ArtDeath – KunstMord Short Film

Photography is a fun hobby, but it’s been taking a side-seat to short film and video production. My first coherent attempt is called ArtDeath – KunstMord. It’s a bit of a self-reflection piece, centered on the idea that the artists is driven to destroy their work, and in doing so set their spirit free to create again. I don’t know where this came from, but it’s a theme I’ve been building in my brains, and 1 Day of Art Copenhagen put things into context for me. I’m a lover a visual media, and it seems totally natural to present a painting as a concept in a short film instead of just in a gallery. The painting is just a container for the ideas and feelings of the viewer and of the artist. Film gives the artist another pallet to work with in displaying the work. Essentially I want to take the content of paintings, including the background story of how the work was created, and package that together into short films. At the point the term video poetry comes to mind, and I see short films in my head which are a mix a visuals, poetry vocals, and the correct imagery. Of course, implementing this is naturally had to do until you know what you’re doing. My first attempt was Gonzo Art – I: a short film all about my Gonzo Art painting with vocals connected to the writing I added to the painting.


I had had the idea for ArtMord (or KunstDeath) for a while but time was short, so I shot the film with my girlfriend over a few nights time and used such innovative production equipment as a skateboard dolly with my NEX-VG10 attached with a Manfrotto super clamp. This had the nice effect of not being totally stable while rolling on my hardwood floors, and added a nice vibration to the footage, which fit in nicely with the tension I wanted to build in the film. Naturally it’s up to the viewer to decide if this worked or not.

I added my Big Blue Beast chainsaw to the mix, as I like the idea of mass and loud destruction on an artistic scale. I don’t think the machine actually works, but it was irrelevant as I used music to simulate the beast getting fired up. In the future I envision a flamethrower, but I’ll need a real place to work in, like an actual industrial space or studio instead of my apartment. For the soundtrack I used GarageBand with my own vocals, modified of course, to sound like high-pitched youth. It somehow mixes better with the back-beats than my natural voice (or so I thought at the time). It’s like when I do portraits and I want to add a texture layer, somehow it just makes everything mix better together, like baking a cake or cooking an Indian curry for dinner.

ArtDeath-KunstMord Film

Experiments in Video Production

I’ve had an interesting trip the past two years. I started focusing on photography, turned to painting, and now I’m into the idea of mixing everything in video/film production. I like learning new things, it drives me in life to look back after a year after and see those interesting turning points where I learned something new about my position in life and those around me. In the past I did some experiments with Art Casting, making stop-motion videos of paintings as they’re painted to show the evolution of the work. After I participated in 1 Day of Art Copenhagen I realized there could be something more.

I wanted to create a video that brings together the thoughts in my head and the music that I feel as I paint. So after getting back from Copenhagen I picking up a Sony VG10, started watching the Vincent Laforet film class from CreativeLive, and began learning how to make short films. The first few so far are Birth – Kraft and Gonzo Art. The goal is just to make something, that is going in the right direction. I’m basically a self-learning film student at the moment, and my first goal is to get down the film production workflow and make 1-2 minute films with a message.

Birth – Kraft

Birth – Kraft is a collaboration with Ethan Oelman, a photographer in Zurich. He planned a shoot with a dancer and rented out a pool in Altstetten in Zurich. I came by with my VG10 to shoot footage for a behind-the-scenes video and also to experiment. I shot footage of the dancer coming out of the water and then cut that together with still images that Ethan made during the shoot. I used Abaltat Muse to make the soundtrack. The flow of the film and the transition between themes was my main focus. Abaltat is an interesting program for quickly cutting music for videos, but I need to energize some music skills into the workflow.

Gonzo Art

Gonzo Art is a video of my favorite painting from 1 Day of Art Copenhagen, made for (t)here magazine. It includes a lot of writing inspired by Copenhagen and has many visual elements like fire and a giant head. How do you capture the texture of a painting on video? How do the visual forms need to be presented? I don’t know exactly, and that’s why this is an experiment. I used Garageband with samples from Computer Music magazine to cut the music. I then added voice-over using a helium filter on my vocals in Garageband. The soundtrack sort of sucks, but it’s a starting point for moving forward. Video production is forming the motivation to develop my music creation abilities, something I always wanted to get into.

What’s Next

I don’t know the future, I just know the awesome feeling I have cutting visual and music elements together. It feels right and powerful in an intimate way. It’s important to look back on how you got where you are. This short Gonzo Art video started with Talenthouse and a Creative Invite. I submitted my Lazy Art paintings and (t)here magazine picked my work, allowing me to participate in 1 Day of Art Copenhagen. This opened up a turing point in my creative life, I realized the ability to create is there, it just needs the right motivations and environment. You excel when you have awesome people around you, chilling on your own behind a computer is a recipie for mediocracy. The internet and social media are awesome for connecting people to one another and to new ideas, but you need a healthy creative environment in you life.

ArtCast Painting – Lazy Art III

lazy_art_iiiMy experiments in Lazy Art paintings and ArtCasting are continuing (the first being Lazy Art II), we’ll call this one Lazy Art III. for the ArtCast I used more music from Kevin Mcleod, an original lazy artist would have picked something besides the Danse Macabre, but to be honest it’s the type of music with those specific rythems which play in my head, and moves in perfect time with my emotions, perfectly describing the mood in my head when I start mixing paint and get ready for an episode of splattering a nice boring white canvas with color. So, from a documentary perspectives, it seeme like I should maintain that authenticity for the audience. This piece of Lazy Art has influences from Zurich Graffiti, specifically the combination of abstract flow set against bits of rectangular geometry. The geometric patterns were planned to a certain extent, I put down some tape and then removed it before the final splatter fest. Amazingly, the ceiling of my apartment is not covered with small dots of green, red, and matte gold.

As a Photoshop-trained painter, I’m still slightly annoyed at the idea that I can’t add a levels and curves adjustment layer set to my Lazy Art while painting. My eyes naturally want to start adding a bit of smart sharpening, push the overall exposure, and increase the dark tone levels to get the colors my mind wants to see. Of course, this doesn’t mean that it can’t be done. I do these manipulations on the final image take with my Minolta 7D and Sony macro lens. I do some adjustments in Photoshop, then tweak the final exposure in Adobe Lightroom before exporting to Flickr. Is the painting the final product, or simply a template? The next step is to rent a Sony A900 and photograph my Lazy Art experiments with my 50mm tack-sharp macro lens. Then I’ll have a nice 24 megapixel image with fantastic sharpness and dynamic range to work with. From there I’ll have total control over color, saturation, and sharpness, but with the basic chaos of abstract painting. Printing would naturally be done on canvas or Hahnemühle German Etching Paper. Does this kill the idea of a real painting? The type where everything is done on the canvas, you know, like in real photography where everything is done in-camera without post-processing manipulation? Fortunately, I could care less what it means. I hunt colors and abstract images in my head and on the streets I walk in the world. The process of getting the perfect abstract shape-color combination is irrelevant.

Artcast Experiment – Lazy Art II

Lazy_Art_III love photography, I love Photoshop, I love the freedom to create and define a vision from my head. But there’s always that separation, that feeling of disconnection between the tool (cameras, lenses, lights, computers) and the vision (the one from my head). So it was logical step to say, screw it one day. At a shop in Zurich I found 1 x 1 meter square canvases and at the home improvement store I found latex paint for less than 7 CHF per 500 ml. I few more franks went to brushes and plastic to cover a room of my Winterthur apartment and protect my security deposit. I traded my Wacom tablet and Photoshop for the ability to splatter paint as I pleased without the “undo” button.

Music stopped in the background and I realized why artists go mad…because, what’s more frustrating than painting a black stroke when in your head you know it should’ve been green? NOTHING! Nothing compares to the idea that you start with a pure white nothingness and from nothing, without barely a forethought or premonition comes, something. That something is undefined and unknowable and abstract and everything that a fool can hope for when the mind is empty.

I documented the evolution of my Lazy Art with my Minolta 7D and a Sony 50mm macro lens. Lighting provided via a Sunpak 383 in a small Alzo softbox. The result is an Artcast, an experiment in communicating and showing the evolution of the vision from the first to last color addition. Music brings the madness, and this addition seemed appropriate.