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Since the mid-1990s, Berlin-based South African artist Candice Breitz (Born in Johannesburg in 1972) has produced a body of work treating various aspects of the structure of identity and psychological identification. Since 1999, she has predominantly created multi-channel video installations, in which the relationship between an individual channel of footage and the larger grid of moving imagery provides a space in which to think about the relationship between individual and community. Central to her work is the question of how an individual ‘becomes’ him or herself in relation to a larger community, be that community the immediate community that one encounters in family, or the real and imagined communities that are shaped not only by questions of national belonging, race, gender and religion, but also by the increasingly undeniable influence of mainstream media such as television, cinema and popular music.
Candice Breitz has been a Professor of Fine Art at the Hochschule für Bildende Künste Braunschweig since 2007.
In recent years solo exhibitions of her work have been hosted by the Temporäre Kunsthalle Berlin, Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art (Newcastle), Palais de Tokyo (Paris), De Appel (Amsterdam), Moderna Museet (Stockholm), Castello di Rivoli (Turin), Collection Lambert (Avignon), Louisiana Museum of Modern Art (Humlebæk), White Cube (London), and Bawag Foundation (Vienna). During 2009, she presented solo exhibitions of her work at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, The Power Plant (Toronto), Yvon Lambert (NYC) and during 2010 at Kunsthaus Bregenz (Bregenz), Espoo Museum of Modern Art (Espoo), White Cube (London) and STUK Leuven (Leuven).
Paweł Janicki’s ‘Oceanus’ is a complex installa- tion that allows viewers to experience interactive storytelling controlled by authoring software that has been created by the artist. The idea of the work, on the structural and narrative levels, is based on a variety of concepts and terms connected with navigating the sea. Notions like exploring the unknown, setting courses, obser- ving nature, using navigational tools and being prepared for the unexpected are transposed into the media environment and provide the sym- bolic basis of the installation. The symbols are elements of an interface that enables viewers to navigate the ‘Oceanus’ universe, which combines traditionally linear narrative sequences with generative processes and modifiable structures based on users’ choices. The principal visual me- taphor of the work is a nautical chart, the charac- teristics of which are reflected in the image that the viewers watch and control. The scenario of ‘Oceanus’ is rooted in European literature and mythology associated with the sea, from Viking sagas to medieval texts, such as the anonymous 10th-century ‘Navigatio Sancti Brendani Abbatis’, to contemporary maritime literature.
The installation is driven by a software autho- ring tool designed by Janicki. Called The Map, the program is a complex system that creates and plays back interactive narration units, allowing
viewers to build structures and make choices, as in object-orientated systems like Pure-Data or Max/ MSP. It also maintains temporal dependencies and interrelations that structure the plot
through the use of classic narrative motifs typical of linear media.
The physical arrangement of the installation consists of a specially designed table with hidden elec- tronics and an integrated large-format touch screen that gives several users simultaneous access to the objects displayed. They can select and move these objects, and by doing so they experience events in their ‘voyage’ across ‘Oceanus’. On a second, vertical screen near the table, viewers can watch video images and, in doing so, track the linear results of the processes triggered by manipulating the inter- face on the touch screen.
Paweł Janicki (born in 1974 in Poland) creates interactive audiovisual environments, installations and performances, often utilising motion detection systems, and focussing mainly on microsound aesthetics and algorithmic composition. Janicki, who majored in cultural studies at Wrocław University (Poland), has been working with the WRO Art Center since the late 1990s as a curator and the head of R&D. He also teaches in the Intermedia Department of the University of Arts in Poznań, as well as giving lectures and holding workshops on the programming of interactive systems. In 2004, his internet mu- sical performance ‘Ping Melody’ was awarded the ‘netarts.org’ grand prize by the Machida City Museum of Graphic Arts in Tokyo (Japan), and was nominated for an award at the Viper International Film, Video and New Media Festival in Basel (Switzerland). Janicki is a co-founder and long-time member of the Gameboyzz Orchestra Project, a collective exploring ‘lo-fi’ aesthetics, using computer gaming consoles to create audiovisual compositions; their work has been presented at the WRO Media Art Biennale (Wrocław, Poland), the Transmediale festival (Berlin, Germany), Ars Electronica (Linz, Austria) and the Centre Georges Pompidou (Paris, France).
Belgian artist Nicolas Provost will produce the work ‘From Brussels with Love’ for Moving Stories. This short fiction film will be made completely out of stock footage.
Stock footage refers to film or video footage that already exists. For example: moving images of cities, landmarks, dangerous wildlife,… It is – in many cases freely- available at several websites. Filmmakers often use this prefabricated material because it is cheaper than shooting new material. As a result, some stock footage may already have appeared in previous movies or productions.
Stock footage is normally used as illustrative material in a very sober way. Provost wants to show that stock footage can also have an esthetic and cinematic value and that it can tell a story. ‘From Brussels with Love’ starts with an off-screen dialogue between a young couple, ready to embark on a romantic adventure. What happens next? Provost will tell their story by using nothing but stock footage exterior shots of a Boeing plane, flying towards a sunset.
Nicolas Provost is a filmmaker and visual artist and recently moved back to Belgium after a 10 years stay in Norway. He now lives and works in Brussels, Belgium. His work is broadcasted, screened and exhibited worldwide on both visual art platforms and film festivals and has earned a long list of awards and screenings at prestigious festivals as among others The Sundance Film Festival, The San Francisco International Filmfestival, Cinevegas, The International Film Festival Rotterdam, The Viennale, The Locarno Film Festival.
His work is a reflection on the grammar of cinema and the relation between visual art and the cinematic experience. It intends to walk on the fine line between dualities and balances between the grotesque and the moving, beauty and cruelty, the emotional and the intellectual. Time and again his phantasmagorias provoke both recognition and alienation and succeed in catching our expectations into an unravelling game of mystery and abstraction. With manipulations of time, codes and form, cinematographic and narrative language is analysed, accents are shifted and new stories are told.