Jim Hobbs
Monchegorsk

Patrick Beveridge & Mikhail Kozlov, 2012
16mm colour, silent
100’
I read about the land surrounding a town with nickel and copper producing factories in northern Russia in a news item. The emissions from the factory chimney stacks were linked to damage to the local environment, particularly in land closest to the town where developments in the ecology had also come about. These, I later learned, have been studied by ecologists from the University of Turku. This short film stems from writing to their supervisor, Mikhail Kozlov, expressing interest in the region and their research. His willingness to engage in a correspondence, and then to show me fieldwork sites, may well have been due to their own concerns that the majority of studies of evolutionary adaptations to extreme environments, have tended to focus on where these environments occur naturally, and over long time spans. The areas I filmed, where the variety of plant species had been altered, were to the north and south of town. Since the mid seventies the emissions were dispersed there, mainly due to the predominance of meridional winds in this part of the world. I would like to think of my film as having some affinity attempts to develop the idea of landscape in contemporary art.
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