HAVE YOU MET… JUSSI?
Jussi Ängeslevä (http://angesleva.iki.fi) involved in academia, design industry and conducting his individual experimental work, is focussing on embodied interfaces, experiences and services for the public. He is an honorary professor at the Berlin University of the Art (UdK) teaching Digital Media Design and works as Vice Creative Director at ART+COM media design studio. A big welcome to Jussi Ängeslevä in the jury for OBSCURA – 121 views!
Do you enjoy observing?
Well, as a designer, I’m really drawn to elegance. This being for me a function of meaning, wit, technological complexity, effort and other things in a well considered balance. Sometimes it takes just a little twist to create a powerful experience, other times it is worth the effort to create something completely new, something that takes crazy effort, but when put together is worth all of it. With pinhole photography, the artists are dealing with very old tech, but technology nevertheless, and as such, it is still very clearly visible in the outcome. It is therefore easier to see the balancing act between the use of technology and the expressions created with it.
Do you see things differently?
Back in the day I have done my fair share of pinhole photography, and for me the sense of empowerment came from the feeling that you can really influence all the stages of making the images: From building and customising your own camera, (I ended up building few with cylindrical body, to create nice panoramic shots), to experimenting with exposure times, different papers/films, and then of course in the dark room the whole developing process. So, I guess for me looking at the images again, I was reminded of the embodiment, and the narrative that the whole picture taking itself is. It is not just the image, but the whole experience of making them. Somehow with pinhole pictures, I sense more of the whole context, of the taking of the picture, rather than the outcome alone. That’s refreshing. What would I have done differently, hmm I cannot say.
Do you like surprises?
Well, yes, as I just discuss above, it is indeed the narrative, the act of creating, that is very important in the art. Giving up control as much as trying to imagine what might come out of it. Actually, only the digital cameras with their LCD viewfinders have dramatically changed the equation. Even with normal film cameras of yesteryears, you would still have to rely on the technology to reproduce somehow what you expect you will be seeing later. Digital cameras give you instant feedback, and at the moment of taking the pictures, you can review and readjust endlessly. Being in a Jury, you also have to let go, to some extent, of the strictly quantifiable world of the technology. You just have to follow your emotions, and what the images conjure up. I ended up reviewing the image reels many times over, and realised, how even the order in which you see them change them. So, here we are again, at the narrative :)