Document Type


Date of Degree

Summer 2018

Access Restrictions

Access restricted until 08/31/2020

Degree Name

MFA (Master of Fine Arts)

Degree In

Film and Video Production

First Advisor

Gibisser, Mike

First Committee Member

Espelie, Erin

Second Committee Member

Harris, Chris

Third Committee Member

Livingston, Jason


This essay documents the investigative and theoretical underpinnings of my thesis film, Field of Repose. Field of Repose is a speculative essay film that uses elements of science fiction and documentary to investigate hidden ecological networks of communication in the American Midwest. In this speculative world, the relationship between nature, technology, and society is radically restructured; it imagines a future in which the changing climate and environmental conditions are recast as an active resistance to nature’s own devastation. Using environmental realities already at play in the state of Iowa and beyond, the film defamiliarizes scenes of the present and charges them with dystopian elements. In so doing, Field of Repose dismantles imperialistic and anthropocentric motifs in science fiction and invites viewers to enter an anarchic web of feedback and response in which the essay film’s omniscient narrator is replaced by a cacophony of orphaned radio signals that pollute the air. Plants, earth’s first communicators, are now its last. Humanity is but a blip.


iii, 21 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 18-21).


Copyright © 2018 Emily Drummer

Available for download on Monday, August 31, 2020