Tiffany Deater is a PhD candidate in Environmental Biology from SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, and a recent graduate from Syracuse University where she studied Video Art.
She works as an independent filmmaker creating wildlife documentaries and experimental videos. Her works have screened internationally at various film festivals and art exhibitions such as the International Nature Film Festival Gödöllő, Hungary, The Feminist Border Arts Film Festival in New Mexico, the SunChild 8th International Environmental Festival in Yerevan, Armenia, and the EKOTOPFILM International Film Festival Earth Talks in Prague, Czech Republic. She has won several awards for her film work, including Best Animal Behavior and Ecology at the University of Idaho Fish & Wildlife Film Festival, the Best Short Film Award, at the Wildlife Conservation Film Festival in NYC, and was nominated for the Best Experimental Film at the Wellington Independent Film Festival in New Zealand.
Deater is currently an Assistant Professor of Environmental Film & Literature at Oswego State University of New York.
We live in a culture that thrives on drama and conflict; a barrier between the imagined and the real. This desire for social tension extends beyond the human, and we impose our ideologies onto the animals and environment around us.
We overlook quiet spaces and moments of stillness, forgetting what it means to simply exists as living beings.
My work is about reimagining our relationship with animals, the environment, and each other. Though my video works I seek to connect the viewer with other forms of life, sometimes journeying though their perspective seeking to answer the questions: how do we connect and empathize with other animals? What insight can we gain from their world?
The purpose of my work is twofold:
1. Using animals as a way to help understand natural biological processes such as birth, death, and decay. I use images of animals and landscapes as a way to explore complex ideas about existence, longing, and the limits of human knowledge.
2. The second type of video work is nature documentation. Since its creation film has fashioned cinematic encounters with “the environment” and influencing the way we communicate cultural, social, and individual identities. Filmmakers have used various forms of manipulation and fakery to shape the American environmental consciousness, emphasizing the “drama” and “conflict” of nature. I see my wildlife video work as an experience, something akin to the childhood pleasure of turning over a rock to find the living treasures beneath. I record wildlife as it exists, without coaxing or staging of animals. I rely on the natural sound of the environment for audio.