Aerial, 2019

9 minutes, 20 seconds

Rigging the mic

A west coast rain forest seen through a camera mounted on a drone, moving rapidly as if it were a humming bird: it hovers, then zigzags horizontally, then vertically. Spatial microphones mounted on a cablecam up in the tree canopy move across the Emerald Pool in the south Walbran, not far from the bridge. Four white embossed still forest landscapes extend the possibility of inner spaces, for us to step back into ourselves, to contemplate, and to engage with the memory, recording and healing process, while we view, together, this airborne sequence, exploring a forest.

In 2016, Leila Sujir began working with curator Haema Sivanesan and cinematographer Chris Kroitor on an expanded media work, forest! documents in the south Walbran old growth forests on Vancouver Island, shot with an IMAX mirror rig and two Sony F65 cameras, with a stereoscopic 3D the viewer could walk into. Aerial with XL curator Janine Marchessault and producer Chris Kroitor continues an exploration of those forests, this time with a humming bird like drone, to move through the forest canopy  and ambisonic mics rigged onto a cablecam that move from the forest floor to the canopy above the trees. The sound mix continued the experiment, with the sound ‘objects’ moved through a four storey space, using joy sticks.

The Pacheedaht First Nation provided the poetic text on the forest at the end of the work, acknowledging this  meaningful place as heritage and unceded territory. Funded by a Canada Council New Chapter grant (2017), the project is a commission for artistic experimentation with IMAX technologies, with curator Janine Marchessault, and artists Oliver Husain, Lisa Jackson, Kelly Richardson, Michael Snow, and Leila Sujir.

Leila Sujir scouting in the west coast forests.
Preparing the drone for filming at the Emerald Pool
Jorge and Marie-Pierre setting up
Daniella Ortiz and Jorge Zavagno editing the video
Philippe Battikha in the sound recording suite
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