Amy Cutler

Dr. Amy Cutlers residency explored ecological film-making practice and narrative voice in extinction memoirs and geographical memoirs. The project’s stumbling double vision also returns again to the unstable figure and meaning of the “geographer” as a grieving narrator – as land writer, illusionist/fantabulist, or even fantasist, from Strabo and Mandeville on. What is the key to unlock this cryptic geography, from naval surveillance, coastal artillery, Tarkovskyesque zonation, and the building of scientific pictures of the island in recurrent torchlight navigations and candle lit visits to the out-of-season nature centres? Cutler’s several screen film installations, sound pieces, specimens and live cinema narrations explored the crossovers in ideas of orienteering, from the construction of scientific observatories and quadrat ecologies in the original environment, to the construction/generation/staking out of a film environment using light and spatial senses. 

In particular, it explored the range of approaches available to an experimental film-maker from using just a simple hand torch or head torch. Between fieldwork, lab-work, and film screening, the use of the torchbeam to both navigate – and then to later project – an environment places it as both a stand-in protagonist (the point of view tool of the walk-through in video games), and as the “live” element: to bring geography to life on film, just “apply light”. 

Amy Cutler’s multi-screen, non-linear Örö film will be performed in a live light show at the MörkÖ festival in Örö in November, and the album she completed based on her residency is listenable here.