Exploring Imaginary Geographies
How do different places become interesting? Can a wet and dirty road running through a barren field be appealing? What are the common denominators between a heavy industrial harbour and a nature reserve? In the project Surreal Scania we examine these questions.
Digital technology, in form of video equipment and GPS-units has been used to look into how aura and attraction are connected to different places. Filmmaker Anders Weberg and cultural analysist Robert Willim started by visiting various points within a specific region. This time the region was Scania, located in southern Sweden. On the different locations video material has been collected, which was then used as the raw material for a number of short films. These films are now available for download. At the moment we provide six different films, but more will be added to the collection in the future.
The films can be seen as comments to process of place marketing and branding. In choosing the places, the aim has been to mix both geographical locations that are seen as tourist attractions and locations off the beaten track. In the digital manipulations, made by Anders Weberg, the visual raw material is transformed to highlight a dreamlike and surreal imaginary geography. All films are based solely on sound and video from the different geographical points.
All the films are accompanied with files containing the exact geographical coordinates for all the different places. By using Google Earth it is possible to view aerial photos of the points represented in the different films. Using a GPS-unit it is also possible to visit the locations where the visual raw material was shot. And as the films are provided in various file formats optimized for most mobile video players, it is possible to enjoy the filmic representations on the very spots where the material was filmed. In this way the imaginary can be compared to the real. But what is real or imaginary? With Surreal Scania we want to explore different visual representation techniques, and we also want to recognize the fact that our imagination has an important role in forming the experiences of these locations.
- Screened at the Digital a la carte section of Sonar 2006 in Barcelona.
- Screened at Interferenze, Valle de Caudina (2006).
- Screened at Perform.Media, Indiana University, Bloomington (2006).
- Selected for The 4th Screen, New York (2006).
- Selected for Electrofringe 2006, Newcastle, Australia (2006).
- Selected for The 2nd Art and Science International Exhibition and Symposium, Beijing, China, November 2006.
- Participating in Netartopen, by Stunned.org.
- Selected for 404 International Festival of Electronic Art, November 30th to December 3rd, 2006 in Rosario, Argentina.
- Exhibited at Live Herring. Nordic Net art Exhibition, 16-19 November 2006, Jyväskylä, Finland.
- Selected for On the edge. In-between function and disruption International Digital Art Festival, 29th October - 2nd December 2006, Århus, Denmark.
- Selected for Orilla#06, The Museum of Contemporary Art (MAC) Santa Fe, Argentina, 9th november - 3rd December, 2006
- Screened at New Media Meeting, 1-2 December, Norrköping, Sweden.
- Selected for the XIX Biennal Ibizagrafic’06 at The Museum d’Art Contemporani d’Eivissa, Ibiza. December 06 - January 07.
- Screened at Japan Media Arts Festival, Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, February 24 - March 4 2007, Tokyo, Japan. At this event, the work was also recommended by the jury selected among 1 808 works from 36 countries.
- Exhibited at "Undisclosed Recipients", the online digital arts exhibition that is part of the Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival (FLEFF), March 26 - 2 April 2007. Organized by Ithaca college, US.
- Exhibited at International Art Tech Media Congress Tenerife. Canary Island. Spain. May 8 -11. 2007.
- Screened at Pocket Films in Paris at The Pocket Films Festival, Centre Pompidou, Paris. June 8 - 10 2007.
- Selected for FILE São Paulo, Brazil. August 13 to September 9, 2007.
- File , Electronic Language International Festival, Rio 2008, Rio de Janeiro,
Brazil, between February 26th and March 29th.