The interdisciplinary workshop Becoming Stones
aims to explore the delineation between life and non-life on the basis of stones through filmmaking process. Stones are archives that are not of a closed past, but active agents in the present, as well as offering potential future narratives. How can these stones be used as a narrative device to re-tell broader historical and social movements that revolves around the idea of disaster, and to further the futuristic narrative? Filmmaking process involves gathering archives, documents, images and sounds, testimonies, arguments, and memories. Imaginative engagement with that which has been rendered invisible is also fundamental to visual materialisation of the idea of disaster. The workshop will focus on relationships between discourse and making, and being and becoming, and material and spirit.
Jeju Island was formed by volcanic activity which began about 1.8 million years ago and continued sporadically until about 4-5000 years ago. Halla Mountain, the only mountain in Jeju, is the highest in South Korea at 1947 meters above sea level, and it stands in the centre of the island as visible testament to Jeju’s volcanic history. Some 360 volcanic cones called ‘Oreum’ arise across the landscape of Jeju. Together with Halla Mountain, they make up Jeju Island: Jeju has risen from the middle of ocean, a nation of stone and wind.
Stones have structured Jeju’s ecosystems and its islanders’ lives. There is no nutrient-rich soil in Jeju – the landscape is volcanic rock – which makes it a challenging environment for farming. Tenaciously, Jeju people have ploughed this infertile land, picking out stones to cultivate the soil. Most stone walls in Jeju are built by hand, drystone: stacking one stone atop another without mortar or plaster to bind them. There are gaping holes and spaces between the rocks. Walls look as though they could topple over at any moment, but in fact they rarely collapse. It was hard work to remove all the stones from the fields to start farming, and most islanders settled around the Oreum, where there was an abundance of the stones that were used to construct villages and towns across the island. From prehistory to the present, people here have been optimizing local, natural and human resources to organize their living and working space – not only the rural communities who are deeply rooted in the elemental, but also professionals in the construction industry. Jeju’s stone walls mark the origins of pre-historical architecture, the central axes of ecosystems, demarcations of farmers’ lands, traces of mankind’s survival in a barren environment, sustainable practices.
Participants are encouraged to collect their findings as materials from the series of lectures and field trips offered by Disaster Haggyo to the filmmaking. We will explore the historical, architectural and aesthetic aspects of stone particularly in relation to the context of 4.3. uprising and will build a Bangsatap 방사탑 collectively which will be instructed by stonemason, Hwan Jin Cho (Head of Dolbitna School of Art Incorporated).
- WHAT TO PREPARE BEFORE THE WORKSHOP: collect audiovisual materials in advance. Document images & sounds & texts from the series of lectures and field trips and write down your observations, thoughts, speculations, and feelings that are going to be elements of the film.
* Participants need to bring their own iPhone or android phone to film
- Each group members will take a role amongst cinematographer, narrator (writer), and maker/ editor. A single person can take multiple roles.
- A technical advisor will guide you how to edit a film. A video editing tutorial session will be provided.