Apes AND Wildflowers OR Spiders NOT Urbanity

Tom Sherman and Bill Wallauer

2013, 33:26 minutes, colour, English


This video work is governed by the principles of a Boolean search. The conjunctive grammar of AND, OR, NOT in the work’s title combine, expand and exclude content as a result of the act of searching--in this case, searching video databases. In a general sense this exercise begins to explain why we have become so comfortable with unrelated juxtapositions of audio-visual data, and more provocatively why searching for significant data in any complex environment yields results varied and filled with wonder.

The video segments of chimpanzees in this composition were recorded by Bill Wallauer in Gombe National Park in Tanzania as part of his long-standing work with Jane Goodall. The wildflowers, spiders and other content that which can be designated as NOT being urban (sometimes rural, sometimes wild) were recorded by Tom Sherman on the South Shore of Nova Scotia, Canada. This synthesis of disparate research findings is representative of a direct media dialogue between two experienced, though very differently focused video researchers, advocates of video camcorders as perceptual instruments for capturing and analyzing the behaviour and appearance of living things.

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