Dorothea Gibbs

Dorothea Gibbs

Dorothea is a filmmaker specialising in the natural environment and the arts. Her work has been nominated for funding awards from ARTE and Sundance. Dorothea is Head of Production at Third Channel, the organization behind content for art spaces such as TATE and V&A. In March 2015 her “evocative and moving” animation about Russell Page’s imagined dream garden was exhibited in the Garden Museum and featured in the Telegraph. Keen to push the boundaries of film, she is currently developing a series of innovative films in the brave new world of Virtual Reality.

Dorothea on Human Nature

I place huge importance on the peace and quiet of the countryside and feel happy, exhilarated and more myself when I am in uninterrupted nature.  Our lives are constantly infused with technology, on average we spend eight hours of every day on electronic devices and our ability to enjoy the beauty of nature is increasingly obliterated by both narcissism and a need to “be connected”. Often the need to take a selfie of “enjoying” nature, usurps the actual peaceful enjoyment of it. I have also become interested in how being connected in a superficial way through social media somehow creates the illusion of a friendship, sometimes even replacing real interaction.

One of my dearest and oldest friends died recently and very suddenly; he was only 33 years old. He was a nature lover and spent any time that he was not in his editing studio in Soho, gardening and planting in the woods near his house in Buckinghamshire. Trying to remember the last time I spent time with him I looked back at our Facebook messages. Spanning seven years, they were an intermittent flurry of random work chat, favour asking and missed opportunities. I realised we had not met up in the whole time that we were connected by this social network, which was creating the illusion of being connected without allowing us to build any real memories. So I wanted to create an immersive film for Human Nature that explores technology’s role in disconnecting us from both the natural and human world around us. By shooting the film in my favourite place in the world, on the North Norfolk coast, I hope the experience might also inspire a renewed appreciation for the sights and sounds of nature.

Virtual Reality is an astounding new technology that has the ability to disconnect us from reality more than anything that has come before it. By employing this incredible new medium for my Human Nature piece, I wanted to both highlight the power of technology to inspire and create, and hint at its power to take away.

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