A 1-minute micro-documentary that captures 5 different visions

In the culmination of a two-month exhibition, five artists and one director come together in a glorious crescendo of audio/visual masterwork.

Published: February 4, 2019Words: J.Scott StrattonNils Gröndahl: FacebookSAV: FacebookAnders Bach: FacebookSØS Gunver Ryberg: FacebookSandra Boss: Facebook

Deep in the heart of Copenhagen, just a stones-throw away from the Kings Garden, sits a cozy like wine bar that also moonlights as an exhibition space. Peryton is a space spearheaded by the founders of the one-half Australian, one-half German, one-half Danish (three-halves because it’s just that good) contemporary art journal Oberon. Apart from selling good wine and displaying glorious sausage art they often hold exhibitions and kick out little projects like one I was just recently exposed to.

Back in December of last year, this cozy little cafe was the site of launch of a collaborative audio/visual project by five Danish sound artists, facilitated by Kaja Management, from which they were asked to visual express and describe images and physical objects that inspire them to compose music.

Based on lengthy interviews with each of the artists, Danish filmmaker Mads Hemmingsen compiled micro-productions for each film. All of these artists are sound composers, and working with Hemmingsen, they were essentially tasked to work backward and visualize the inspirations that drive them to create the sounds.

The films were each only 1 minute in duration, with the intention that audience exposure to go beyond the white cube – or the wine cube? Or white cafe? Or whatever you would call exhibition space in the case of Peryton? In essence, the films were made with a digital presence in mind. Understanding that capturing and keeping the attention of someone finger-blasting their Instagram feed, the films needed to be short and intriguing. In essence, the project was, in many ways, one-part artistic exhibition and one-part DIY marketing in an attempt to broaden public exposure to Copenhagen’s experimental music scene.

Hemmingsen considerable cinematography expertise blends perfectly with the soundscapes of each of the artists to create a unique aesthetic for each film – each with their own specific style and mood.

Rounding off the project, the five artists and Hemmingsen compiled the project into one film austerely called “A micro-documentary” (featured above). If you’ve got the patience beyond the average Millennial, then you can take all of the films in one 5-minute swoop. Or if you can’t keep your finger from swiping after the 60-second mark, you can experience each of the films individually below.

Nils Gröndahl

Filmed on 16mm, there is this feeling of stumbling across someone’s memories without them being cognizant of it, and having free reign to explore them as a Lynchian soundtrack adds a certain immediacy to experience.

“The film revolves around loss and absence. Echoes of objects that are no longer present. In a place of death. Instruments set up as a fragmented memory of the back of the album cover by Pink Floyd’s “Ummagumma”. A sympathetic pace, with a greeting to Germany.”

SAV

What starts as a fantastic juxtaposition between a visually unified pattern and two distinct rhythmic patterns that refuse to cooperate, quickly morphs into an array of visuals that work to tell a story against a climbing wail which threatens to steal your attention. Both a fascinating and frustrating composition.

“Different voices in a mutual story that have not been agreed upon in advance. Based on trust. A movement forward and into the material. Through systems and maps. A layer of crime and mugshots, inspired by the text universe. And the magnetic mountain in Serbia, where the duo goes to gather thoughts.”
Filmed on 35mm.

Anders Bach

Casting you from what first looks like timelapse B-Roll from Planet Earth if it was actually about Planet Venus, into micro-flashes of light, instrumentation and Ander Bach in perfect Buddharupa, the film conveys the peaceful timeless that is memory and thought.

“The film is about time displacement, density and distance. The difference between what is “live” and what is post-processed is blurred. “Impact” as a landmark. The magnetic instrument and a gong that were hit before we saw it. Signals we can’t trace and distances we can’t define.”

Sandra Boss

All that is missing is the Shepard tone to solidify this film as rather Nolan-esque trailer of one woman’s thoughts and surroundings. There is an intensity that subconsciously insists that “you should watch this,” which both creates questions and answers them.

“Filmed in Stevns, where Sandra lives. Instruments as installations. Organ anatomy and breathing. In the absence of the body of the organ, the room stands as a frame, with an opening above. We can’t get out. We are trapped in this respiration, while the thought dreams of idyllic nature.”

SØS Gunver Ryberg

Easily my favorite of the five, this film captivates me with both its aesthetic appeal and sound composition, but also the level of complexity of the 3D particle rendering in capturing the growth of the amorphous body.

“The film is about the bodies that can’t do more. About transitions and transformations, especially those approaching resolution. Bodily music and absence that should be felt when the sound is gone. The water’s connection to the kingdom of death, as well as what else lies and snags on the bottom of the sea.”