Australia is consistently ranked one of the worst performing countries in the OECD for action on climate change, the leading cause of which is the mining and burning of coal. Overburden is a research-based moving image work that examines the ecological entanglement of coal in the Latrobe Valley in Victoria. Through sensory ethnographic fieldwork, the industrial-scale processes of mining and power generation will be documented within an ecocritical framework of catastrophic climate change. The coal mine will be interpreted as a signal event in the Anthropocene epoch, constituting a dynamic assemblage of social, environmental and political forces.
Overburden surveys the exposed terrains of ancient sedimentary rock for signs of life vis-à-vis the electrified city; tracing figurative powerlines as they take part in the ancient energy flows across country. Field recordings juxtapose warbling birds and stridulating insects with electrical impulses. Vivid moving images and aerial cinematography attend to the situated connectivities that bind us to the more-than-human. Overburden invites us to consider our place in the complex multispecies ecology of the Latrobe Valley and its future in a precariously balanced world.
*Currently in production