Several weeks ago (long before March 11th) I made this animation, “Tectonic,” by tracing landscape photographs my father took while we were living in Colorado. The simple black lines were animated at 60fps, blurring the landscapes into one morphing entity.  I wanted to show the impermanent nature of landscape, and how memories of a specific place can be easily morphed and forgotten. The audio* is original geologic recording from the 2004 Indonesian Tsunami- You’re hearing the crust of the earth moving. This is a part of my moving landscape series for my upcoming show, “M/Otherland.”

I thought it was a pretty successful piece on its own- then the Tsunami hit Japan. Suddenly, the context of this film was altered; now the power of the Earth is very fresh in the collective memory, and we are suddenly very aware of the effect it has over first world countries. This expands the meaning of “Tectonic” beyond my personal experience and memory- it is now something we can all relate to when we read the news.  The anxiety I tried to convey in this animation is now very real as the world watches Japan’s delicate nuclear status.

Tectonic from Savanna Leigh on Vimeo.

Please take a little of your time to donate to a Japanese Tsunami relief fund. Google has several easy to use donation widgets for the Japanese Red Cross, International Medical Corps, Unicef, and Save the Children. Please do what you can.

*Note: The audio is a very low frequency. If you're having trouble hearing it, please use headphones. If you have a subwoofer, crank it up till your windows shake!