The Artists' Journey (Part 2 of 3) to
the Children's Forest
An Ecology of Mind
A Daughter's Portrait of Gregory Bateson
An Ecology of Mind is a film portrait of Gregory Bateson, celebrated
anthropologist, philosopher, author, naturalist, systems theorist, and
filmmaker, produced and directed by his daughter, Nora Bateson.
The film includes footage from Bateson’s own films shot in the 1930s in
Bali (with Margaret Mead) and New Guinea, along with photographs, filmed
lectures, and interviews. His youngest child, Nora, depicts him as a man
who studied the interrelationships of the complex systems in which we live
with a depth motivated by scientific rigor and caring integrity.
Nora Bateson’s rediscovery of his work documents the vast – and continuing
– influence Bateson’s thinking has had on the work of an amazingly wide
range of disciplines. Through contemporary interviews, along with his own
words, Bateson’s way of thinking reveals practical approaches to the
enormous challenges confronting the human race and the natural world.
Gregory Bateson’s theories, such as “the double bind” and “the pattern
which connects”, continue to impact the fields of anthropology,
psychiatry, information science, cybernetics, urban planning, biology, and
ecology, challenging people to think in new ways.
Until now, his work has been largely inaccessible to most of us. Through
this film, Nora Bateson sets out to show that his ideas are not just
fodder for academic theory, but can help instruct a way of life. She
presents his thinking using a richly personal perspective, focusing on the
stories Bateson used to present his ideas and how the beauty of life
itself provided the framework of his life’s pursuits.
This film hopes to inspire its audience to see our lives within a larger
system - glistening with symmetry, play, and metaphor. An invitation to
ask the kinds of questions that could help thread the world back together
from the inside.
At a time when
children spend more time in the virtual world than the natural world, Play
Again unplugs a group of media savvy teens and takes them on their first
wilderness adventure, documenting the wonder that comes from time spent in
nature and inspiring action for a sustainable future.
One generation from now most people in the U.S. will have spent more time in the
virtual world than in nature. New media technologies have improved our lives in
countless ways. Information now appears with a click. Overseas friends are part
of our daily lives. But what are we missing when we are behind screens? And how
will this impact our children, our society, and eventually, our planet? At a
time when children play more behind screens than outside, Play Again
explores the changing balance between the virtual and natural worlds. Is our
connection to nature disappearing down the digital rabbit hole?
This documentary follows six teenagers who, like the “average American child,”
spend five to fifteen hours a day behind screens. play again unplugs these teens
and takes them on their first wilderness adventure – no electricity, no cell
phone coverage, no virtual reality. Through the voices of children and leading
experts including journalist Richard Louv, sociologist Juliet Schor,
environmental writer Bill McKibben, educators Diane Levin and Nancy
Carlsson-Paige, neuroscientist Gary Small, parks advocate Charles Jordan, and
geneticist David Suzuki, Play Again investigates the consequences of a childhood
removed from nature and encourages action for a sustainable future.
film currently in production and that is expected to be released in the fall of
Mother Nature’s Child explores nature’s powerful role in children’s health and
development through the experience of toddlers, children in middle childhood and
adolescents. The film marks a moment in time when a living generation can still
recall childhoods of free play outdoors; this will not be true for most children
growing up today. The effects of “nature deficit disorder” are now being noted
across the country in epidemics of child obesity, attention disorders, and
Mother Nature’s Child asks the questions: Why do children need unstructured time
outside? What is the place of risk-taking in healthy child development? How is
play a form of learning? Why are teachers resistant to taking students outside?
How can city kids connect with nature? What does it mean to educate the ‘whole’
Living School: The Farm as a Pedagogical Resource (Part 1
What connects us, as human beings, to a flower, a carrot, a cow or an earthworm?
In the Norwegian project Levande Skule (Living School) children explore their
relationship to nature in a very direct way, throughout the seasons.
Each week, they spend one day at a farm near to their school, participating in
all the prevailing tasks. By tasting, smelling, touching, seeing and listening,
they open their senses to their natural surroundings. The farm proves to be a
unique classroom. This documentary gives a colourful impression of Living School
and is a source of inspiration to teachers, pupils, parents and farmers.
Length: 20 min. Producer: Ole Bernt Frøshaug,Visions AS2 001, Translation:
After a sparrow accidentally falls into her pond artist Lisa Lipsett
seizes the opportunity to draw, paint and dialogue with this little bird.
This instructional video reveals the practice and some basic theory behind
the process of artful communion with Nature. Useful for teachers, parents
and students interested in deepening human-Nature relationships through
the arts, this video is meant as a companion piece to the PDF On Speaking
Terms Again: Creating a fit with Nature available at
Drawing Closer to Nature
Film on a 'holistic art workshop' that took place in 2007, showing Peter London