Since I returned to Seoul after a month in Hopetoun I have been working with practical applications of the ideas I developed during my research residency in Hopetoun.
When I was in Hopetoun I was already involved in an interview project in the Seoul neighbourhood Haebangchong (HBC). The project is based on Future Scanner, which was a public art project in the Swedish town of Varberg in 2016. This project built on a simple question that citizens of the town are asked: Tell your dream about the future of the town or neighbourhood you live in? The interviews are recorded on video. The result is later presented together with demographical statistics from that town.
I have an idea to compare these three, and possibly more, similar interview projects with each other. It will not be an academic research but rather a way to see the difficulties that surround the complexity of describing one’s ideas about one’s future as well as outlining ideas about society’s development and urban planning.
This material can easily be brought together in various forms. For my next stay in Hopetoun I plan to create a larger one off event and possibly leave a smaller video display version to stay as a sort of archive.
In Hopetoun I also developed the idea of tracing human activity in the landscape by video filming with the help of a drone. In February I completed a lot of drone flying and filming in the Hopetoun area. I realized that I had to make full scale test. I decided to carry it out in Korea. As the Korean geographical and topographical differs so much from that of the Ravensthorpe-Hopetoun region I had to adjust the concept for a Korean project. Relevant for the Hopetoun project is that in Korea I could try the technical and graphical aspects of the work.
Throughout April I was flying around in the countryside surrounding the university, Chung-Ang, where I work. The drone flies over the landscape with the camera shooting straight down. Thus, you get a map like footage, which also resembles maps or landscapes common in many computer games. The image you get is rather abstract and objects are difficult to recognise, as I think our image comprehension comes from looking at our surroundings horizontally from ground level. It helps me to focus the project on my intention to underline that not seeing and not understanding the world as it is a large problem for humans and humanity. We just miss a lot of information as we cannot comprehend the data we have in front of us, whatever senses we use. We have limitations. We also have problems to be aware and accept that our handicap.
During most of the spring I have been processing the footage and experimented with animated graphic elements to add to the video. I have also experimented with presentation technology, multi-channel synchronized video and sound installations. This research is vital to understand how I will have to shoot the final video in Australia in February.
I created a 3-channel video installation titled Tracing Korea, which was part of a group exhibition at Artspace Boan in May.
Video documentation link here.
The next two steps will be to make full scale video test on the second video shoot, where I plan to work with children acting as explorers of their environment. I will also carry that out in South Korea and hopefully build up a small team that could be part of the Australian project’s process, early next year.
The most important work starts now. This will involve thorough research into Aboriginal history in the region, as well as investigating if I can develop the contacts made in February. My aim is to create voice-based historical material to be used together with the video footage. This process is very sensitive, as I am moving in on grounds where, with my background as white European, I might not be able to access. Most of this work will thus be made with little public insight until I have received a trustful collaboration. I will try to explain further on if there’s interesting development in this section of the project.