ELECTRIC FOREST: PART 4 || ROADS, DRIVES, LANDSCAPES...
ELECTRIC FOREST SCREENINGS are being organized and produced by FRAME Finnish Fund for Art Exchange in collaboration with Avanto Festival.
Media arts are migratory in many ways. The cultural and technological flows of the 1990s and 2000s are visible in more recent Finnish video works. The clue of the fourth screening is to follow the aesthetic and cultural notions of distancing, separating and re-connecting that are shared in the stories, sounds and images of these medial flows. Each work uses a different set of relations in order to re-create “the history of modern art”, “the idea of the art collections”, “the animation film” or “the road movie”, and at the same time they aim at re-thinking the conventional representations, for example, of family members or religious figures. The changes in the scale and the form are also presented: in Mika Taanila´s film, where the images produced by miniscule video cameras are ‘reborn’ in a large-scale structuralist cinemascope form.
Anneli Nygren: International Collection of Telephone Art (1996, 8’30’’)
Anneli Nygren´s video Kansainvälinen puhelintaiteen kokoelma (International Collection of Telephone Art) (1996) provides us with a collection of drawings done by different people whilst speaking on the phone. Fluxus-sensitive presentation of the project puts forward an imaginary museum of the phenomenon and the voice-over (by Finnish curator Jari Björklöv) links it to the idea of ‘automatic writing’ conceived by the Surrealists.
Liisa Lounila: Roadmovie (1998, 1’10’)
Liisa Lounila´s Roadmovie (1998) is a flicker film (a film which consists of extremely rapid changes between black and white film frames), including a short text. The text is a repeated narrative creating new cycles or events for the viewer. It goes as follows: “As they finally reached the end of the road that had seemed endless, they realized that they were only in the beginning of the journey.”
Pia Euro: Parts 1-6 (1999, 5’)
Pia Euro´s video Parts 1-6 (1999) brings six environments together with a white image and the sounds of heavy traffic. Separate frames of the scenes of intimacy and distance are seen on the same screen. The work explores the boundaries of images out of which different sets of meanings can be derived.
Oliver Whitehead: Mind’s Eye (1999, 5’)
Oliver Whitehead´s Mind´s Eye (1999) gives us rapid point of view shots of graffiti images, satellite dishes, train stops and industrial yards as seen from a commuter train. A simulated voice-over spoken by a computer reads dictionary words which are referring to imagination and creativity.
Mikko Maasalo: 16/20 (1999, 9’25’’)
Mikko Maasalo´s video 16/20 (1999) consist of a set of white pixels shot on a computer monitor, their number varying from sixteen to twenty as the work goes on. The music responds to the rhythm of the image. The work can be seen to belong to the tradition of visual music that is closely linked to conventions of modern art.
Salla Tykkä: Power (1999, 4’15’’)
In the beginning of Salla Tykkä´s Power (1999) there is a short text in which the artist tells that she wanted to make a work about her mother but eventually she ended up dedicating it to her father. In the video a shirtless young woman is boxing with a big man in a boxing ring. In the description of the work, Tykkä writes: “Power is a statement against the power relations in our society but it can be seen as a symbolic battle for life and surviving through it.”
Alli Savolainen: The Smile of Mona Lisa (2001, 1’30’’)
In Alli Savolainen´s The Smile of Mona Lisa (2001) the Mediterranean sfumato finds its parallel in a Nordic summer night. The work belongs to a long tradition of works commenting on the famous renaissance painting. Done by a female artist, the work creates a special gesture otherwise in a very masculine tradition that ranges from Leonardo da Vinci to Marcel Duchamp and Man Ray.
Pekka Sassi: Line Fill 2 (2003, 3’16’’)
Pekka Sassi uses the simplest of effects and devices extremely creatively in order to explore the structural filmmaking in the digital era. Line Fill II (2003) is made by filming lines printed on A4 paper from a close distance and with a very moving camera. The soundtrack is composed out of rising and falling test tones.
Elena Näsänen: Drive (2003, 9’15’’)
Elena Näsänen´s Drive (2003) is a road movie where a woman drives a car in a snowy countryside. The film can be understood as a metaphor for a certain situation in the life of the female protagonist, who is “driven” by her power to use the car as a kind of transport device between real and imaginary events.
Anssi Kasitonni: The Gliders (2005, 15’)
Anssi Kasitonni ´s Gliders (2005) is an experimental puppet film with a robust, yet amusing sensitivity which, among other things, refers to elements typical of Disney musicals. According to Kasitonni “it´s a narrative about a young squirrel’s growing pains in the crossfire of his parents’ expectations”. In Kasitonni´s storyline the squirrel family pretends to be endangered species of the Siberian Flying Squirrel (Pteromys volans) in order to save their home forest from destruction.
Pekka Sassi: Kolya and I (2006, 3’)
Pekka Sassi´s video Kolya and I (2006) is about the difficult relation between humans and their god. In the video “metaphysical hooligans” try to attack their creator but fail to kill him. The story of Kolya and I is continued in the more recent video Bad News from Heaven.
Mika Taanila: Optical Sound (2006, 6’)
Mika Taanila´s structural cinemascope film Optical Sound (2006) is based on the live performance of the Symphony #2 for Twelve Dot Matrix Printers by [The User] (architect Thomas McIntosh and composer Emmanuel Madan). The film brings together images taken from small surveillance cameras inserted inside the printers, ASCII files score images photocopied onto film without camera and time-lapse footage of office blocks in Helsinki. Optical Sound is critical of the superiority of contemporary technology. According to Taanila, art has more to do with misuse and visibility of technology than the current tendency of making the technology “smooth, invisible and fast” to the spectators and users.
Written by Kari Yli-Annala
Curator Kari Yli-Annala
Curator Marita Muukkonen, FRAME Finnish Fund for Art Exchange
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Tel. +358 (0)50 585 7504
Compiled by Kari Yli-Annala & Marita Muukkonen, Total duration: 71´