Intense atmosphere with VR and Video installation

Last week I had a workshop at DMJX with my second-year students and seven sound design students from Sonic College. The overall theme was the inspiration from the sense of smell – transformed into an audiovisual work. The students worked in teams. One team decided to make a video installation. A VR installation they saw at Copenhagen Contemporary had inspired them. It was Paul McCarthy, C.S.S.C. Coach Stage Stage Coach VR experiment Mary and Eve, 2017. Link to a short sequence: Mary and Eve
Unfortunately, I had not seen it myself, but seeing the link, I got the idea.

My students got the idea of making project mapping and sound in a little room, to achive the same claustrophobic experience as in the VR installation.

I can imagine that it is an intense experience when people/avatars talk directly to you while wearing VR headset, but I do like that you don’t have to use a headset, that more than one can look at the same time. It is not a for or against it is just about how to make an intense atmosphere.

Manifesto Surrealism

I have a fragment of the Surrealist Manifesto on my phone:

This spring I saw video artist Julian Rosenfeldt’s Manifesto at Hamburger Bahnhof Gallery in Berlin. It was an experience which made a great impact on me. It´s a film installation in twelve scenes; big screens, high production value, same actor in all scenes, each scene  describing a manifesto. The general structure of all scenes is that the main character (actress Kate Blanchett) act in everyday situations while she recites the powerful manifesto directly to the viewers. The text, from the different manifestos, is arranged in a new text collages, forming unexpected dialogues with each other. At the same time in each scene, Blanchett stands in an equal position in the frame, recites exactly same text. It was a very expressive and powerful experience.

Afterwards I went for a walk in Berlin, it was raining and I felt blown away by the strong words from the past in the modern contemporary staging. One of the manifestoes from the installation was Breton’s second Surrealist Manifesto and I coincidentally started record a video in front of that screen. It´s now stored on my phone ..

Manifesto / Julian Rosefeldt
ISBN: 978-3-86335-856-3


John Akomfrah

“Vertigo Sea” Video installation

For some month ago I went to Nikolaj Kunsthal for one reason; I wanted to see John Akomfrah’s art movie about the British culture theorist Stuart Hall.
I expected the movie to be artistic and inspiring. I wasn’t sure about the story or theme, but it was not a limited base that had attended my interest. I got the inspiration from two of my friends who had recommended me to see the movie a long time ago. One of them is a jazz musician and the other an art photographer, in light of their professions, I took their advice seriously, and I arrived Nikolaj with an open mind.

Nikolaj Kunsthal is a former church in the middle of the old part of Copenhagen. They are known for contemporary art exhibitions of different kind; installations, performances, painting, and video art.

John Akomfrah (1957 Accra, Ghana) London-based video artist /director is invited to show some of his most famous works. He is the principal artist for this exhibition.

When I read the text about John Akomfrah in the official brochure, I came across a new word which describes his style in general very well: Essayistic tableaux
I just had a conversation with Christina (a friend and rhetoric) about writing an essay, where we talked about the ability to use any personal experiences and thought to angle the content in an essay.
It makes me happy to discover that an essay can be visual, and that is what it is.

When I saw ” The Stuart Hall Project” the sound was a mesh in fact of the equipment and acoustics, so I didn’t get all the points from the speak, but, in the end, I had a perception of Stuart Hall’s life in pictures and music – very poetic.

John Akomfrah’s montage style allows him to jump in time, space and motives.
It is the sequence of the entire edited material combined with the sound that makes the spirit and magical moments.

The footage comes from different sources; private recording of Stuart Hall, recordings made by John Akomfrah and as a leading public intellectual in Britan for decades, BBC Archive had been helpfull with archive material with or about Stuart Hall.