A Treetop Odyssey

Werner Hertzog, The White Diamond (Still) 2004

A screening and discussion event focusing attention on the one of the world’s most inaccessible and under-explored areas - tropical rainforest canopies.

Some of the rarest plants and animals on earth are found in such locations, where undiscovered species live exclusively in these tree tops and never set foot on the forest floor. Until now, the rainforest canopy has been virtually inaccessible to scientists.

The event will start with a screening of Werner Herzog’s 2004 film, The White Diamond, which eloquently illustrates the complexity of human desire and our need to further explore the planet and its resources. Set in the Kaiteur Falls in the heart of Guyana, it features the efforts of one of the world’s leading dendronautics engineers, Dr Graham Dorrington, in his attempts to test his airship designed to explore the forest canopy.

The screening will be followed by presentations and discussions by a unique group of botanists, artists and engineers, all pioneering the use of airships and dirigibles to explore the rainforest canopy. They will discuss their work and its wider implication in areas as diverse as the future of medicine and culture.


Dr Graham Dorrington (Queen Mary, University of London), Marion Laval-Jeantet and Benoît Mangin (Art Orienté Objet).


This event is a partnership between The Arts Catalyst, Queen Mary, University of London and LCACE and has been developed as part of The Inside Out Festival at ICA.