REFRAMING REALITY: Glimpses into the Lowave video archive

On November 20th an exhibition opens at Museet for Samtidskunst in Roskilde, Denmark, showing works from the french DVD label Lowave´s archive.

I released my Cityscapes on their label in 2005, which will be part of the exhibition.

From the Museum´s website:

“This exhibition gathers for the first time in Denmark a number of videos from the Lowave’s growing archive and provides an insight into the vibrant world of contemporary artistic creations. From the groundbreaking RESISTANCE (S)-anthologies, which put into perspective thematic video art from the Middle East and North Africa to the urban landscapes where man almost dissolves like in HC Gilje’s CITYSCAPES or videos in the CITY2CITY collection, the exhibition highlights unknown affinities and underlying trends in the way video artists from around the world are still experimenting with the medium.”

The exhibition runs until 27.02.2011.

However, since I currently have a solo exhibition at Galleri 21 (more about that later when I am finished with the documentation. If you are really impatient, you can see a slideshow from one of the installations) in Malmö which runs until December 5th, this is a perfect opportunity to catch both exhibitions, as they are only a short trainride from each other.

Mark and Silke at Lowave have provided many opportunities for screenings of my work at various festivals and venues, for instance at Cinemateque Française and Centre Pompidou in Paris. Currently one of my videos is part of Verticapolis, La Festival Image de Ville in Aix-en-Provence:

“CITY2CITY – VERTICAL EXPERIENCES presents 8 international artists all working on urban subjects and in particular the verticality of architecture in our global cities. These films offer a new way of appreciating the urban aesthetics as they are perceived by today’s cutting edge video artists and experimental filmmakers. Featuring: HC Gilje, Augustin Gimel, Nicolas Provost, Nose Chan, Kentaro Taki, Toby Cornish, Kotaro Tanaka, Franck Dudouet & Aldolph Kaplan.”

in the dutch mountains

hc shrinked, originally uploaded by hc gilje.

Last week I did a short dutch “tour”, seeing some interesting performances and exhibitions.
I am only going into detail on one of them, but would like to briefly mention the others.

I had the opportunity to see work from two of the artists speaking at my seminar this fall, Kirsten Dehlholm from Hotel Proforma and Lawrence Malstaf.

Hotel Proforma was showing their now classic Orfeo opera, at Zaantheater. The performance combines the choreographed singers from the Latvian radio choir with a very effective set-design. The set-design seems to be quite inspired by Svoboda, with a endless staircase inside a large frame being lit in many different ways to create a quite dynamic image.

More images from Orfeo

Lawrence Malstaf was given the ART & TECHNOLOGY AWARD 2008 Witteveen + Bo at the Lebuinuskeerk in Deventer where he presented two works, shrink and The Long Now.

More images from Shrink and The Long Now

I was invited to see a tryout of “Licht is de Machine”, a music theater performance by Veenfabriek. My interest in it was mainly Joost Rekvelds kinetic light installation which disappointingly was only in the last 10 minutes of a 2 hour performance. The performance was in a huge hangar outside Leiden, and also here the stage was using a frame.

more images from Licht is de Machine

I saw two good exhibitions in Amsterdam, “Speaking out Loud” at the Netherland Media Art Institute and a spooky exhibition about voodoo in Haiti at the Tropenmuseum.

more voodoo images

Finally, I went to see the dutch group Hotel Modern in Köln, but you can read more about that in a separate post.

mikro performance

mikro performance, originally uploaded by hc gilje.

Mikro is a series of improvised performances using the immediate surroundings as raw material: A microscope captures everyday objects and surfaces like wallpaper, coins, clothing, furniture, newspapers and transforms it into an explosive universe of textures. Contact microphones and electromagnetic sniffers pick up unhearable sounds to create the live soundtrack.
Mikro is a collaboration between HC Gilje (video) and Justin Bennett (sound).
Performances so far:
Paradiso (Amsterdam), IMAL (Brussels), TAG (den Haag), DNK (Amsterdam), Bergen Kunsthall Landmark (Bergen), Laznia (Gdansk)

the matrix for the rest of us (well, almost)

Google Earth has implemented a new technology called street view, developed by Immersive Media

This could roughly be seen as a mix of very advanced quicktime VR and a film effect from The Matrix movies. Interesting to me as another example of the interrelation between space,time and motion.

From the Google Earth Blog:
“One of the many secrets behind their technology is a patented 11 lens camera system that simultaneously takes photos in 11 directions based on a dodecahedron geometry. They can capture 30 frames a second of high resolution photography. That’s right – we’re talking high resolution video in digital 360. You can stop, start, back up, single-frame, etc”

Synk at Dansstationen in Malmö

Synk, originally uploaded by hc gilje.

On Friday May 4th, I perform the piece Synk with Kreutzerkompani and Justin Bennett on sound. Synk was originally made in 2002 for the Ultima festival, but has been played quite a few times the last five years.

The idea of Synk was that no prerecorded video or audio would be used, only material sampled during the performance was allowed, to investigate live as raw material : to impose a structure on a live situation to allow for unpredictable results within that frame structure.

It creates a dialogue between the physical space on stage and the mediated space from the screen and speakers, and the relation between the memory and the present of a space.

More info on Kreutzerkompani and Justin Bennett

More images from Synk (click on the small images)

 

Michael Snow: La Région Centrale

Michael Snow La Region Centrale

Image taken from the Medienkunstnetz site, which has extensive information about the project and also a short videodocumentation.

Snow constructed a device for creating a quite complex camera movement, and placed it in a remote area in the mountains in Canada. The result was a 3 hour film of the camera scanning this landscape.

Another quite good article from Medienkunstnetz relating cinematography to the landscape.

The Vasulkas

Vasulka at zkm, originally uploaded by hc gilje.

The Vasulkas have inspired me in their approach to working with technology in a playful manner, very much in a lab situation as I am trying to do, exploring the medium. Particularly Steina Vasulka´s Machine Vision series and Woody Vasulka´s Brotherhood series are interesting in relation to my current work.

The Vasulkas website has tons of information on their own work, other video artists the last 30 years and also covers the busy period at The Kitchen in New York, run by the Vasulkas 1971-73.

I just saw the Mindframes exhibition at ZKM, with work from the Vasulkas, Gerald O´Grady, Hollis Frampton, Paul Sharits, James Blue, Tony Conrad and Peter Weibel, all involved with the media study department at Buffalo, New York in the seventies.

I have had the opportunity to meet Steina several times through work with 242.pilots, and we were also in the same exhibition Get Real in 2005 which also ended up as a book and dvd (with contributions from Lev Manovitch, Steven Dixon, Mogens Jacobsen, HC Gilje, Morten Søndergaard, Steina Vasulka, Pink Twins, Arijana Kajfes, Björn Norberg, Elin Wikström, Jacob Kirkegaard, Thor Magnusson, Michael Scherdin, Jack Burnham, Charlie Gere, Perrtu Rastas and Andreas Brøgger).

You can read my essay from the book here (pdf).


David Rokeby: Machine for taking time

Another project I wish I had done:

A colour surveillance camera has been mounted outside the gallery on a computer controlled pan/tilt mechanism, allowing it to see most of the surrounding gardens. Every day since March 28, 2001, the system has been taking still images from 1079 pre-determined positions along a sweeping path around the garden.

[..] the computer software travels through this accumulating archive of images, wandering through time, but progressing very slowly and smoothly through the successive positions in the original path.

The software does four kinds of wandering. It sometimes moves along the path using images from a single day. Or it might disolve sequentially from day to day as it progresses along the path. Alternatively it might dissolve from date to date randomly. Occasionally it will stop its movement along the path and show all the images taken from that position in rapid succession. The shifting of modes and the choices of dates is a function of a somewhat random process, and so the piece never repeats itself.”

from David Rokeby´s website

Rokeby has a lot of video documentation available through youtube.

Michael Naimark: Displacements

michael naimark displacments

this image found in the archives of the eyeteeth blog

This is one of the projects I wish I had done, uniting the capturing of a space and the projection back into the same space using motion (camera+projector rotating at same speed).

The camera is mounted in the middle of the room on a turntable, recording the space and the actions in it (top image). Then the whole space is spraypainted white (middle image). Finally the recorded film/video is projected back into the space, projector mounted on the same turntable as the camera was (bottom image).

The first version was done with film in 1980-84, then made for digital video in 2005.

Naimark has written two very interesting papers relating to this work, and you can also find two videoclips from the installation, one from the film version and one from the digital video version, on his website.

light space modulator by moholy-nagy

light space modulator by moholy-nagy 01, originally uploaded by hc gilje.

(Slideshow of more images of the light space modulator here)

One of my inspirations for the research fellow program has been the work of Lazlo Moholy-Nagy, both his ideas related to labs, and his art work dealing with creating spaces with movement and light. I went to see the replica of the Light Space Modulator at the Van Abbe Museum in Eindhoven, Holland, both to see how the physical space was altered, but also to investigate the translation from a 3D space created by the kinetic sculpture to the beautiful black-and-white film Schwartz-Weiss-Grau. I believe having read somewhere that Moholy-Nagy´s intention with the Light Space Modulator was as source material for the film, not as a freestanding sculpture. This would make sense to me, as it was a bit disappointing to see the installation in the museum, but interesting to look at it through my camera lens. Below you see a short recording I did, and an excerpt from Moholy-Nagy´s film. (video links updated jan 2014)

addendum feb 2008:

I discovered through ‘Y’ factor some interesting info in the bauhaus archive:

“The model consists in a cubic box […] with a circular opening (stage) at the front. Surrounding the opening, on the back side of the board, I have mounted a number of yellow, green, blue, red, and white electrical bulbs […]. Inside the box, parallel to the front, there is a second board, also with a circular opening, around which a further set of light bulbs is mounted.

Single bulbs light up at different places according to a pre-set plan. They illuminate a continuously moving mechanism, made partly of transparent, partly of cut-out materials, in order to create linear shadows on the back wall of the closed box. (When the presentation takes place in a dark room, the back wall of the box can be removed and the color and shadow projection behind the box projected on a suitable screen of open dimensions.)“

This means it installed wrong in the Van Abbe museum, you are supposed to look at it from one position, through two holes in a box which contained the kinetic object. The Van Abbe Museum have put it in the middle of a open room, with static light, thus ruining a lot of the interplay between changing lights,movement and shadows which was Moholy-Nagy´s intention (which probably explains why the film is more interesting than seeing the replica).