Where to start if not with this picture?
Slip, Slide, Side.
Light, rays, pixels, volume, density, texture, shape, which extend from space to space, from moment to moment, without a linear path, surrendered to chance.
Big thanks to Cecilija Žibert, Mia Žibert, Živa Petrič
The research is supported by:
Ministry of Culture (Slovenia)
The research explores the physical and mental transformations of a certain space through which questions are raised about what it means to coexist, to observe something that is always in front of us. How can memory and time change things, and how can these "things" be conveyed through image and sound? In the film, documentary approaches to recording the landscape are interwoven with personal interventions in the landscape, experiments with materials, voice over and interviews with people connected by that landscape.
"Silence. Less wind than in other seasons, sharp air entering through the nostrils and mouth. March 2020. The ground is still covered with glass-like icy textures. I walk, watching the changes. Faces change with the seasons – memories and pictures remain. I think of what was, what is, and what is coming.
And I write:
I remember the thin, small tennis racquet swung by my wrist. The motion transferred to my arm, my trunk, the final thrust was delivered by my legs. That was not the end, that was the beginning. The next contact or connection called the strike begins in the final thrust. The strike is always new, always the first one, unknown. It is always the same, yet different.
My palms and my forehead still sweat as they did then; in my sleep, I clench my right hand and my jaws. My muscles twitch, reacting to the memory, I can’t keep up with them. When I wake up, I swallow the saliva and try to follow its journey – past the palate, through the gullet, to the stomach – without being in some other kind of departure. Is this the one, this one here, or that one, or the other one, I ask myself. I look at the shadow of my body whose sharpness gives way to a diffusion of pixels easily
traveling over the tabletop across the floor to the wardrobe, leaving behind them a soft trace of flesh.
Who’s alive here?
I slide over this time and these textures filled with history and looks.
Not fixedness. But slips,
We all breathe. This is the distance we share. A matter of textures, densities, relations, moves… A matter of rhythm.
That. Fleshy. Always in us,
next to us,
and always a step ahead of us.
I persist, looking for these shapes that crystalize for me before I truly see their form. I rack my memory, history, its context. I think about the relationships, the contacts, the touches, the comings, the goings, the gravitation of her and something that is not her. This same meadow, tree bark, river, soil, the green whose many nuances show up at the morning dawn of pixels?
The same, yet changed. Transformed.
Not so much there and other as here and different.
The story of materiality, pixels, volume, light, skin, body. In search of the elusive, what we call freedom."
The film deals with physical and mental transformations that take place over time - in the image and outside it (what the image documents).
It relies on long-term research of the space - the concrete land that my aunt bought in 1997, through which I think about the history and identity of the landscape that its users call Land.
The film starts from a personal experience, and at the same time, I expand it to the general level of a story about forgotten or remote spaces - about the relationships that take place in such areas. The film intertwines documentary approaches (recording the landscape and conversations with people that this country connects and who are part of the community that is created there) with personal interventions in the landscape.
The film starts from the question of what it means to be in a relationship with the non-human world, to be in contact, to circulate, to connect, to separate, to explore its possibilities, to stratify them, to try to understand them through their materiality. The film is a documentation of the natural world, and at the same time, it incorporates these natural properties into new forms that I record (e.g. wax, resin), while at the same time it uses some of these properties in the very development of the material - the film negative.
Using a whole range of different film languages and techniques, I point out the heterogeneities that are happening before our eyes. This includes experimenting with photograms and phytograms on 16mm filmstrip, exposing the film to various toxic substances that have been mined from the earth, macro shooting, night shooting with a hunting camera, collecting frequencies of liquid substances from trees, translating graphs into images and sound, etc.
An important part of the process is work in the studio, which includes recording images and sound (contact microphones), experimenting with natural materials, making molds, interventions in 16mm film, melting wax and the reaction of wax with water, melting resin, and other experiments in the material.
The work on the text takes place during the entire process, through the text I play and interweave different subjectivities in the voice-over in which I use my own voice. In addition to my testimony, I also include conversations with the former and current owner of Land (as well as other people who had or have a relationship with that space) in the film.
In the film, the main actors are the landscapes and the objects from the landscape that I examine outside and in the studio by working with my hands and exploring them through touch. I don't show people's faces, but we only hear their voices and see physical traces: body prints, traces that bodies leave behind on that earth, as well as displays of experimentation involving my hands and their work with different materials in the studio.
I am interested in what an image is, how it is created and what it can give us, what is the difference between digital materiality and an analog process, in what ways it depends on circumstances, and how it is shaped by encounters with different materials. I also observe related processes of formation and materialization in the biological processes present in that landscape, which I include in my research and film. Nature is present in the film in two ways: on the one hand, the film documents the nature of the events in it, while on the other hand, nature physically intervenes in the film (ie on the film strip, for example: phytograms).
As a storyteller and observer, I appear in several ways: through the text (off), through notes, in conversations with the former and current owner of Land (as well as other people who had or have a relationship with the space), where I emphasize the links with what we see in the film - through interventions and experiments with materials.
Example of voice-over (narrator):
"I will talk through all of "This", and through my stomach. I will name her She, everything else I will name That remains. Everything but "She", everything that is not "She". All this here, there, and in between.
Name: before Ranch, even before unknown, now Oaza, Land, MamaLand."
Example of voice-over (narrator):
“Where to start if not with this same picture?
Color, light, movements, departures, arrivals, slips, formations, contacts, touches, skin, body.
Always from the beginning. The contact. Closer, even closer..."
Example of voice-over (narrator):
I invite the same touch.
Is it this touch, this here, or this or that?
“Just an absent existence. A matter of texture, density, relationship. The distance we share. "
"I swallow the saliva and try to follow it through the sky, esophagus, pharynx into the stomach, without being in another exit. The point of contact is far away, I don't know if it even exists or if it's just a void without a future."
not a channel for the transmission of information, but a tool for the new.
Almost all the sounds were recorded on Lando. The sound of the wind, the movement of leaves and animals, work in and around the house, different conversations about that place in that place, the sound of fire, the sound of streams, falling and breaking trees, etc. These local soundscapes were recorded with Zoom, and the second part includes records of phenomena that otherwise remain invisible and silent - installation of metal envelopes that are connected to Zoom and record electromagnetic waves of plant juices.
These are vibrations that plants, as well as other living things, create, but are inaudible to the naked ear - in this case, the movement of fluid under the bark of a tree.
With electromagnetic coils, I record waves/vibrations and transform them into sound. In a similar way, I use contact microphones, with which I record the processing of materials in the studio, that is, experiments with different materials (boiling water, mixing clay, melting wax and resin and their reactions when in contact with water). I think about the silent sounds under the bark, about the small sounds and noises, about the silence that is never silent.
"This, or this, or that keeps going around.
It is in constant mutual balance. When it touches the sun, it passes into the atmosphere in the form of water vapor. It condenses into fog, dew and clouds. Hail, snow and ice.
Then he comes back. It always comes back. More present than ever!
Once ice, second time water, third time cloud."