XENOS

XENOS

XENOS Jyoti Mistry, director Fred Nordström, cinematographer; Chris Letcher, composer XENOS was originally intended as a triptych installation consisting of three short films screened simultaneously with a single soundtrack. The piece explores various themes of foreignness and invites the question of time across geographical spaces to consider the “alien” or “exotic,” and how over time what is foreign comes to be assimilated and made “natural.” In the version adapted for this journal the three films can be streamed separately in any order, and the musical score has been reworked from the original.   Xenos 1 explores the idea of botanical histories and looks at the introduction of Jacaranda Trees to South Africa from Brazil. Over the last 100 years these trees have been “naturalized” to the arid South African high-veld and are considered part of the geography of the landscape. They form an indelible part of South African identity. Xenos 2 reflects on the bionic evolution of human form with references to cyborg theory as a way of exploring human possibilities for the future. Xenos 3 considers the relationship between language and the ability for humans to create modes of expression that signify a desire to mark their existence. This sequence, filmed at the Cradle of Humankind in South Africa, is an expression of various languages and its significance in describing human experience. In a bid to reveal aspects of the production processes in the creation of the work we include a link to a discussion by cinematographer Fred Nordström who reflects on his collaboration with director Jyoti Mistry on the project. And below is a conversation between Mistry...