Moving with and being moved by the compositions & decompositions of an oak savannah
If traditional nature photography captures living bodies and turns them into objects of aesthetic and scientific interest, these kinesthetic images gesture to a different kind of account of the living world. These images are attunements. They are generated in the act of moving with and being moved by the beings and doings of a black oak savannah. As relational images they document the energetics of an encounter, the push and pull between bodies. Rather than capturing phenomena, these images make it clear that it is the photographer who is caught: captivated, they are the ones who hitch a ride on what is becoming and coming undone. The rotting logs, frilled mushrooms, crumbling leaves, ancient sands, and greening grasses are not discrete things, they are happenings taking shape through deep time and in the ephemeral moments of now, and now, and now. It is the photographer who must learn how to keep pace with these rhythms through their body.
Sounding Out the Savannah
Kinesthetic listening and the elasticity of time in an urban ecology
Sounding out the savannah reveals that there are no boundaries between the rhythms of city life and the lives of the creatures who take root and take flight here. This sonic ecology documents the vibratory milieu of a 10,000-year-old happening by tuning into its deep time, its seasonal cycles, its daily rhythms, its improvised encounters, fleeting moments, and disruptive events. This audio recording was generated through movement. Here, dancers’ moving bodies lean into the sounds, amplifying their intensities, speeds, slownesses, and their affective charge. This dancing with sound is a mode of kinesthetic listening. Speeding up and slowing down the recordings is another form of attunement, one that reveals otherwise unimaginable worlds and opens up new ways of telling stories. Stomping feet become falling trees, shaking the earth in ways that recall the geological forces that formed this land. Slowing down bird calls reveals other songs, other creatures and voices haunting the space. Gulls become coyotes. Traffic becomes rushing, rhythmic waves. Life churns to other rhythms. There is no silence here.