Diapsid, short extract

Diapsid (9.33 minutes), video/sound installation.

Diapsid explores the notion of hauntings in landscapes depleted by loss of diversity within the frame of ecological devastation. Using field recordings and film, Diapsid engages in ‘divination’ to conjure the long-evolving evolutionary strands whose continued existence is now threatened by climate breakdown. The film is composed from data collected during field trips to littoral zone marine caves in N. Devon which have been formed in rock which dates from the Carboniferous or 'carbon bearing' era, and is based on speculative knowledge of organisms from the time when the layers of sediments that formed these rocks were laid down. The earliest-known diapsid is Petrolacosaurus, a small creature which had a heavy ear bone, the stapes, that could not conduct airborne sound and instead, probably transmitted ground vibrations through the limb bones to the skull. Petrolacosaurus is a member of a group that would later evolve into birds. The field work activities which inform this film propose a sensing of the residues of more-than-human in these interstitial environments and a means of becoming attuned with this ambiguous world, seeking to perceive the losses and vestiges of other-than-human lineages.