Margin of Knowledge and Montage of Sense

  In a researcher’s fieldwork, we can discover “potential for shaping the future society” in a variety of lives. To put it in simpler terms, this “potential” is a glimpse of wisdom, ingenuity and wonder in our lives. In other words, we believe that wisdom, ingenuity, and surprise in everyday life will be very important for shaping the society of the future.

  The term “researcher” refers to people with very advanced and specialized knowledge and skills. Even for such researchers, the potential in our lives offers many opportunities for learning and honing their research. However, the results of researchers’ research are almost always presented in highly specialized contexts, such as in papers and conferences, and the general public rarely comes into contact with them.

  What we think is important in the project Living Montage is that the potential in our lives, which in academic contexts has been placed on the periphery as the “margin” of research results, is reexamined as a living resource or discovery through a cross-disciplinary “Montage of Sense” and its value is discovered. To this end, through the activities of this project, we would like to invite a cross-catalytic reorganization of the different cultures and specialties of researchers and artists, and to create a “Site” to share the “Margin of Knowledge” that can be found in our daily lives.

  So far, we have been filming in Kenya, Burkina Faso, Tanzania, Vietnam, Indonesia, East Timor and Japan, mainly in the field of researchers at the Research Institute for Humanity and Nature (RIHN). In this project, we plan to work in four main frameworks at the moment, utilizing the images we are filming around the world.

1. New model of visual media expression and viewing experience
2. Educational materials as a “toolbox” that can be freely used
3. Platform on the Web
4. Development into social practice

1. New model of visual media expression and viewing experience

  Through the use of video footage recorded from field research, we will explore the balance between cultural documentation and artistic expression, while expressing the senses and thoughts of researchers and people in the target area, along with the various ways and climates of life. The deliverables will be widely exhibited in galleries, cinemas and museums.
  In addition, we would like to present this work as a new model of visual media and viewing experience, focusing on “documentation” to bring the “margins of knowledge” to life, rather than just using existing formats.

2. Educational materials as a “toolbox” that can be freely used

  Artists and researchers will work together to develop educational materials as a “toolbox” that can be used freely in the field of education by compiling the results of research into a “device that makes use of images” to convey knowledge in the field of expertise to multiple senses. By doing so, we aim to build new research on educational activities for learning about human interaction with nature, transcending specialized fields and leading to Citizen Science.
  In addition, by taking advantage of the characteristics of video media, which allows sharing of the research process, we will provide feedback through video among related parties as needed.

3. Platform on the Web

  In order to share the results of the project widely, we will post articles related to the field research, sell goods related to the support activities, and post works by related artists and filmmakers on the web.
  In addition, we will use it as a platform for people to meet indirectly through the “Site” on the Internet and realize various ideas.

4. Development into social practice

  In this project, we will also carry out activities that will help to address the various issues at the individual sites that will be documented through video. An important part of our relationship with people across Asia and Africa who are experiencing poverty and other problems is our support for their livelihoods.
  For example, this includes sales channel formation and brand development using video materials to support the creation of spice crop-based livelihoods in the fragile environment of the Tanzanian mountainous region.

風人土学舎 Kazehitotsuchi Gakusha

  Living Montage will work in cooperation with Kazehitotsuchi Gakusha, which is represented by Ueru Tanaka, who is also a member of the board of directors of the corporation. The Kazehitotsuchi Gakusha is a gathering place for researchers and practitioners to learn about the connections between people and the relationship between nature, livelihoods, and culture, and to aim for a future in which these connections coexist.

Overall view of the project Living Montage

The Beginning of the Project

 The impetus for this project came from the making of The Garden in Movement, a film documenting the activities of French gardener Gilles Clément.To do as much as possible with, as little as possible against – this is Clément’s attitude as a gardener, and as if embodying those words, I have documented on film Clément as he snuggles up to him, talking, walking, eating, laughing, and then observing and working in the garden.

Even on a single trip, you capture the balance of the scenery seen there.
From the various doors hidden in the landscape to the garden.
That door is open only for those who are not afraid of torn view of the landscape.
Spread the truths like bread scattered on the cooktop.
But do not leave any truth tears apart, to understand the whole thing.
According to one hypothesis, unexpectedly combine them.
Oppose the tendency to stay.
Leave the creation to happen.
For one creation, another creation will continue.
Along with evolution.

 This is the text that Clément wrote at the end of his book, The Garden in Movement. If you replace the word “garden” with “image” in this word, it sounds like a proverb for this project Living Montage.
 We travel around the world and see many different landscapes. For those of us who don’t live in the place, we may have only one encounter with the landscape, and we turn our cameras to the landscape in order not to miss that once-in-a-lifetime moment.
 Then, the visual material, like bread scattered on the cooktop, is unexpectedly combined according to a hypothesis. We hope that one day the Living Montage will be as colorful as Clément’s garden.

Kenichi Sawazaki(Artist,Film Director)
Director of Living Montage