The project draws from research carried out by the pair in the oil-and-mining frontier in the Ecuadorian Amazon— one of the most biodiverse and mineral-rich regions on Earth, currently under pressure from the dramatic expansion of large-scale extraction activities. At the heart of Forest Law is a series of landmark legal cases that bring the forest to court and plead for the rights of nature. One particularly paradigmatic trial that has recently been won by the indigenous people of Sarayuku based on their cosmology of the living forest.
The project it a collaboration with Brazilian architect Paulo Tavares. It emerges from dialogues—between us and our practices, the camera and the forest, and, most importantly, ourselves and the many people whom we encountered while traveling through Amazonia in November 2013.
Forest Law is a synchronized video projection (38 min.) shot with two cameras, a photo-text assemblage unfolding the background to these cases, and an artist book. Taken together, the collection of personal testimonies and factual evidence presented here expose the multiple dimensions of the tropical forest as a physical, legal, and cosmological entity.
Forest Law has been realized in a close reading of Michel Serres “The Natural Contract”