September 13, 2020 - e-flux - Ecology After Nature
September 13, 2020


David Kelley and Patty Chang, Flotsam Jetsam (clip), 2007.

Ecology After Nature
Part Three | Decolonizing the Landscape: From Invisible to Visible
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Join us on e-flux Video & Film for Decolonizing the Landscape: From Invisible to Visible, the third part of the online series Ecology After Nature convened by Lukas Brasiskis.

How does one read landscapes across cultural boundaries and beyond colonial discourses of visibility? In this third part of the series, David Kelley and Patty Chang’s Flotsam Jetsam (2007), Susana de Sousa Dias’ Fordlandia Malaise (2019), Su Yu Hsin’s water sleep II Akaike river under Xizang Road (2019), and Nguyễn Trinh Thi’s Landscape Series #1 (2012) investigate various forms of dominant representations of landscapes and their invisible pasts. They invite us to reconsider the culturally specific dichotomies between the visible and the invisible, and ponder landscapes' relationship to identity and colonial power.The films will be on view for two weeks from Friday, August 28 through Thursday, September 10, 2020. 

Ecology After Nature
Part Three | Decolonizing the Landscape: From Invisible to Visible

Sunday, September 13—Saturday, September 26, 2020

David Kelley and Patty Chang, Flotsam Jetsam, 2007
27 minutes

The film follows the fabrication and journey of a wooden submarine to the Three Gorges site on the Yangtze river—once a landscape most often depicted in traditional Chinese painting, now submerged to accommodate a hydroelectric dam. Wavering between documentary and fictional modes of address, Flotsam Jetsam explores landscape’s relationship to identity.

Susana de Sousa Dias, Fordlandia Malaise, 2019 
40 minutes

Fordlandia Malaise is a film about the memory and present of Fordlandia, a company town founded by Henry Ford in the Amazon rainforest in 1928. Ford’s aim had been to break the British rubber monopoly and produce the material in Brazil for his car factories in the United States. Today, the remains of construction testify to the scale of the failure of this neocolonialist endeavor that lasted less than a decade.

Su Yu Hsin, water sleep II Akaike river under Xizang Road, 2019
20 minutes

Maps are controlled by nation-states: who creates them, what they will look like, how they will be read, and how they will be shared. water sleep II Akaike river under Xizang Road (2019) is an essay film in which the artist guides us in the search of the lost river in historical maps. Taipei/Taihoku City Planning Map with Bird’s-eye View (1935) and Taihoku Aerial Map, American Army 14th Air Force (1944) represent the colonial history of Taiwan. The search process provides another reading through decolonization of the gaze of maps and turns the focus towards evidence of objective portraits of the landscape.

Nguyễn Trinh Thi, Landscape Series #1, 2012
5 minutes

This film is composed of found photographs from newspaper reports that show people pointing into a seemingly empty landscape—something often found in Vietnamese newspapers as photographers usually arrive at the scene of an event only after it has taken place. Landscape Series #1 is an eerie yet humorous reminder that past events are always beyond our grasp.

About the program
Ecology After Nature: Industries, Communities and Environmental Memory is an online series of film programs and discussions that places reflections on administrative, instrumental, and extractive treatments of nature at its forefront, and exposes various angles of interconnection between the natural and the human-made. 

Programmed by Lukas Brasiskis, the series will present a selection of 22 artists’ films and videos to be screened on e-flux Video & Film in six thematic parts. From extractive industries, forgotten remnants of war machines, and polluting warehouses of cryptomining to misinterpreted birds, misheard earth strata, and vibrant landfills, the artists featured in this series highlight a non-essentialist view of the manifold forms that the natural takes in today's world. The screenings will be accompanied by two online discussions (on October 1 and November 5) with some of the participating artists and invited guests, including T.J. Demos and media and culture scholar Heather Davis, inquiring how the infrastructural, the elemental, and the communal could be reassessed through moving images, with a focus on the social and political particularities of environmental issues.

Ecology After Nature runs from August 14 through November 8, 2020. Launching today, and screening for the next two weeks, are the four films in Part Two: War Machines and Environmental Memories. Subsequent parts will follow bi-weekly, with new films screened every other Sunday. Screenings and discussions will be published on the series’ platform on e-flux Video & Film.

For more information, contact

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