural forms. How does that structure of feeling manifest in these videos’ micro and macroconcerns, forms, modes of address and audience engagement? What do they offer politically beyond admittedly game-changing tips about how to get recalcitrant carrot seeds to germinate?

Situating the paper within the author’s own experience as a tree changing becoming-permaculturalist who spends too much time studying (through) YouTube, this paper provides a sketch of its object of study through reference to some suggestive examples and an analytical reflection on their pedagogically motivated interventions in everyday life.

BIO

Brian Morris (he/him) is a Senior Lecturer in Media at RMIT University, Melbourne. His current research focuses on intersections between media and education in formal and informal institutional contexts.  Past and occasionally recurring areas of research include urban place, identity and media technologies, television studies and cultural studies of the everyday.


Looking at Practice, Process and the Not Filmed: Construction and Deconstruction of a Venn diagram that seeks to describe my eco-aesthetic process
Paul Ritchard, RMIT University

Adrian Ivakhiv structures his book Ecologies of the Moving Image: Cinema, Affect, Nature into C.S. Peirce’s categorization of things … “firstness,” “secondness,” and “thirdness.” Prompted by that, I looked at my process and clumped things into three circles which became a Venn diagram. I will talk through that and tell you what arose from the construction of the diagram.  This process and this presentation is a live development of my thinking rather than a QED. 

I hope to show you how I am struggling and sometimes resolving matters through the process of putting things together and pulling them apart, entanglements, body images, Venn diagrams and my film work. Also attempting to reconcile the posthuman and poetics.

BIO

Paul Ritchard (he/him) lectures in film production and is a member of the nonfiction lab and the Screen and Sound Cultures group at RMIT University.  His research focuses on film/media production and eco-aesthetics. He is the co-author of a number of ERA-recognised creative outputs and academic publications. His PhD is titled THE RIVER PROJECT Towards an Eco-Aesthetic Practice.


Dissolving into the flesh of the world via the moving image
Smiljana Glisovic

That humans are interrelated with the more-than-human world, and that the ‘wellness’ of all is based on, and determined by, the quality and balance of these interrelationships, is foundational to many pre-agricultural communities (Abram); and continues to inform some contemporary societies including the framework that guides Traditional East Asian Medicine (TEAM) and attendant practices (Jarrett). This particular perspective is also taken up by Deep Ecology (Naess), Eco Psychology Roszak), Spiritual Ecology (Vaughan-Lee), and some Environmental Philosophies (Matthews). The climate crisis, then, is intimately connected to a human crisis of the body-mind-spirit. This is to say that wellness in the human body-mind-spirit is interdependent with the wellness of the environment, and that one of the causes of illness is when they become seperate. There are a number of ways in which we maintain this separateness, one of which, as argued by Abram, is the evolution of the alphabet and how alphabetised cultures started using language.

Based on this perspective, practices that maintain our sense of interconnectedness (I use ‘our’ to signify all human and more-than-human entities) have been part of pre-agricultural communities, and are being re-enlivened, and new ones developed (Macy), as a way to address our contemporary ecological crisis. These practices range from Vision Quests, certain meditation practices, rituals and somatic practices, amongst others (Plotkin).

With my research, I explore ways in which audiovisual media can contribute to this work of connecting our separate sense of ‘self’ back into the flesh of the world (Merleu-Ponty). Part of my conference presentation will include showing a short video work-in-progress that uses the TEAM ‘points’ on the body – each have specific therapeutic functions based on this cosmogony of interconnectedness between all things – as a way to explore the relationship between language, body, world. The significance of the Chinese characters is that it is a pictorial script that maintains the complex connection of language to the flesh of the world. In the short video work, I ‘translate’ the pictographs to root the body of the spectator back into the body of the image (Barker), and the more-than-human world.

BIO

Smiljana Glisovic (she/her) is a Lecturer in Cinema and Media in the School of Media and Communication. Smiljana has worked across various mediums and forms, as an artist, actor, writer and filmmaker. Her creative practice research is located in the intersecting fields of cinema, installation and performance as a site for affective knowledges. This work is informed by her other practice in the field of Oriental Therapies.