I work within a tradition of documentary practice. Whilst a documentary can follow a narrative structure, this video complicates any notion of narrative to present a section of path in a wetland forest. This is an essential watershed area where the fine upwards reach of tall eastern white pines is supported by an earthly ‘ground’ that is unstable. My video progresses from a definition of space from cultural geographer Doreen Massey (2015). She theorized space as ‘space/time’, whereby space is made up of ‘embedded material practices’ (p. 9). home is where the heart is (2023) documents my path of walking while attending to ideological and material structures in the public green space to document ‘the landscape’ as spatial and material. The unstable surface of my video image is in this sense where materiality is revealed.

In her study of animated cartoons, Hannah Frank (2019) argued that traces of the artist’s interaction with the image can be found in animation when it is examined as a photographic practice that includes materiality. For example, according to Frank, in the production of the individual cels that make up the cartoon. This quality of materiality is also shown in my video in the contrast between the linearity of a path and the dispersed form of the image as it documents my physical movements and the views of the landscape. My walking path is documented by video recording, using an indexical process to ground the image without videoing ‘the ground’ in accord with A. L. Rees’ (2011) writing about Structural Film’s enquiry of its own material production. To do so, this work uses water and the upwards camera view. In so far that my video process presents a spatial environment where the viewer’s position is not initially established, for example by using an establishing shot, my video work more broadly suggests a leap into ‘the unknown’ for the viewer. This leap into the unknown can be considered similar to the way whereby anything might happen in experimental film and animation.

home is where the heart is starts with an upwards view of tree branches. The branches project down from above into the image frame. Behind the branches, conduit cables draw a horizontal line. The initial scene rotates counterclockwise, documenting the path’s width and inverting the direction of movement, before the camera is moved forward along the path. The forward movement brings a utility pole and multiple conduit cables into view, see figure 1. Poles and cables make multiple appearances amongst trees during the duration of the image. The conduit cable shown as a line brings into view the path that runs along below it and refers to the image itself as a path. Tim Ingold (2016, 2015) describes how ‘the path’ is a linear structure that plays a political role in organizing groups of people. He further explains that as a social structure it influences decision-making, and conceptualized in this way it offers a preconceived destination. The lines of the conduit cables in my video refer in this sense both to the path as an ideological structure and to the narrative form a meta level. Although the filmic medium is a line of celluloid strip(s) and this is a video, a documentary can also be thought of in terms of a line. A narrative runs along a path (a line) to a destination (conclusion).

Figure 1. Digital video still from home is where the heart is (2023) showing utility pole and conduit cables. Still created by the author.

The periodic appearance of utility poles, which have an organized verticality, remind the viewer of their relative position to the image frame, and to the images of the landscape. In contrast, when the video is shown without context, the views of tree branches do not clearly denote a vertical position to the viewer. As the video progresses the unstable surface and lens-like shape of the frame further complicates the image. Conduit cables appear as lines that draw the aperture along, see figure 2 and 3. However, the surface plane of the image that is brought into view as unstable, disperses the image space and its frames. While I do not deliberately set out to frustrate the viewer in this process, a continual reassessment of position is required to make meaning of the images. When thought of as a path, my video is never complete, never finished, instead affording the viewer agency in the work during the meaning making process.

The upwards view in my video documents the path and views of the landscape, while at the same time offering an essential leap into the unknown for the viewer. The video process presents a spatial environment where the viewer’s position is not initially established, and anything might happen. While documenting a path implies revealing a destination, my method of videoing also uses a playful inversion. The unstable surface of this video image is where ‘the ground’ as the material dimension of the landscape is revealed. Whilst the term home is the ‘destination’ implied by the video’s title, my aim is to present the spatial environment of a wetland while not representing it. To do so, I ‘ground’ the video in acknowledging materiality, the surface of the path and the video image while not videoing the ground of the earth. In this way home is where the heart is brings the landscape into view as the ‘destination’, while affording the viewer agency in how the landscape is conceptualized.

Figure 2 and 3. Digital video stills from home is where the heart is (2023) where conduit cables draw the image along. Stills created by the author.


Frank, H. (2019) Frame by Frame: A Materialist Aesthetics of Animated Cartoons. D. Morgan, Ed.; 1st ed.. Oakland, California: University of California Press.

Ingold, T. (2015) The life of lines. London ; New York: Routledge.

Ingold, T. (2016) Lines: a brief history. London ; New York: Routledge.

Massey, D.B. (2005) For space. London ; Thousand Oaks, Calif: SAGE.

Rees, A.L. (2011) A history of experimental film and video: from the canonical avant-garde to contemporary British practice. 2nd ed. London: Palgrave Macmillan ; British Film Institute.

Karen Bosy (KMBosy) is an artist based in London and Toronto, and her work is held at Emma Hill Fine Art, London. As a PhD candidate at Royal College of Art, her main area of research is experimental film and she uses photography, drawing and other media in her video and video installation practice. She is a founding editor of itinerant space, which is an experimental online academic journal for doctoral art and design research practice at Royal College of Art, and the book publication iterating itinerant space, Issue 2 will be launched in July this year.