“With the help of film archives, I want to bring to light the historical strata of a society—but with the help of a city’s space to make the history of film art easily accessible.”
Attractive city—for whom?
The conversation began with a problematization of attractiveness as a goal. Based on structural problems and on criticism of non-democratic processes, a risk was identified that decision-makers have the power to tailor development to their own values—and that this happens more or less (un)consciously. Involving citizens in the design of their city shapes the roles of creator and spectator. In other words, when we talk about making the city more attractive, we need to be clear—for whom?
Self-organization and financial resources
Financial resources were discussed as a condition for the field to flourish and for creative initiatives to emerge. Artistic self-organization and assuming positions of power make space for creative freedom. Only in collaboration can the creative and physical maps be redrawn. Opening up cultural spaces can shape new flows in the city. Several examples were shared in the course of this conversation.
The creators’ need for space
The conversation ascertained that both professional creators and creative residents need space to practice in the right environment. New cinematic expressions and formats do not come into being without creating the space to try them out. Just as graffiti has emerged through the practice of painting on facades, filmmakers need to investigate how film works in urban spaces. At risk is the attempt turning out to be a predefined form, such as a screen in the public space. For opportunities to extend the screening of moving images, we must think further—to the spaces between the buildings. There is a difference between shooting film in the traditional sense and creating film that works in urban spaces. It requires different competencies, skills and collaborations, as exemplified in the conversation.
The need for a matching of property owners with creators that has emerged in every conversation is supplemented here with a need to clarify the roles—which roles and skills are required, and when? What can a curator contribute to a design assignment? An artistic director? A project manager? Since filmmaking for urban space is still in its infancy, there is still work to be done on several different levels for the processes to mature. What training needs can be discerned? How can we reduce the gap between production and creation on the one hand, screening and shared experience on the other? How can processes be simplified? These were the issues discussed.
Our high-tech age should be reasonably suitable for creating conditions for digital works in the city. What would be needed to move forward so that the technology and artistic expression conjoin to benefit residents, visitors and creators? The conversation attests to a common will and work in progress. During the conversation, the importance of a film commission in establishing links between film and municipality was discussed, as well as the effort that exists to simplify processes in terms of permits, event routines, leasing and collaboration with relevant authorities.