I am working on a new video, which will show the first handful of days in filming, photographing, and mapping production. Sharing my process helps me to make sense of it. I identify deeply and powerfully with that oft quoted #JoanDidion line from her book Why I Write- “I write entirely to find out what I'm thinking, what I'm looking at, what I see and what it means. What I want and what I fear.” Mapping my project out more coherently, and needing to make it digestible to people beyond the borders of my single self, is helping clarify the work some. I often find that my inability to properly edit down my sources, and to know when and when not to pull from my obscure, internalized back catalog, is the cause of the large hiccups in my workflow. Creating borders that I have to stay in helps with corralling this liminal beast that is weighing on me into something substantial- and those borders are generally made when I realize my time budget is running thin.
All that being said, this project's esthetics, rootedness, visuals, and auditory landscape remain ambiguous; a shapeshifter. I keep asking myself “what is this thing?” I have stared at images I have taken, at the same hills and sand covered shores of Mendota at Gov. Nelson’s State Park, trying to discover something amongst the ambient noises. I am riddled with empty questions about reconstructed prairies; about my moral responsibilities to conservation spaces as a new resident to this city; to what degree is this work moralizing, and to what extent is work about esthetics?
In the same essay I mentioned above, Didion says “Let me tell you one thing about why writers write: had I known the answer to any of these questions I would never have needed to write a novel.”