‘Cambio’ is an ongoing investigation conducted by Studio Formafantasma into the extraction, production and distribution of wood products. The website collects the research outcomes and compiles an archive of documents, videos, books and articles on the topic.
The film starts with the appearance of primordial plants on Earth, their evolution into trees, and the subsequent flourishing of human life across the planet. It continues with the global expansion of the timber industry in conjunction with the European imperialist agenda, and its later shift towards the development of sustainable forestry practices and environmental conservation.
Shot in a former Italian plantation for paper production, it makes use of chroma key compositing – a process by which it is possible to ‘layer’ images over existing footage by introducing green screens into the frame while shooting, and collaging other images or footage in later. Various different colours have been used in television and film to achieve this effect, but green has become one of the most commonly used – as with most technologies – due to human features. The human eye evolved to differentiate movement and depth against the green of the forest, and what has become an instinctive disregard for flora in favour of the potentially dangerous fauna has been called ‘plant blindness’. Here, the forest is never a background – it is the subject matter and focus of the film.