From imagination in miniature to the miniature as new media object.
Somewhere during spring 2010 the Dutch band LPG invited us to collaborate in a new project. The Speech is a project with which LPG releases a series of novel magazines based on collaboration with friendly artists from different fields in the world of popular music, art and design. The magazine is a box containing a collection of newly written and created songs, graphical designs, poems, and short stories. Every release of a new edition is celebrated with an evening show in which the collaborating artists translate the magazine to interdisciplinary performance. The emphasis in these atmospheric performances is on folk like authenticity in music (partly acoustic) alternated by poetic short stories, and in the visual, the handmade celebrates above the digital.
The theme of this first edition was Day and Night. The invited bands where asked to write new songs and create Day and Night versions of each new song. Our contribution was a vj-performance inspired on the texts of the new songs and the general theme. Although we stopped vj-ing a couple of years earlier, we really liked the idea of this project, especially the focus on the handmade. At the moment LPG approached us for this project, we just finished the music/video theatre performance Donker (Darkness), which we developed under the wings of location based theatre collective De PeerGrouP, located in Donderen in Drenthe. To develop a more participating and active visual performance, we started experimenting with miniature models that we filmed with finger cameras. We discovered that using miniatures opened up a new world of imaginary, atmospheric, and dreamlike images and narratives.
To do more research on the use of miniatures and the development on story telling we decided to take this opportunity to create a vj-performance made out of miniatures. In collaboration with theatre designer Marin de Boer we created a large set of different miniatures made out of old model train materials and miniatures, cardboard, printed sheets, and computer flat-screens with videos and animations as moving backdrops. Every band had is own miniature world in which we told short stories slightly based on their songs. With special developed vj-software, different mounted cameras and finger cameras, we recorded and intuitively edited small stories within the miniature worlds. The addition of post effects like ‘film damage’ and ‘edge feathers’ enhanced the nostalgic and atmospheric feel of the visuals.
The use of miniature models didn’t stop after this performance and started to become a new part in our work. In the installation Reconstruction of a Catastrophe, which I am developing at this moment, a miniature model will have an important role in the completion of the work, and the interaction with the spectator. Because of my very few knowledge about miniatures I decided to do some closer research on the subject. As an artist working in the field of new media, my interests mainly focus on miniatures in art, and miniatures in relation with new media.
Alamo Race Track, DeSpeech, October 2010
Herrek, DeSpeech, October 2010,
Photo by Niels Davidse
We created a miniature world for each band. Alamo Race Track's world was one of wood, forest, and liquid organic forms. The world of 'At the close of every day' was a dutch nostalgic landscape. We used a disc to spin the miniatures around.
Photo by David Eerdmans
Go to next page: The imaginary world of miniatures