(2019, 11 minutes)
This stunning otherworldly short film takes a deep dive into lichen, a species that confounds scientists to this day. Shot in macro 3D, Lichen offers us a look at this remarkable life form and asks what we might learn from it. Ancient and diverse, both an individual and a community, lichens can live in the most extreme environments, including outer space. This meditative film bridges science and philosophy, and the words of lichenologist Trevor Goward illuminate the terrain in poetic and thought-provoking ways.
"Seemingly in response to the questions of scale that surrounded and informed the project, Jackson’s remarkable Lichen consisted of close-up footage of the composite organisms, accompanied at first by the fluttery compositions of Japanese ambient composer Hiroshi Yoshimura before being supplemented by the voice of self-taught lichen specialist Trevor Goward. Shot in a darkened studio where the specimens were accented by impressionistic movements that produced the effect of passing planets, the tiniest objects of inquiry here became the most cosmic and otherworldly." - Canadian Art Magazine
Lichen was inspired by a feature article in Scientific American by Erica Gies, “The Meaning of Lichen: How a self-taught naturalist unearthed hidden symbioses in the wilds of British Columbia —and helped to overturn 150 years of accepted scientific wisdom.”
"Diving deep into lichens, Lisa Jackson’s film invites us to focus close attention on these symbiotic beings. Seeing lichens anew yields illumination onto our wider world: that systems are the primary agent of biology, that organisms, systems, and Earth itself have agency.” -Erica Gies, Independent writer, National Geographic Explorer
Director: Lisa Jackson
Producer: Janine Marchessault
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