‘these teeming forms’ was shot on England’s South Pennine Moorland in a breath between lockdowns in 2021. These windswept hills formed Joseph’s adolescent horizon and they have returned there in adulthood, walking out into the land holding grief, seeking connection.
The film has a sensate and mythic quality; performance actions to camera are collaged with cyanotype printing processes of analogue photography, speculative texts and an original score.
The wet, wily moorland contains large peat deposits, produced over thousands of years as normative processes of decomposition are frustrated by the great quantity of water that falls on the hills. The peat is a collage of animal and plant matter, minerals and weather. Like the body, the land is an archive. The film is framed by an interview with the artist’s father, who speaks of his own remembrance of a haunting adolescent encounter many decades previously.
Queer ecologes are imagined here as a process of wilding, of entering the land and being opened by it. Memory and desire, history and loss, future and fantasy become porous, contributing to a textural and sensate meditation on living.
these teeming forms was commissioned by ]performance s p a c e[ and supported using public funds by Arts Council England.