Search Film

Search Film is an investigation into intrinsic searching behaviour and foraging strategies. The project has developed from conversations with my father Dr. Mick Marquiss who is a biologist. The film will initially focus on him as he tracks goshawks in North East Scotland (his ongoing study of goshawk populations contributes to Scottish National Heritage’s bird of prey monitoring programme). An audio interview with my father accompanying the footage extends the concerns of the film to include a broader examination of human searching behaviours in a variety of contexts and pursuits. This dialogue will be accompanied by additional footage observing other types of searches. Which could include ‘information foraging’ in online databases or watching shoppers hunting for goods in commercial environments.

I have already made several exploratory outings with my father to shoot tests on video and 16mm film in forests around Aberdeenshire. I have also recorded an audio conversation with my father about his specific search process. In this interview we discuss theories of foraging, such as optimal foraging theory and the modelling of foraging paths as random walk and Lévy flight patterns. This area of the project relates to my interest in the relationship between foraging and creativity, the use of stochastic random walk strategies by artists to generate ideas or explore materials for creative prospects.

I will use the funding to develop the project as an experimental documentary or essay film. This will require shooting more strategic footage of my father at work, plus gathering comparative footage of people foraging in other contexts.

The project aims to produce a unique artwork available to audiences in galleries and cinemas or as online media. As a portrayal of Scottish landscapes and as an investigation into common behaviours and shared activities the film considers universal themes within a Scottish context, which makes the work relevant to local and international audiences.

The process of making the film will be informed and shaped by the collaboration with my father Dr. Marquiss. This will offer us a chance to reflect on the different perspectives, methods and rigours of our distinct disciplines.

Duncan Marquiss, artist & Dr. Mick Marquiss, biologist.