Filmmaker, Completed post-graduate program in Arts Marom Itay

5000 €

Observation Diary – A Documentary Video Installation

The video installation Observation Diary’s point of departure will be the observation diaries of Amit Geffen, a young Israeli bird-watcher, who suffered from a genetic disease that kept him small framed and frail. From a young age till his death at 21, Amit had diligently kept observation diaries in which he wrote detailed descriptions of his birdwatching, alongside beautiful drawings of the birds he saw. Due to his illness, he had to develop his own method of observation, which was relatively stationary. He used to watch birds in the most mundane places - behind his house, on the sides of roads and in the hospital yard, where he passed the time between treatments. I see these diaries as manifesting a way of being in the world that is as far from the conventional capitalist understanding of value, achievement and meaning as can be. They demonstrate how familiarity with nature and attention to details can charge even a blank patch of sky with drama, and how a personal process of observing and recording can fill life with meaning. As such, they resonate my own way of thinking and operating as an artist and cinematographer, while challenging me to go further. My project will be a 2-channel video. Pages from the diaries will appear on one screen while a cinematographic diary will be screened next to it. I’m filming my in locations where Amit had bird-watched, taking inspiration from his methods and insights but observing these locations from my own perspective, with my own visual background and cinematographic experience. The soundtrack will consist of conversations I’m recording with people who were close to Amit. Together, we’re investigating the observations, trying to understand Amit’s unique point of view and explore alternative ways of seeing and listening. My plan is to conclude the filming and recording in Israel by the end of the year and then find an appropriate environment, like the Saari Residence, in which to edit the materials into the final piece.