WORKING WITH PARTICIPATION
Remember Nature Participatory Event – 4th November 2015
- I am proud to say that my video is posted on the Remember Nature Official Blog
A Gustav Metzger Art Initiative – Artists from around the world are encouraged to participate in a Day of Action to address global issues: e.g. climate change, the environment, pollution, human disassociation from nature and the possibility of human extinction.
When you breath the tree breathes………
………When the tree breathes you breath.
We will be addressing the topic of “Human disassociation from nature” using creative process (considering the other topics is also encouraged)
Aims and Objectives:
Aims: By working together towards a common goal the workshop is designed to encourage participants to consider their relationship to the natural world in a fun and playful environment. It is hoped that this will open dialogue within them, and hopefully inspire them to continue the conversation throughout their lives with others.
Objectives: We will build a forest of our own. Each participant will endeavour to create their imagined brother/sister tree for the forest using a variety of materials at hand. It is hoped that by creating their tree they will give it a voice addressing all of the topics above.
Points of Interest:
Impact of not engaging with the natural world
As children spend more and more time indoors instead of outside playing. This has been linked to a sharp decline in children’s wellbeing. Increasingly we are seeing huge increases in children suffering from obesity, depression and behavioural problems. Children today will be the first generation in history to have a lower life expectancy than their parents. UNICEF said that it is particularly bad in the UK.
“A human breathes about 9.5 tonnes of air in a year, but oxygen only makes up about 23 percent of that air, by mass, and we only extract a little over a third of the oxygen from each breath. That works out to a total of about 740kg of oxygen per year. Which is, very roughly, seven or eight trees’ worth.”
World Population Clock
Current World Population as of (20.33) 2nd November 2015 – 7,378,198,656
How many trees on the planet?
Estimated three trillion – sounds like a lot? It is estimated that 15 billion trees are lost each year to human activities. The underline is we need a lot more trees to sustain our wonderful world and ourselves.
I wanted the event to be fun and relaxed. I also wanted to use as much recycled and natural materials as I could to keep in with Gustav Metzler’s theme of Remembering Nature. I was very aware of the limited time that I had to create this pop up event I knew it had to be easy to construct and disassemble.
Due to having to change the objectives for this event because of the unavailability of resources for my previous idea I had to resort to a plan B. The idea for plan B came to me early one morning as I was waking up. I remembered taking my small niece and her friend out to the park two years previous and gathering objects that we found along the way; leaves, nuts, feathers….etc. When we returned home we talked about what we found and made pictures with them. We all really enjoyed that day in nature and I felt it wasn’t just the kids that enjoyed it. I did too. So I decided to create something similar to that event only involving adults and ask them to consider during the process Gustav Metzger’s themes.
My Tree in the Event
I knew that I would not be able to construct a tree whilst the event was in motion as I would be busy facilitating. Yet I felt driven to create one nonetheless, I also wanted the space to feel like a natural space…as if everyone was outside. I felt there was a tension when the clean white walls and smooth concrete floors of the studio space met with the natural autumnal leaves and branches. Utilising a recently purchased green screen I hoped to simultaneously be able to make the space feel more natural with the green of the fabric and create my own trees in a performative way….building the forest from the inside. I felt this really worked for the video, however the green screen is not a natural green colour so in the actual space it felt a bit man made and fake.
I am not that experienced in video editing. I do a little bit from time to time. I had to learn quite a bit of technique as I worked through the process, particularly when using green screen. My Mac really struggled editing two layers of video at once. I had to buy and install more RAM. It was fun and interesting (sometimes frustrating) process that I was later able to also teach my son for his media studies course. I also created the accompanying sound file…I am not as happy with this aspect of the video.
The group genuinely seemed to enjoy the event and many said that they gained from it and would be definitely interested in participating on future events. They felt the experience was both fun and emotive which was what I was going for.
“Coming into a leaf filled space indoors was surprisingly moving. I immediately wanted to make a tree with the leaves; it had a life of its own as it grew under my fingers. Then as if responding to my attention and care, this autumnal tree bore unexpectedly glossy bright yellow fruit.”
Feedback from Gustav Metzgers Team:
The group posted my video and details about the event on the top of their blog page.
“Your use of the green screen in the film was really interesting and the participatory aspect seemed to work really well also”
Remember Nature Team
Photos from the Event: