FEAST is the 4th film in a series of experimental films that I am directing for my thesis work at the Digital Arts and New Media Program at the University of California Santa Cruz.
FEAST starts with a shot that pulls back to unveil pockets of birds that have collected to feast on the remains of an animal. Bird masks and wings will adorn the performers. Scarcity is abundant and abundance is scarce. All will have food but some will have more scrumptious parts than others. It’s a line of skills, strength, quickness, diversion, and strategy. All have their tactics. After the feast the birds come together in song. Belting a beautiful chorus. A funeral, a Wake. Community, family, celebration.
FEAST is a commentary on the importance of a healthy ecology by integrating the human relationship with the natural, social, and built environments through the representation of Scavenger bird behavior tactics and human social feeding behaviors. Scavengers are an important part of the energy flow of the food chain and an integral part in understanding the community and ecosystem processes. Scavenger birds have a high tolerance to survive with the ability to digest carrion that has already started to decompose. However with the loss of habitat, the pollution of human bi-product, and climate change, the biodiversity of these birds is being lost. The birds represented are habitants of California with a specific focus on the California condor, as it is an example of and unbalanced ecosystem where humans have impacted its environment almost to the point of its extinction.
The other commentary is on human social feeding behaviors, the social dynamics that arise in the community and the family by way of gathering to feast together. In the human world this performance is a Wake, the celebration of a life passing, giving the physical remains back to the Earth and the soul free to pass on. In this picture Queen Mae and the Bells performed Table Manners where we explored the idea of hunger, and habits. The Table was fit with a contact microphone that amplified the scratching and scraping of utensils on a glass top. The dripping of water from the ice sculptures signified time passing. In this story, food was never brought to the table, instead the beings had to surpass feelings of hunger and understand that the company of each other could fill the appetite of the soul where food could not.