A Desire For Organic Order, 2016

64 minutes, HD, colour and b+w, sound, nonfiction, experimental.

Lyndsay Mann, A Desire For Organic Order, 2016. Image: HD video still

 

A Desire For Organic Order is an immersive study of the Herbarium and the Centre for Middle Eastern Plants at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. Embedded with histories of nationhood and identity, this sensorially rich environment provides a point of departure for oblique investigations of migration and dispersal, belonging and difference, tracing archive materials to contemporary links between Scotland and the Middle East. A cinematic essay, the film visually and textually explores perception, the way we understand and receive information, and the interconnected underlying themes and experiences that bind the voices in our heads with the spoken voices in our present.

 

Lyndsay Mann, A Desire For Organic Order, 2016. Image: HD video still

 

Exploring the subject of nativeness through collected individual voices past and present, from archive materials and interviews the artist conducted, these personal and openly subjective accounts are numbered and catalogued in the film, and address the topic diversely: from botanical history to the new constitution in Iraq, parapsychology, and Burmese strategies of mind-flight, and includes the last letter written by the artist’s grandfather, stationed in Burma in World War II, which reached home before word of his death.

 

Lyndsay Mann, A Desire For Organic Order, 2016. Image: HD video still

 

The artist is narrator. With no ambition to convince or persuade, her voice fluctuates throughout to avoid a single authoritative position. Voice is part of the fabric of the film; its texture belongs to the images and is not a didactic presence ‘over’ them. Formal and tangential arrangements between voice, image, and research-content produce a series of departures and returns across the surface and content of the film.

 

Lyndsay Mann, A Desire For Organic Order, 2016. Image: HD video still

 

Artist’s statement:
Voice is at the axis of our social bonds, of the internal and the social, the individual and the collective. Voice is the film’s primary material. Filmmaker Trinh T Minh-ha suggests that meaning can be political only when it does not let itself be easily stabilized, when it does not rely on any single source of authority, but rather empties or decentralizes it. In this way, the narrative in A Desire For Organic Order is formed from individual testimonies, journal and diary entries of diverse voices, which collectively and through inconstancy address the subjective details, and non-reasoned experiences, commonly overpowered by grand narratives reliant on the loudest, most repeated or singular voices.
Lyndsay Mann

 

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