One Life

One Life is a single channel video piece, part of a trilogy entitled The Ends of the Earth. The theme of the trilogy is love, each piece deals with this theme in a different context, in the case of One Life the subtext of the piece is family. The viewer is presented with a panoramic view of impossibly profuse apple blossom. During the course of the sequence the camera moves through a landscape consisting entirely of clouds of white flowers, occupied by a large family of bees. At first the bees behave naturally, wandering around lazily and feeding on the blossom, however, as the camera moves into the forest of blossom their behavior becomes less and less normal. The bees start to form dramatic lines and swarms, delineating increasingly complex curves and arabesques. Their performance climaxes with a dance in which the swarm creates a series of mysterious figures and knot patterns. This takes place against a flowery back drop that has become similarly excessive, arranging itself into a completely symmetrical stage for their performance.

The soundtrack of One Life consists primarily of the sounds of the bees themselves. Behind the steady murmur of the feeding bees can be heard a second set of muffled conversations, the sound of dialogue from day time television soap operas apparently playing in an adjacent room. The sections of dialogue all make reference to various family relationships and conflicts, a key theme in the genre. The dialogue is mostly too muffled to be intelligible, but the original backing music of the scenes can be heard. According to the conventions of the form music only plays at time of conflict or high drama - only sections of dialogue that included background music were sampled for the piece.