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northern lights

one can see only..


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northern lights

16mm filmloops, 5 projectors, sound mixer, effects
45 minutes
sound by Arvid van der Rijt

Northern Lights is a live cinema performance, using 5 projectors and hand-processed and handmade 16 mm filmloops. Several filmloops run simultaneously on the projectors, together creating a multi-sensory spatial experience.

Northern Lights juxtaposes the real and tangible with evanescent and ephemeral phenomena. It enlarges a specific moment in time when light and darkness turn into movement and colour. A parallel is drawn to the moment when filmmaterial and the light of the projector transform into image and sound.

In the analogue medium of film, image and sound are carried, both in visual form, on the same filmstrip.
The sound is produced by the handmade optical soundtrack on the filmloops.
Working in the tradition of experimental structuralist filmmaker Guy Sherwin, audio and vision correspond physically, as the sounds are generated directly by the images that we are seeing. In that way, the senses are linked, because we hear the images and see the sounds.

Visually the narrative content engages in a dialogue with film as a medium and physical appearance.
Footage taken from reallife alternate with handdrawn patches of colours, switching back and forth between the projected illusion and the raw material of film.

Flying birds show themselves barely recognisable as we arrive in the dusk. Artificial lights arise and pop up in a dreamlike landscape of light and darkness. From the pulsating filmloops, colours start to emerge out of the black and white images.

The result is as mesmerising and hypnotising as northern lights can be. As the last colours dissapear, the lights fade away into the darkness again.


on Northern Lights... Kari Yli-Annala - Dreams from the far edge of the atmosphere

video excerpt






Video by:
Marek Pluciennik

Photos by:
Antti Ahonen