A Sicknesse, A Ston [CORAL]. [Still] Single channel video, work in progress. Starring June Lam, DOP Jos Bitelli. Chapter 1 of project A Sicknesse, A Ston. Acting: June Lam; DOP: Jos Bitelli; editing: Sam Williams.
This project was commissioned by Site Gallery as part of their Fresh Takes programming. With accessibility built into its structure, this first chapter of a larger project is presented online only, in visual only (silent video with optional audio description) and audio-only format (sound piece with closed captions). The video portion is currently in the final editing stages.
The project is based on The Peterborough Lapidary, a medieval text of different stones and their cures. Each chapter takes one of the entries in the Lapidary as a provocation for a narrative which uses the language of stones to discuss illness, human-lithic intimacy, questions of life and death across geological timescales, biopolitics of extractive mining, stones as toxins and pollutants in late capitalism, and how the incorruptibility of precious stones becomes a visual metaphor for the desire for immortality.
In this first chapter, a pseudo-scientific paper narrates the intention to discover whether, using the empirical methods of pre-Enlightenment Western philosophy combined with animistic frameworks present throughout Western thought, stones are alive, if considered over vastly extended timeframes, and beyond anthropocentric terms for life. Interspersed with this, is a slow motion drama of a human-lithic being searching for another, finding one another, and having a sexy dance together against some rocks in a woodland quarry.