A COUPLE OF YEARS AGO, as I was turning 50, I took a step back from my day-to-day life as a visual artist to think about what’s most important, and what I should focus on for the next chapter of my life. The answer was clear: climate change, because it threatens the wellbeing of just about every living being on the planet.
I’m an optimist, and I do believe that we can and will stop climate change and create a more just and equitable world in the process, but I am also convinced that things are going to get worse before they get better.
Art has a unique power to reach people when facts and arguments can’t. Deep Green: Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument is a 24-hour-long, single-take landscape film with immersive sound that captures the beauty and fragility of a wilderness that is threatened by climate change. The Schneider Museum of Art in Ashland, Oregon will exhibit the film and preserve it in their permanent collection for future generations.
In mid-July, after days of scouting remote backcountry locations, I found a remarkable boulder-studded meadow high on a ridge overlooking layers of old growth forest, with the Monument's most unusual geological feature, Pilot Rock, far in the background. I shot the film there with a crew of five on July 20, under a bright gibbous moon, recording in ultra-high-definition ProRes Raw HQ from midnight to midnight. The final step is post-production, which includes sound, color-correction and transcoding.
Art can change how we see the world. Join me as I complete this film in time for its premiere at the Schneider Museum of Art this summer.
WHY THIS IS IMPORTANT
The Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument is one of the most beautiful and biodiverse wildlands in North America, but it is threatened by climate change. Last summer, an enormous wildfire roared up from Northern California, burned the southernmost part of this wilderness and then, miraculously, stopped when the wind shifted, sparing most of the Monument. Next summer, we may not be so lucky. And when it eventually burns, it will never be the same, because rising temperatures and drier weather mean that different species will thrive as it regrows.
Recording a 24-hour cycle in the life of this remarkable and precious place will both raise awareness of what we have to lose if climate change continues unabated, and preserve an endangered landscape experience so that one day our great-great grandchildren might be able to see and hear what this incredible wild land was like in the early 21st century, when the natural world was on the brink of an unprecedented transformation.
You can learn more about the project, and my intentions, in this interview that Kickstarter recently published on Medium.
If we reach our goal here, we’ll be able to finish this project and ensure its safekeeping in the museum's collection. And if we exceed our goal, we'll be able get started on the next film in this ongoing effort to raise awareness of how climate change threatens our natural environment.
ABOUT MARK TRIBE
Mark is an artist whose films, photographs and paintings explore the relationship between landscape and technology. His work has been exhibited at the Centre Pompidou and the Palais de Tokyo in Paris, the Corcoran Gallery in Washington DC, Diverse Works and the Menil Collection in Houston, the Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, MUAC in Mexico City, Museo de Antioquia in Medellín, the National Center for Contemporary Arts in Moscow, the New Museum and the Queens Museum in New York, SITE Santa Fe, and numerous other museums and galleries.
He is the author of two books, The Port Huron Project: Reenactments of New Left Protest Speeches (Charta, 2010) and New Media Art (Taschen, 2006), and his work has been reviewed or discussed in Artforum, Art in America, Artnews, the Daily Beast, Die Welt, El Pais, Flash Art, Frieze, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Hyperallergic, the Los Angeles Times, Newsweek, the New York Times, and many other publications.
In 1996, he founded Rhizome, a nonprofit organization that supports the creation, presentation, preservation, and critique of emerging artistic practices that engage technology.
Your support will help cover the following costs:
- Production crew, including Cinematographer and Audio Recordist Kent Romney, Assistant Camera Brian Jackson, Second Assistant Camera Tripp White, and Production Assistants Keegan Van Hook and Louis Bengson.
- Post-production, including the audio mix, color correction and transcoding.
- Secure storage, including one year of cloud-based data archiving and purchase of an additional hard drive array (RAID).
If climate change is an existential threat, then climate justice is the solution! Climate justice recognizes that those most responsible for climate change — oil companies, those who own them, and the politicians who take their money — should shoulder their share of the burden, and that it will take a massive grassroots movement to hold them accountable. I am turning to Kickstarter to engage a broad community in this project, so that you can join me in raising awareness of the connection between climate change and wild places we cherish, and amplify the message that the land is changing, and it’s up to us to save it.
Risks and challenges
Shooting a 24-hour-long, single-take film in a remote wilderness is hard. Technically, we had to figure out how to store 12 terabytes of data (we shot in 4K UHD ProRes RAW HQ at 24 fps) and how to power a camera, two data recorders, an audio recorder and a laptop for 30+ hours (no generators allowed in the wilderness). It was also a minor feat of endurance, because the camera requires constant monitoring and frequent adjustments to maintain correct exposure as light conditions change. I had financial help from the Schneider Museum, and logistical support from the Bureau of Land Management and the Friends of the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument. The Sourdough Chapter of the Back Country Horsemen of Oregon helped us pack our camera gear in and out of the mountains.
We shot the film in July, so the main challenge now is post-production, which includes audio mixing, color correction, and secure data storage and backups. This phase is both time-consuming and expensive, given the film’s extreme duration and the sheer size of the files, but this is my second 24-hour-long film, so I’ve worked out the process and am confident that I’ll be able to see it through to completion.
To protect against data loss, I’ve made multiple backup copies of the video and audio files, and am storing them in different physical locations.
If I encounter delays in finishing postproduction or making the rewards, I’ll reach out to each supporter personally.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (31 days)