Francesco Zenati: Interviews, Texts, and Inspiration

person in front of plant and brick wall

This past week I returned from Italy to the US. I downloaded footage that I shot in Italy. Attached are some stills form the footage below. I was very attracted to meditative moving images of nature. I feel like they provide a stark contrast to the visual culture on the internet that facilities reflection and clarity with regard to the medium. I was very inspired by the work of Joana Pimenta, a graduate student in film and visual studies and critical media practice at Harvard University. I saw her film “As figuras gravadas na faca com a seiva das bananeiras” and had a visceral “aha moment” as to how my film could get across the attraction and delusion inherent in abuse of social media (esp. instagram): that is I want this to be a meditation on not only the rhetoric but also the visceral experience of social media in general and the type of interpersonal relationships on the media. Contrasting the therapeutic effects of nature with the atmosphere and rhetoric of social media culture may allow for reflection on the repressed intricacies of the media.

I find these posts most effective in reflection on my film, but I did find that instagram users who committed ‘social media suicide’ (that is, quitting all social media) referenced nature as the antithesis. Two texts that are inspiring my research are an iD article about the lines between career and entertainment in use of instagram among young artists in new york city (the author is a friend of mine; I hope to be able to obtain an interview for the film) and a bbc article on the effects of nature on recovering from trauma.

I was able to download footage from an interview I shot with photographer and filmmaker Tyler Mitchell on his experience with social media (esp. instagram) as a medium for diffusion of art. Find a still below.

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