In early September 2021 the Moving Image Makers Collective will take up residence in Ruberslaw Woods near Hawick in the Scottish Borders to install moving image and multi-media works that collectively respond to a central concept of interspecies communication and to the challenge of making work for a forest. The forest, in its totality will become the ‘audience’ we directly address. Showing our work to trees, not to humans. Humans will occupy the role of ‘witnesses’. Ten MIMC members and two writers will produce commissioned works that will be ‘revealed’ to the forest/woodland over two nights of one weekend in early September 2021. There will be small scale guided walks for human witnesses to experience the works outdoors, followed by an online screening event, with a live webinar involving all participants.
What might we, as artists, like to say and show to the trees, to the fungi, animals, birds, plants, the earth and rhizomes beneath the earth? What kind of conversations might be possible? Will this be an extended apology, a lament, or something more life affirming? What stories of our lives can we tell or show? How can we respond to the ecological, historical and social networks that exist in the forest ?
An integral part of our Creative Scotland funding, support from Alchemy Film & Arts and the development of works is to facilitate a series of talks and workshops from artists, thinkers and ecologists with the aim to inspire and influence our individual and collective concepts and outputs. Complimented by the sharing of reading lists and research links by the group and wider community, we hope not only to build our own creative and practical knowledge base but also to build discussion around Conversations with a Forest.