These moss videos exemplify a pure gratification gained from indulging in touch sensations. Sensual, curious, and innocent, they invite contemplation on the theme of tactility and nature in contrast with a digital mediary of a screen. The clearcut videos layer the distance between viewer, touch screens, the action, and the actual feeling of soft moss on fingertips leaving the viewer longing for a soft haptic sensation.

These short videos were created during a weeklong post-MFA workshop at the Rejmyre Art Lab in Sweden. The workshop was designed for a small group on recent MFA graduate’s from the Baltic region (and me, the American who somehow found out about it) to center around discussing the concept of ‘clear-cutting’. We spent the week inhabiting a specific clearcut within the forest, discussing the Swedish Forestry Model and how this idea of clear-cutting something could be reflected in other parts of life. Unlike forestry in the US where an entire area of trees will be removed during harvest, Swedish forestry partially cuts down an area of trees over an extended period, leaving others standing in order to promote regeneration and maintain the ecosystem. During this time, we also worked solo on independent projects created in response to the discourse and physical space.

At this time in my life, I had just finished graduate school, I had just completed a project in which I gave away the majority of my belongings, and I was bound to moving to a new state upon return with only what could fit in my car. I was drawn to this workshop because the concepts related to my own art practice. I had been exploring the idea of ‘clear-cutting’ parts of my identity by the systematic ridding of my possessions, questioning if the objects I own define me. I ask what it could mean to be a ‘maker without making’ considering the ethics of consuming resources and creating waste. How can I be post-craft, gain pleasure from sensations of touch, and still make with my hands?
1. Video
Post MFA Workshop
Rejmyre Art Lab


©emily mcbride 2023