Mad Flora and Fauna by Stephanie Heit and Charli Brissey (Video, 4:09min, 2022)
An otherworldly being dressed in mood stabilizer blister pack garb navigates the edges of water, land, and psychiatric worlds.
A video/movement/poem composed of lines from Heit’s PSYCH MURDERS (Wayne State University Press, 2022)
Access notes: The video is subtitled (press the CC button). All text is read out loud. There is an image description at the opening. For an expanded image description, please scroll down.
Image Description: Mad Flora and Fauna
Image description and title in white on a black screen. Film opens with a shot onto a lake with advancing waves with beach rocks in the foreground. The waves move in and out covering and uncovering the rocks. Underwater close-ups of water bubbles. Next: underwater mad amphibian human wearing black tank top, focus on goose bumped bare white arms with trailing silver mood stabilizer blister pack garb. Next: mad amphibian human with torso and head out of water, arms extending the blister pack garb catching the sun in horizontal lines, head back with eyes closed. Next: mad amphibian on shore with feet in water bending over with one arm extended to ground, slowly moving upward with blister pack garb flying in wind. Next: face submerging and slowly moving arms/garb underwater then slowly rising with hair slick to face, blister pack gills at neck, arms crossed in front. Next: on shore crouched down with fingers tracing patterns in the sand. Next: standing with arms stretching backwards like wings, garb trailing in wind. Next: walking out of water. Next: close up of abstract water bubbles, filling the screen, glimpses of what might be rocks. Next: amphibian on shore raising arms slowly up with garb, lake with sailboat in background. Next: amphibian walks backwards toward shore, turns with garb flying in wind, placing feet carefully on the beach, sailboat slowly crosses screen. Next: shot onto the lake with advancing waves with beach rocks in the foreground, silhouette of a person for a moment. Credits in white on a black screen.
Stephanie Heit (she/her) is a queer disabled poet, dancer, teacher, and codirector of Turtle Disco, a somatic writing space on Anishinaabe land in Ypsilanti, Michigan. She is a Zoeglossia Fellow, bipolar, and a member of the Olimpias, an international disability performance collective. Her book of hybrid memoir poems PSYCH MURDERS (Wayne State University Press, 2022) invites the reader inside psychiatric wards and shock treatments toward new futures of care. The Color She Gave Gravity (The Operating System, 2017) explores the seams of language, movement, and mental health difference. https://stephanie-heit.com
For screen readers, here is an image description: Headshot of Stephanie Heit, a white queer disabled cis woman smiling, wearing a purple wrap, with brown wavy hair in a bob. She is on (perhaps in, feet dangling) the Huron River with background muted green of tree leaves, and dappled light before dusk.
Charli Brissey (they/them) is an interdisciplinary artist who works choreographically with various technologies and materials. This primarily includes bodies, cameras, gender, desire, instincts, language, and ecosystems. They are invested in movement practices to illuminate the role of nonhumans in formation-practices of self and material environment, and turn to interspecies ecologies to challenge distinctions between nature and culture. They primarily make live performances, installations, and films, and are currently finishing their first book project, an experimental weaving of auto-theory, speculative fiction, and somatic invitations. charlibrisseyisananimal.com
For screen readers, here is an image description: Headshot of Charli Brissey looking into the camera. They have short dark hair and are wearing glasses and a red and blue Paisley print patterned blouse.