xx:xx / xx:xx

Broken Spectre

by Ben Frost.

“Over the past 3 years, Richard Mosse, Trevor Tweeten and myself traversed the Amazon documenting its destruction. The results of that documentation would eventually become Richard’s new film Broken Spectre.

During that period I witnessed fires so vast they blacked out the sun. I watched illegal-loggers fell 700 year-old trees, and heard the unnerving silence of the forest that followed. I saw mercury poisoning rivers, and vast swathes of forest decimated for the promise of a few flecks of gold by young miners illegally seeking their fortune in Indigenous territories. I recorded volunteer veterinarians treating third degree burns on the paws of an anesthetised Jaguar; injuries inflicted by emboldened ranchers seeking to produce more beef for export on the smoldering remains of her wetland home. All because ‘man shall have dominion’.

To witness this systematic destruction firsthand was to travel back in time, and reflect upon the scarred landscapes of Europe, the US and particularly for me; Australia. It is a safe bet that wherever you are reading this, there was not long ago a vast forest reaching out above you and as far as the eye can see, vast ecosystems erased and buried under concrete. We live in a post-apocalyptic landscape. Our complicity in the ongoing destruction of the Amazon is undeniable and to save it what is required is nothing less than a tectonic shift in perspective and urgent, radical support of the people of Brazil to preserve what remains of that which we have failed to protect ourselves.

This album is ultimately a document of failure. A failure of our democracies, a failure of political will, a failure of imagination, and creatively, my own failure to communicate through sound the vast scale of the Amazon and the ongoing damage inflicted upon it by the policies of Jair Bolsonaro. This album is an indictment of his regime, but also of ourselves. It is a witness statement, an artwork born inside an artwork that draws upon a continuously inspiring, decade-long collaboration with Richard and Trevor, and is my best attempt at a tribute to the natural world from which it came and in that regard it may well be one of my better ones.”