“Imagine alien visitors arriving on Earth in the remote future.” Jan Zalasiewicz's The Earth after us, and the seminal Lynn Margulis' Microcosmos inspired this mockumentary (e.g. the voice over, a re-adaptation of them, where past tense verbs are turned into future tense, embedding the fantasy of a future already set as past).
The idea that symbiosis, the living together and sometimes merging of different species of organisms, is crucial to the evolution of life forms on Earth, is the underpinning concept of this work.

Among future screenings:
PIP final exhibition, Madrid, Institute Postnatural Studies, 2023
Visible Evidence XXIX with Film Forum, Udine, 2023
Ocean Space TBA21 with ZHdk, Venice, 2024

  • Sara Bonaventura
  • Adiacenze
  • Gianmarco Leprozo
  • Olia Svetlanova
  • Sara Bonaventura
  • Elisa Muliere
  • Bologna Zero Waste
  • FabLab Treviso
  • Project Type:
    Animation, Documentary, Experimental
  • Runtime:
    8 minutes
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Fiber Festival - Short Film Programme
  • Performing Media Festival SMBA South Bend Museum of Art
    South Bend (Indiana)
    United States
  • CAOS museum
    March 17, 2022
  • Pleasure Dome w/ Counterarchive
    May 24, 2022
  • Elipsis: Cinematographic Arts and Sciences International Meeting
    Ciudad de Mexico
  • G Biennale - International Film Festival
    Best Experimental
  • Transient Visions: Festival of the Moving Image
    Johnson City, NY
    United States
  • International Videoart Forum
    Saudi Arabia
  • Inner reflection / Time refraction
    Iran, Islamic Republic of
  • IDKF 2022 - Exhibition
  • Nature & Culture – International Poetry Film Festival
  • ikonoTV at COP27, Art speaks out – videos for our climate
    Sharm el Sheikh
  • Shapes of water / Stories of water, OnCurating,
  • Film Forum Festival & Visible Evidence
  • MUFF Marseille Underground Film Festival
  • Visible Evidence XIX - Documentary Ecologies 2023, Screenings
  • GAIA Festival curated by Miden Festival
  • Climate Matters Symposium - Depictions of Living at DGHE
    United Kingdom
Director Biography - Sara Bonaventura

Sara Bonaventura (1982) is an Italian visual artist and educator.
She works at the intersection between visual and media arts, lens based media and new media. As independent videographer she has been collaborating with performers and musicians, directing clips, ads, curating visuals.
Her video works have been screened worldwide; at the NYC Anthology Film Archives, the San Francisco Independent Short Film Festival, at the Ann Arbor Film Festival, the Asolo Art Film Festival, at Studio 303 for the Montreal Nuit Blanche, the Miami New Media Festival, the Athens Digital Arts Festival, at Rome MACRO Museum, the Cinemateca do MAM in Rio for Dobra Festival, the MOMus in Thessaloniki for Videolands curated by Miden Festival, the itinerant Time is Love screening curated by Kisito Assangni, the Mexico City CODEC festival, Other Cinema at San Francisco ATA Gallery, the LA Echo Park Film Center, the Boston Cyber Arts Gallery and more.
She won the Veneto Region Award at the 10th Lago Film Fest and a merit for the 2019 Sino per NIIO Illumination Art Prizes, with one of her work displayed in one of the world biggest public screen in Hong Kong; she has been selected for several residencies, i.e. in 2016 by Joan Jonas at Fundacion Botin (Santander, Spain). Recently selected for the ISEA 2019, the International Symposium for Electronic Arts, in Gwangju, South Korea. She recently released her debut documentary, Forest Hymn for Little Girls.

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Director Statement

Our own role in evolution is transient and expendable in the context of the rich layer of interliving beings forming the planet’s surface. We may pollute the air and waters for our grandchildren and hasten pur own demise, but this will exert no effect on the continuation of the microcosm. (…) after we die we return to our forgotten stomping ground. The life forms that recycle the substance of our bodies are primarily bacteria. The microcosm is still evolving around us and within us. The microcosm is evolving as us. — Margulis, Lynn and Sagan, Dorion. Microcosmos. Four billion years of Microbial evolution, University of California Press, 1997

This work is a contribution to a bigger project, ICONOPLAST, that was planned to debut this fall, but cancelled because of the Covid outbreak. The pandemic had an impact on the script development, in particular specific readings, which inspired a cli-fi mockumentary. The idea that symbiosis, the living together and sometimes merging of different species of organisms, is crucial to the evolution of life forms on Earth, is the underpinning concept of this work.

The bigger project in which the work is inscribed is related to plastic, its transformative reuse and more broadly its acritical pervasive consumption, as pollutant that is omnipresent in our lives. I created every set and props with domestic upcycled commodity plastics I gathered, creating a sort of inventory, per types of polymers (PET, PP, HDPE, PP etc.) but also according to more artistic categories, mainly texture, patterns, versatility and colors.

One of the readings, The Earth after us, by Jan Zalasiewicz, inspired to set the script in a posthuman dimension where plastic debris will become petroleum again, broken down by bacteria, that will digest it and grow in symbiosis with it. I created a world of bacteria melting plastic and molding it with a DIY injector. I drew sections of their cell, inspired by scientific models, but transfiguring them in hybrid organisms, between fiction and reality.

I often play with time dimensions and for this work I intertwined past and future through a detournement of a scientific publication, a book of deep ecology focusing on the contribution of the microbial world on the evolution of life, Microcosmos, by Margulis and Sagan, who called into question the foundations of Darwinism with their version of the past four billions year of non-linear microbial evolution. I chose a few extracts for the voiceover but setting them in the future, simply by changing the verb, from past to future tense. With this chiasm, this misplacement, I want to talk about mutualism and symbiosis, in a transformational watery environment, but at the same time describing a plastisphere of technofossils and plastic particles, of petrified remains of a lost civilisation.
To bypass the rhetoric of anti-anthropocentrism, I try to avoid binary narratives, pursuing an ethical endeavor that involves others, nonhuman beings, to talk to and about humans.