Routes of desire

‘Routes of Desire’ is an expanded-cinema project that adopts cruising as an artistic research methodology to reimagine an urban forest as a site of lived queer histories. Exploring the trees of the Oeverlanden forest-reserve in Amsterdam as living archives of queer existence, it reinvents them as portals of inquiry, of speaking, listening and creating fantasies. While the trees evoke through their own parable potentials of discovery and speculation, the project wanders through a labyrinth of archives and lived histories both encountered and stoked by the forest.

What do the trees desire? What do they speak of and make me speak about? What remains unspoken between us and needs to be spoken about? In the realm of our desires, what do trees and I have in common? If I were a tree, where would my roots take me and what would they reveal of my lived history?

Through its methodologies, the project proposes to expand upon the activity of cruising inside a forest as an exercise to observe, meditate, converse and speculate. Weaving the intrepid complexities of queer desire and an urban forest’s wilderness, it combines analog photography, documentary, archival research and performance practices to reflect upon the traces existing between the intimate and the public, the historical and the poetic, the anthropological and the auto-ethnographic. 

In a constellation of creative outcomes, the project composes an expanded cinematic formulation through a film titled ‘Rangi: Sanctuary of Whispering Trees’, a photo book titled ‘In Trees, I See’, and an exhibition/performance titled ‘Tales from a Gedoog Forest”. 

Visual Abstract Artistic Research:



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