Little Things Rule the World was a collaborative project between geographer Merle Patchett (UOB), literary scholar, Rachel Murray (Loughborough University) and artist, Vicky Smith (Bristol Experimental Expanded Film: BEEF) supported by The Brigstow Institute. The project was realised through developing a 16mm filmNot (A) Part and a video essay describing the collaborative process.
Not (a) part was conceived in relation to both the rapid decline of flying insects and the high recurrence of animation, handmade or contact film that works with the subject and/or material of flying insects. Numerous dead bees found on walks were positioned directly onto negative film and contact printed. Occupying approximately 24 frames they run at a rate of 1 bee per second. The length of the film is determined by how many specimens are found over a specified period of time.
The project addresses the decline of flying insects globally and it focuses this problem through individual found corpses of bees which are dissected and placed, much as Stan Brakhage did with Mothlight, directly onto 16mm film. The stock is processed in BEEF darkroom using caffenol. The discovery and effective use of caffenol as a less toxic developer than the other stuff is reason 1. for feeling okay about using celluloid film once more.