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16mm film, 11 mins, colour, sound, 2021
could cut the neck
of one tree
& make ten grow?'
After humans have destroyed the world (again) an unnamed beast swims up from a forgotten swamp and rebuilds the world from zilch. CASTOROCENE, shifting between essay and semi-fictionalised nature documentary, is a ‘film pome’ dedicated to one of nature’s great architects. Depicting the wetlands as a living entity, the camera dwells on a landscape of viscous textures, organic debris and nonhuman sculptures, considering parities between acts of borrowing, rewilding and animal world building. Filmed by artist Alexander Hetherington on 16mm film in the wetlands at Bamff in East Perthshire, Scotland.
'Castorocene means 'era of the beaver'. The film imagines a post-apocalyptic future in which humans have made a mess of things and beavers - master world-builders of ecosystems - have had to start again from scratch. The film is a beautiful, earthy, and quietly powerful meditation on a possible post-pandemic and post-neoliberal future.'
A commission for Rupert Journal's second edition on ‘Post Pandemic Futures’.
To date screened at BFI Southbank for London Short Film Festival (UK), Norient Film Festival (CH), Stuttgart Filmwinter (DE), WNDX Festival of Moving Image, Münster Film Festival (DE), SEA Foundation Tilburg (NL), Royal Conservatoire Scotland (SC) and by LUX Scotland as part of One Artist | One Work (SC)
read CAConrad's text commissioned by LUX Scotland responding to the film here also published in Fieldnotes Journal Issue 3 (sold out) alongside an interview with CA.
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