MS2 Very early ideas

I am interested in preservation, especially in the preservation of digital data. Currently I am exploring preservation through transformation. I strongly believe that instead of trying to preserve the actual, physical object as bits and bytes, we should preserve by transformation from one form to another, from one state to another.

An example of current preservation: If we wish to preserve a piece of video art in a museum’s collection, today we will preserve the data of the digital file. We believe that the data on the harddisk is the art piece. But in fact, it is not: the core of the work is not the bits and bytes; it is something else. We do not know what the core is. It could be many things: the content of the video, the narration, the acting, the lighting, the editing, but also the exhibition of it, the size of the monitor, the placement of the monitor in the gallery – and the list goes on and on. How to preserve that something else? I am interested in a “holistic preservation”, and I think that preserving by changing form is a way of doing that.

So all of the projects I am presenting in a way relate to translation from one form to another, and they are all thought of as experiments into this notion, and could tie into a later project about preservation.

Three early project proposals:

Recreating a space with light

This project is an experiment into spatial analysis and spatial representation. The project aims to create a visual, sensory and exploratory experiment into representations of space.

The setup could be this: First performing a spatial analysis – through different approaches such as 3D-scanning and textual description of the personal sensation of the space. Secondly, creating a lighted experience, meaning: a real-time system of multiple light sources that interpret the spatial analysis and creates an output of light. This light will change color and intensity in a 1:1 relation to the space in real-time.

The space can either be 1) An physical space in which the light installation is already placed (so in praxis it will be a space in school), or 2) A historical, well-known place, such as a classical Greek temple or a space in a painting or similar.

The project is obviously related to the work of Olafur Eliasson and James Turell, in their work with space and light.

More precisely, it is inspired by the work of Danish light artist Thorbjørn Lausten, whose work is visualising spatial concepts with light (see work “Struktur” from 2015).

Recreating a narrative with light

This project is an experiment into non-traditional forms of storytelling and narration. The project aims to recreate a specific narrative, but instead of using traditional means such as staging, acting, reading, writing etc., the project only allows light as a narrator. It is an experiment into how lighting, changing of light and narration can come together.

The project will create a system for performing a narrative with lights. The narrative can be performed in time, but it could also be performed instantaneously. The duration of the work is flexible. The project aims to create and explore a language of light. The language is based upon sensations of the light and the narrative. The language is on purpose not a rigid structure (it is not a code), but allows for changing over time. It allows for changes based upon human intuition and human decision.

The setup could be (this can change): 5 lights with different colors (presenting different parts of the visible spectrum of light). These five lights are turned up and down in intensity in such a way that it recreates the narrative. It will most likely be very abstract, but the project should somehow encapsulate key moments or key aspects of the narrative. It could for example be very dramatic shifts in intensity or color.

The project is related to performance theater and visual theater such as Robert Wilson, Romeo Castellucci and Hotel Pro Forma, but also early photographers such as Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, whose work captured time and narrative in abstract experimental ways.

Multiple video projections experiment

This project is an experiment into breaking up a narrative in the form of a video. The project does a simple gesture of flipping the projections, so that a sort of blinking sensation will happen. The aim is to break up the form of a traditional video projection and create a layered experience.


The setup is as follows: Two projectors: one on each side of the screen (which is a gauze/bobinette or a pvc, allowing for both front- and rear projection). The projectors will each show different parts of the same video; sometimes blinking rapidly between the two projectors, sometimes showing longer parts on only one projector, sometimes showing parts on both projectors etc. It can even break up and suddenly show a completely other source of video. 

The project will develop a system for displaying a specific video. The video could be: a performer reading from his/her childhood diary (like diary-slamming), or it could be a performer acting a historical moment, or it could be archival footage, or it could be a movie. It is yet to be determined.

The fast blinking of the video projection is meant to invoke notions of ritualistic performance and hallucination / optical illusion.

Possibly it will have a sort of geological narrative to it: entropy, entropy of light, data degradation, infinite compression etc.

The project will also contain a notation system describing how the video is performed; or describing the workings of the video projection system and how it could be applied to different materials; different versions of the project.

The project is related to the work of new media artists such as Reid Farrington’s “Passion Project” and similar, working with multiple screens and projection surfaces in order to create a multi-dimensional story. The idea of a broken narrative, flattened ontologies, reperformed or reenacted is similar to Carter’s Erased James Franco.

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