Between the Rains

2024 | Video | 32:30 min | UHD | 16:9 | stereo sound

Between the Rains is a journey through contagious and collaborative visions – through ideology, through cross species encounter, through neurological symptoms. Following the agencies of the ant, the ergot fungus, and speculative AI, the work argues for a mindset of interdependence, porousness, and cross-species conviviality. The body as porous reality interface is reflected by simulating and theorizing my own aphasic symptoms during migraines, and the ergot fungus as true pharmakon and, literally, a mushroom at the end of a world.

Humans have always looked at what they think is ‚nature‘ – for guidance, sense, pattern. Yet perceived pattern and personal projection are easily confused, oscillating between apophany and epiphany. The film focuses on select points in the European middle ages and today‘s AI discourse. Between the Rains looks at the contagion of political fictions and reality models, focusing on the cultural shift during the medieval ergot epidemic, Hexenhammer‘s precursor Formicarius developed while looking at an anthill, and and afterlives of historical moral panics in contemporary informatics metaphors.

People experience and tell themselves the world in narrative form - they form a model of reality within themselves. This is the storytelling instinct, whose spores reproduce virally from person to person. Inherent in every narrative are political fictions, beliefs that affirm dominant models of reality or cause them to falter. We are part of the reproductive system - we are the pollinators of the narratives we pass on. What models of reality are prevalent today, where do they come from, and how can we counter them?

Video stills


script, locations, editing, camera, sound
        Laura Leppert

        Musée Unterlinden, Colmar, France; Strasbourg, France;Kupferstichkabinett, Berlin, Germany

additional camera
        Mathias Reitz Zausinger

        Johanna K Michel

supported & funded by
        Social Impact EU
        Bayern Innovativ / Junge Kunst & Neue Wege

      All images and content if not stated otherwise © Laura Leppert 2023.