Screen Art and Film Workshop

‘Co-Ex(res)ist’ – An Experimental Piece By Macgregor Seeley

Co-Ex(res)ist (Co-Exist; resist) is an experimental short film by Macgregor Seeley, featuring the environmentalist subject matter of societies interaction with nature; past, present and future. The film is the result of a multi-month long process Macgregor has undertaken, in order to unpack a mental knot, which he had been pondering for quite some time. This mental knot specifically being: humanity trying to control the uncontrollable; Nature. This mental knot took quite some time to come to as upon reflection, it’s the root of a larger discourse which Macgregor has subconsciously been involved in for quite some time. Growing up on Mount Gisborne in the Macedon Ranges, Macgregor’s spent his youth connecting with the natural world. Subsequently, portraiture of nature and themes of environmentalism are heavily reflected within Macgregor’s previous work, however, none quite as intensely as Co-Ex(res)ist.

No matter who you are, or whereabouts in the world you live, the impacts human beings as a society have had on the earth over the past centuries are extremely evident. Greenhouse gasses pollute our atmospheres, tearing wholes in the Ozone layers. Thick clouds of smog and smoke now loom over cities, blocking once clear and pristine views. Plastics run rampant over the earth with the estimated number of micro plastics now in the ocean, being higher than that of marine life. The fragile ecosystem we call home isn’t able to actively sustain the modern life of the Human Being, and if we don’t all do our part to ensure great change is put in place, it won’t be long before our home is no longer.

Inspired by Chris Marker’s ‘Sans Soleil’ (Sunless, 1983), Macgregor Seeley has adopted the Essay Film technique, utilising the filmmaking process as a key mental path to follow, whilst researching and unpacking the inner theme of ‘Controlling the uncontrollable; in regards to nature’. Done so in the spirit of avant garde, through ‘Co-Ex(res)ist’ Macgregor invites the audience to reflect on the subject matter, pulling them into a cathartic, diagetic process, via the technique of Buddhist breathing techniques. The specific breathing technique, developed by the late and enlightening Ram Dass, requires the audience to focus on how their breath flows throughout their body, feeling it engage through their chest and circulate, pushing the energy of their eternal core. By the inclusion of this practice of breathing, Macgregor invites the audience to participate within the visual piece, taking it as a minute to reflect, meditate and embrace stillness. Within this period of stillness, it’s hoped that the audience take part in the audio journey (narrated by Macgregor), reflecting upon it within their own life.

Visually, Co-Ex(res)ist depicts the journey of a group of people climbing a mountain to view a sunset, however through the spectrum of audio, there is a much deeper message being transmitted. The film guides the audience through Macgregor’s own mental journey, allowing them to follow with their ears and breath, to hopefully arrive at a point of self realisation. Macgregor isn’t trying to provide the audience with a solid idea of what they should think or do after watching Co-Ex(res)ist. More so, he is creating an environment where the audience can participate in meditation, stillness, reflection and self thought. By doing so, Co-Ex(res)ist serves as a platform for personal growth and development, hopefully resulting in a drive towards environmentalist transformation.

Co-ex(res)ist from Media Factory on Vimeo.

By Macgregor Seeley



rmitmediastudent • June 4, 2020

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