Documentary Polyptychs: Multi-Screen Video Art on a Theme of Climate Change

“I believe that the next generation of cinema — broadband cinema — will add multiple windows to its language. When this happens, the tradition of spatial narrative which twentieth century cinema suppressed will re-emerge once again.” — Lev Manovich, The Language of New Media.

How do the documentary form’s strategies for creating meaning change when it moves to multiple screens (or windows) as film & video installation art? When montage, instead of being temporal, becomes spatial?

The documentary subject matter with which Adam explores these ideas is anthropogenic climate change. Specifically, the disconnect between the way we live our lives and the effects of our actions upon the environment.

Without delivering a climate change polemic, it is perhaps timely to explore how this crucial dissociation, of cause and effect, of today’s action and tomorrow’s result, of behaviour here and outcome there, might be addressed through a formalistic development: documentary polyptychs.

Adam Sébire