Ten Fears of Representation, Production and Meaning

Running thoughts we had while working on the film "we fly, we crawl, we swim - a short film about climate justice".

I. If we combine fact with fiction, what if they will believe the fiction but not the fact?


II. If we don’t represent everyone, does it invizibilize them? If we do, does it tokenize them?


III. If we “anthropomorphize”, what if we’re not taken seriously? If we don’t “anthropomorphize”, don’t we further alienate those we are similar to?


IV. If there is any reason to misunderstand, will they? If there is no reason to claim their own understanding, is it even worth saying?


V. If we get one thing wrong, what if they’ll say everything is wrong?  

     A. If we misunderstood one sub-aspect of the theory, will the whole structure crumble?

     B. If the story-argument does not follow in a typical logical manner, does it follow at all?

     C. Will we still stand by it in five years? What if we don’t? 


VI. When we put together the sounds with the visuals with the words, what if we lose all grasp of the meaning they produce together?

     A. When the mix produces new meaning, does it keep the old meaning as well?

     B. What is the ideal quantity of meaning? 


VII. When the timing is too slow, it gets boring if it doesn’t hurt. When it is too fast, you don’t have time to feel the hurt. If there is too much hurt, the audience leaves. 


VIII. How should one try to represent those who are almost-always mis-represented?


IX. How to speak with other voices that are not yours? How to draw other images that are not you? How to animate them? What sounds do they make? How to erase yourself from the process? How to stay in the process, knowing there is no neutrality? How to both be and not be? 


X. When doing the work of making-worlds, of bringing-together, of mixing-producing-creating, know you will always be a little bit off. Hope you are not way off. Hope your mistakes are less wrong than other current mistakes. It’s the most you can hope.