Moveable Type



Relating to Her Presence: Encounters with the Feral

This video is an unfolding of three near identical views. Each includes a bit of the garden patio and a faux sheep skin blanket; the first includes Miss Maddie Dog, and the last includes a fox. The video opens with a black screen, a void to be filled. Emerging first, on the right side of the screen, is the landscape with a dog, then the middle third opens to the landscape and foregrounds the lighting. Lastly, on the left third of the screen a fox is revealed. This video is soft in the individual treatments of the three images, yet retains hard divisions which aid in maintaining the sense of replication. The breathing of the dog is obvious and she is continually moving. The landscape flows with fluctuations from the wind and the dappled sunlight. The fox is eerily still, and has been confused by some viewers as a taxidermised specimen, until her eventual departure from the frame. These visual qualities allow a sadness to emerge; a potential elegy. The duration of the film as a whole is 26'21", yet the duration of each of the three images varies. The three scenes come and go, and through the formal repetition allow a sense of being-with that merges between the three images. This sense of being-with is physically present in the experience of the animals as both have shared the bed and left remnants of their fox-ness and dog-ness on the surface. Each chooses to inhabit a shared space. If the first space is the void, the second through forth spaces are variations on habitation, and this in turn reveals a fifth space. This fifth space is the opportunity for the viewer to cross between the images, and the visual frames; to understand the sense of co-habitation. This is reinforced through the narrative arc - void, dog-ness, space, fox-ness - the near identical-ness yet obstinate differentiation. This is a presentation of a question, a question of one's knowledge of the feral and domestic nonhumans by which one is surrounded, and of the liveliness of the animate. Dawn. M. Gaietto

See the printed version of Dawn's intervention here.