FORÊT D’EXPÉRIMENTATION – the experimental forest, the name of a place, a title, and a statement of intent. The first step into this forest is represented as a black-and-white silhouette, branches against a background of clouds moving rapidly across the sky, with a modulating soundtrack that records and further develops nature’s sounds. A picture, whose aesthetic excess takes up well-known references to landscape paintings and photography, as well as genre cinema.
But as soon as one penetrates deeper into the forest, the visual and tonal register changes, the view moves ever closer to the landscape’s pre-civilizational elements; vegetation, water, and wildlife. Attention turns to details, rhythm; to subtle and also surprising changes and movements. Nature’s enigmatic aspect moves to the forefront and the viewer is captivated by formal beauty, by pictures, which must first be decoded in their visual alienation and play of various size relations.
The borders between nature and landscape, handed down forms of representation and playful experiment, the abstract and figurative are dealt with in the mode of a fascinating and simultaneously exploratory awareness. The processing of well-known visual and tonal alphabets produces an entirely unique, idiosyncratic cinematic experience.
The view remains in motion, there is constantly something new to see, hear, and discover. In the end, the circle closes with a sight that could again be taken from a classical painting or a feature film. Different levels of awareness overlap, penetrate, and influence one another. The experiment is in the search for a form of depiction, and also the view—from the landscape to nature and back again.

(Barbara Pichler)

During a walk in the Laurentian Mountains/Canada I discovered a sign pinned to a tree saying "Forêt d´Experimentation". I became curious about what exacty makes this forest experimental and decided to return with my camera and sound equipment to explore it. For quite some time now I have been interested in field recordings and trying to find ways of depicting nature without romanticizing its beauty and without colonializing it with my gaze and desires. My goal was to record the diversity and lushness that exists within this forest, analyzing the landscape´s specific atmosphere and creating my personal audiovisual representation of this experimental forest.

(Michaela Grill)

Orig. Title
Austria, Canada
22 min
Michaela Grill
Orig. Language
No Dialogue
Michaela Grill
Concept & Realization
Michaela Grill
Andreas Berger
Steve Bates
Supported by
Cine Styria, Wien Kultur, bm:ukk
Available Formats
Blu-ray (Distribution Copy)
Digital File (prores, h264) (Distribution Copy)
Festivals (Selection)
Zagreb - 25fps Film & Video Festival (Special Mention)
Mar del Plata - Int. Film Festival
Montréal - Festival du Nouveau Cinéma
Denver - Int. Film Festival
Lima - Peru Int. Short Film Festival
Washington - National Gallery of Arts shows "Sixpack: The Austrian Experiment"
Neubrandenburg (D) & Szczecin (PL) - dokumentART Film & Video Festival
Lausanne LUFF Underground Film Festival
Graz - Diagonale, Festival des Österreichischen Films (Prize for Innovative Cinema)
Hong Kong - Int. Film Festival
Vila do Conde - Festival Internacional de Curtas-Metragens
Wroclaw - New Horizons Festival
Wien - VIS Vienna Independent Shorts
Hawick, Scottish Borders - Alchemy Film Festival
Buenos Aires Festival Int. de Cine Independiente BAFICI
Ulan Bator - Golden Reel International Underground Film Festival