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FLEFF Intern Voices

The Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival from the interns' point of view

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Posted by Amber Thibault at 11:39AM
Head in the Clouds, French and Austrian Alps


Blog post written by Amber Thibault, Cinema and Photography ’15, FLEFF Intern, Lewiston, Maine.  

Upon a further conversation with Anne Spalter, artist of Sky of Dubai, she divulged more about why she was inspired to recreate the modern landscape:

"Part is trying to acknowledge what the landscape looks like and then also technological ways of moving through the landscape. So some of my earlier work I have drawings that are of mountains but I took all the photos from an airplane. So it's about that perspective you never could have had before. The viewpoint is modern. I take photos and shoot video driving in my car flying in a plane, helicopter, from high rises in the city. Points of view and ways of moving through the landscape that are modern."


So your videos were prints originally?

"Originally I scan in charcoal and pastel drawings and made prints. But it seemed like without the 3D perspective and just the pattern, it got very flat. I wanted some way to have some sort of motion and space in it and that's when I began doing the videos."


Can you tell me more about 3D perspective and why it is so important to your work?

"When you look at a photograph you have a sense of space because things that are parallel in the real space converges at a point. If you use a camera or do a drawing, an aesthetic representational western style, you have that way of making a sense of space. The receding lines are joined together, objects are overlapping, there are a bunch of visual cues that give you a sense of 3D space. 

In Islamic artwork they are mostly not interested in representation. Their religious artwork is forbidden to use representation. So their art is more abstract. Calligraphy and patterns, a lot of interesting tiling and geometrical patterns. Some of it's intuitive mathematics, and I was a math major as an undergraduate at Brown so it's always really appealed to me. It's just a sense of organization, a higher order and rationally describing space."


Is there a reason that the last shot of the film is static?

"When you're experiencing the landscape in the artwork, there's all different types of motion. Such as in a painting you might have different types of brush strokes to evoke different feeling. For me working with the video the different types of motion are like the brush strokes of the video.

For me it's sort of more the internal part, that's all from me and not from the landscape. It's more of the subjective internal feeling about the experience and the straight video shots are made to be more objective. All the pieces are a back and forth between external and internal landscape - the objective thing that you see and also the internal part for me as an artistic, how I'm feeling and experiencing the landscape. It's not like a documentary, it's very personal."


After talking to Anne, I feel enlighten about the intricatcies of the modern landscape. I grew up in the middle of the digital age, but, after talking to Anne, I feel like I've never really seen the world around me.  I've never thought about how artistic all the different modern structures around me can be. I've, also, never known a time when I couldn't use computers to create media, so I've taken for granted how powerful they are in creating a relationship with the world around you and sharing that relationship with others.


How do you, or would you, use art to personalize your own experiences in our modern world?



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