Earth Day 2020: Short Films Debut by VNESSWOLFCHILD & Christiana Laine

Earth Day 2020: Short Films Debut by VNESSWOLFCHILD & Christiana Laine

In celebration of Earth Day on April 22nd, two Detroit-based interdisciplinary and multi-talented artists, VNESSWOLFCHILD and Christiana Laine (Beckley) organized a digital screening of two short video releases. Watch the premiere of VNESSWOLFCHILD new music video for her track, “heart gushes constantly forever into the earth.”

“This song is a love song to the Earth,” VNESSWOLFCHILD explains. “Its wish is to soften our hearts, open understanding of our intrinsic unity with the natural world and strengthen awareness of the intimate sacred role we play as stewards to our non human kin. It’s time to awaken and worship the Earth as if our lives depend on it. Our lives depend on it-

We have to return to the earth to come back to balance with her and follow the leadership of Earth based people who have been living this way forever.”


VNESSWOLFCHILD and collaborators asked friends to send them videos of times when they felt connected to the Earth. They received around 50 submissions, then pieced the videos together along with other original footage of our friends appreciating nature while social distancing around Detroit. This stand-alone project release is part of her larger mission “to make art that opens me and others to earth energies, gratitude and hopefulness.” 

“heart gushes constantly forever into the earth” credits include Creative Directors: Emma Piper-Burket, VNESSWOLFCHILD, Ben Wolf Director of Photography: Ben Wolf, Editor: Emma Piper-Burket / Song by VNESSWOLFCHILD; Mixed by Chris Koltay; Mastered by Sarah Register; Vocal coach Brandon Smith.

If you aren’t already familiar, leading Detroit music journalist Jeff Milo describes her work, “Detroit-based singer and musician is an interactive, ritual-healing, performance artist. She arranges evocative tones, melodies, and rhythms to facilitate healing movements. She wants you to utilize this music as a catalyst for connection; your body’s movement in the midst of listening can lead to an easing of tension and open up the possibility to connect more deeply with the plenitude of our own existence.” (Read the full interview here).


Two years ago, VNESSWOLFCHILD wrote the audio track for an immersive art experience performance at MoCAD with Matthew Daher and Imaginatron. “During the time leading up to that performance (and ever since) I was feeling a deep loud yearning to connect deeply to earth energy, like in my spirit. So I asked for the spirit of the earth to connect to to my spirit and it did! I keep finding teaches that offer more tools to do this.

I’m convinced that many people on the planet learning how to reconnect with the natural systems is how we are going to get out of the messes we are in.

She recently met film maker Emma Piper Burket and shortly after realizing they wanted to collaborate decided to make a piece “that was gentle relatable and precious. Described as a “sonic visual mediation, it is a collection of sounds and visuals that help us to contemplate on something. In this case, it’s appreciation for the natural world.”

Through this music video, VNESSWOLDCHILD is “reflecting on how I get to exist because I am sustained by the bounty of the Earth. Through gratitude I reflect on how we get to experience life because we have air to breathe due to the miraculous intelligence of earth systems that makes the air just right for our lungs to breathe. Through gratitude I reflect on how we get to exist because we get to drink due to the incredible miraculous systems that purity our water to be just right for our bodies. Through gratitude I reflect on how we get to live because we can eat due to the incredible complex processes that take place that make nutrients available for our bodies and that the heat is available for us to digest and breakdown those life giving nutrients.”

Immediately after the first film screening, the short film “Petal Push” by Christiana L debuted. Filmed in Detroit it features dance, artistic vignettes, poetry and music celebrating themes of togetherness and the interconnectedness of all things, including our bodies, minds, and the Earth. 

Laine explains that it “is intended to illustrate the undeniable connection between one another and the Earth, our gratitude towards her, inspiration from her, and the necessity to care for the Earth as she cares for us. As frequent collaborators, VNESSWOLFCHILD provided the sound design for this short film.

The project took one year to the day from when she began the visual treatment through the final editing and coloring process. All of costume pieces were made with up-cycled fabric and objects by Dessislava Terzieva and Christiana. In the future, she hopes to incorporate this film into a live installation, which will further expand on the ideas that we learned things such as color from the Earth, learned texture, learned pleasure and to show that even small intentions towards cultivating it have immense meaning.

Petal Push credits: Writer/Director: Christiana Laine; Director of Photography: Richie Trimble; Music Composer/Performer: vnesswolfchild; Dancers: Brandon Stuart, Rachel Landes, Kevin Christian, Kelly Toal; Actors: Juliana Corpas Lópes Ledesma, Asia Mock, Heather Delaney, vnesswolfchild; Editing: Chris Gagnon; Costume Design: Dessislava Terzieva and Christiana Laine; Makeup: Miles Marie, Jessica Pudelek, Shelbie Kramer; Credit Music Composer: Heather Freed; Music Mixed by Chris Koltay


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