Photography acts as both documentation and research in David's practice. From sets of images created in arid zones, to scenes taken whilst travelling.
El Bosque Encarnado
In collaboration with photographer + film-maker Gonzaga Gómez-Cortázar | Literally translated, Encarnado (flesh-red) suggests incarnation, impregnation, or indeed the personification of a place, an object. El bosque: the forest (the arid Sierra Maria-Los Vélez Natural Park), its sometimes-hazardous Aleppo pines, covering most hillsides for miles around: planted by man.
Sketchbook Notes: This patch of forest burned into a surreal vision, extinguished and exaggerated further by vivid artificially red fire-retardant. Man-made substances, poured over ‘natural’. Gómez-Cortázar and I are artists who scrutinize, who document traces. Much of our work is about recognition, about disappearance, about familiarity and indeed the loss of familiarity: this patch of forested hillside we both knew well, rendered unrecognisable, alien. The film is one of contrasts, both aesthetically and conceptually: of a sinister painterly beauty and of tragedy.
Drought and inundation are both sides of the same coin, they come hand in hand with climate change. A warmer world means faster evaporation and ramps up the ability of our atmosphere to hold and transport moisture. This means dry areas of the world like this become even drier, while wet areas get etter. When the rain does arrive it is increasingly likely to be torrential, in the form of a storm, causing flash flooding and stripping soil and nutrients from the land. It was lightning from one such storm that set this patch of hillside alight.
Sketchbook Notes: Much of my 2014 work documented the small events that form part of everyday life for the residents of Cortijada Los Gázquez (an off grid farm-house in the Almería alpine-desert). Things that I previously took for granted: running water, electricity, heating. Things I’d never had to think too much about before. Wood has to be gathered, chopped, stored – to burn for heating, to fuel the boilers. Power gathered by solar panels and a wind turbine. At the time of creating this film, we were experiencing a drought, and so water had to be bottled (almost daily) from the spring in the nearest village (11.5 km away), or brought to the house by tanker. This water is used incredibly carefully, there’s very little water wastage, and even the sewage water is filtered and fed back out to the land, divided into black and grey water. Filmed without stabilization, so as to emulate the rocking motion of a ship at sea, this film documents the arrival of rain: the water tanker. This ancient lumbering beast delivers 10,000 litres of water at a time to the house.
Lens-Based Works CV
The below refers only to photographic/filmed works
El Bosque Encarnado featured on Google Culture
ECOS • Group Show: Screening of El Bosque Encarnado • Curated by Inés García • Sala Rekalde, Bilbao
Till It's Gone • Environment focussed group show • Istanbul Museum of Modern Art • Istanbul, Turkey
Rome Media Art Festival (in partnership with Google) • Film Feature • MAXXI Museum • Rome, Italy
TIVAF (Tasmanian International Video Art Festival) • Tasmania
Featured as an example new-media artist for Joya: arte + ecologia in the book Conservación de Arte Contemporáneo 16ª Jornada
Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Spain
El Bosque Encarnado longlisted for BAFTA Aesthetica Short Film Festival 2015
Participation in Art Speaks Out • Live screening • Berlin, Germany
Presented El Bosque Encarnado during ARTCOP21 • Paris, France
Talk + Presentation of El Bosque Encarnado and Rain (view at vimeo.com/davidcass)
Encuentro Internacional de Arte + Ecología #2 • Joya: arte + ecología
Cortijada Los Gázquez • Andalusia, Spain
Out of Site • Solar Pavilion at Edinburgh Arts Festival
Film collaboration with Joseph Calleja
St Andrew's Square, Edinburgh