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Karel Doing: Phytography + In Vivo

Cinema Ecologica: Karel Doing Special

Karel Doing makes fabulous images on a layer of emulsion using flowers and leaves. After giving a workshop earlier this afternoon, where the participants collaborated on two animations made using plants from the immediate surroundings of Eye, the results are shown during this in-depth lecture featuring Doing’s short phytographic films and Doing’s latest film In Vivo, with live music by Gareth Davis.

poster Cinema Ecologica: Karel Doing Special
Karel Doing gives a film lecture on phytography, illustrated by short films and the results of a workshop he will be giving this afternoon in Eye. This involves recording traces of plants on the film’s emulsion using plant sap, outside in the sunlight. The evening will close with Karel Doing’s latest film, In Vivo. Preceded by three short films:


  • The Mulch Spider's Dream (Karel Doing, GB 2018, 14')

    This film attempts to kindle the vision of a spider by using experimental phytochemistry; creating organic shapes, rhythms and colours directly on expired 16mm film. The film is literally made in the artist's back garden, using weeds and biodegradable chemistry to make images on expired film stock.

  • Phytography (Karel Doing, GB 2020, 8')

    Phytography dives into the rich and varied world of plant chemistry. This collection of organic 'objets trouvés' demonstrates how nature generates multiple creative solutions, each one structured intricately. Through the application of a simple chemical process, the selected leaves, petals and stems have imprinted their own images on the film's emulsion. Shapes, colours and rhythms whirl across the screen drawing the viewer into a world beyond language and speech. The film taps into a realm of mutualism and generosity, readily available despite the environmental havoc caused by human greed and overconsumption.

  • A Perfect Storm (Karel Doing, GB 2022, 3')

    A Perfect Storm is a landscape film or, more precisely, a landscape imprinted on the film's emulsion. The artist has used seeds, tiny composite flowers and other small elements of cultivated plants that grow in his garden and wild plant species gathered from a nearby nature reserve. The film consists of sequences that are intricately composed and parts that are completely 'self-organised'. As such plants appear not merely as inanimate objects but rather as characters who are expressive in their own right.

  • Workshop results

    Presentation of the results of Karel Doing's phytography workshop in the form of two film loops with an improvised soundtrack.

  • In Vivo (Karel Doing, GB 2021, 61')

    In this elegy humans appear like ants, walking around their habitat in a preprogrammed way, while animals and plants act like individuals. This upside-down world has a strange attraction which is at once alienating and deeply familiar.

    The surface of the film material itself is present like a skin that breathes and interacts with the living world in manifold ways: grainy, ephemeral, tinted, vibrating. Time and space are blurred into a reality that is both specific and universal. The film is simultaneously a documentary, a home movie and a symphony. We see scraps of the filmmaker's personal history including encounters with his friends and family. But beyond those commonplace scenes, the film offers an unusual encounter with the real, embedded in a delicate composition of images and sounds.

    A recurring doomsday clock is counting down, reminding us that in the here and now species are disappearing rapidly from the planet. How long does it take to realise that our destructive behaviour is irreversible and threatens to destroy everything we love?

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Karel Doing

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151 min.

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Cinema Ecologica

Much in life is uncertain, but one thing is sure: climate change. Cinema Ecologica focuses on how film directors depict the relationship between humanity and the earth: from nail-biting disaster films to artistic meditations, from romantic nature experiences to astounding science fiction.

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campaign image Cinema Ecologica

Why in Eye

A dyed-in-the-wool experimenter, filmmaker Karel Doing goes in search of ways to make film sustainable: organic 16mm films made using plant sap and table salt.

still In Vivo (Karel Doing, GB 2021)
still Phytography (Karel Doing, GB 2020)
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