Elemental voices

Still from Grass Seeds animation by Christine McMillan, 2008
Still from Grass Seeds animation by Christine McMillan, 2008

Christine McMillan’s animation, Grass Seeds can be read as a metaphor for climate change. Combining objective data and aesthetic response, this work can be read objectively and aesthetically, through our minds and our senses.

Objectively recorded data gives voice to the changing environment. Seeds from the artist’s immediate environment were photographed frame-by-frame as they responded to changes in atmospheric moisture.

To aesthetically appeal to observers, the source footage was slightly altered. Reversing the tones from dark on light to light on dark gives the seeds a theatrical quality. They look like they are dancing.

When the seeds are read as dancing forms, this brings them to human scale. Watching them move, we can connect empathically with changes happening in the environment. We can read the work through our visual and kinesthetic senses.

To invite us even more deeply in the dance, Grass Seeds was projected amongst dancers improvising their movements with those of the dancing seeds. Sharing the physical space of this work I could feel myself as part of the dance.

Grass Seeds draws on both our sense and reason to engage us with climate change.

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Posted on Wednesday, December 24th, 2008