• 00:01 Ancestral entanglement
  • 04:13 Ancestral Clouds, Ancestral Claims
  • 07:46 Poetics and representation
  • 12:54 Planetary body horror
  • 25:04 Nuclear horror
  • 28:00 Plastic scales
  • 32:45 The elemental
  • 43:15 Places, people and bodies in space as research
  • 49:14 Recreating experiences and conversations
  • 51:39 The autobiographical
12/06/2023 60' 51''
Still of the film by Denise Ferreira da Silva and Arjuna Neuman, 4 Waters: Deep Implicancy

Artist, filmmaker, and writer Arjuna Neuman has been working in tandem with philosopher Denise Ferreira da Silva since 2016. The result of their collaboration is an ongoing series of films and installations that merge poetics and critical theory, in a dreamlike polyptych that is disorientating and grounding in equal parts. A poignant and profoundly emotional take on the ethical-political challenges of the global present, which the duo constructs through human and non-human perspectives, across different scales of existence. Their so-called “elemental cinema”—part documentary and part personal essay—considers often overlapping events and disasters of the past, present and future history of the planet: from slavery and police brutality to ecological collapse and the biodiversity crisis.

These films, which stem from the question “what would become of the human if expressed by the elements?”, engage with this effective blend of poetics and theory—and with their own formal and structural elements—to propose alternatives to the destructive consequences of Western constructs. Borrowing editing and narrative techniques from a wide range of cinematic tropes and music, they conjure up ghostly presences and evoke timelessness.

We sat down with Arjuna Neuman to talk about planetary body horror, wind, clouds, blues, tenderness, and the not so evident autobiographical threads in their films.

Conversation: Roc Jimémez de Cisneros, Ricardo Cárdenas, Noela Covelo and Anna Ramos. Script and sound production: Roc Jiménez de Cisneros. Music: Charlie Patton, 'High Water Everywhere, Part 1'. Voice over: Javiera Cadiz.
Son[i]aClimate changeessayancestryphilosophyArjuna Neuman

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