New perspectives on expression and format

City surfaces—where moving images meet architecture

Generally, it is a challenge broadening the understanding of what film is and can be. Stereotypes limit film to short or full-length fictions, documentaries or, more recently, serialized formats of various kinds. Ideas about a film’s form, expression and format—and especially how film is screened—are often based on what is familiar. We can liken it to previous notions of what art is and can be—when form was limited to paintings and sculptures. This has changed and the idea of ​​what art is and can be is now extensive. Accordingly, we should challenge the stereotypes about film. How do we create space for other expressions and formats?

“Embryonic ideas must be tested—in praxis, on location—for them to develop.”

Isak Mozard’s ForRestart was one of twelve projects selected when Smart Kreativ Stad, through pilot study #2 in 2016, offered opportunities to organize pop-up cinema screenings in the city. His show was extraordinary, set in the untested environs of the wooded terrain in Hagaparken. Visitors strolled late in the evening along illuminated promenades to a glade where video works were projected onto transparent plexiglass panels, creating a sense of images floating freely in the surroundings. The screening endorsed the idea that displaying video art in the woods would create a kind of nullity that is difficult to achieve in constructed space. Isak Mozard later did further tests, and in 2020 an expanded version—with more screening stations and advanced technology—was screened in Tjaukle on Gotland.


Reflections from the Ongoing Evaluator on conversation 2:
New perspectives on expression and format format


A changed media landscape and a changed media consumption puts new demands on film’s expression and format. Smart Kreativ Stad explores the ways that film might shape structures to activate the city, to develop new viewing practices and to collaborate with stakeholders in the sectors of architecture and construction. In a conversation on the theme When film meets urban areas and architectures, representatives from several fields discussed how the conditions and architectures of the public space challenge the expressivity of film, providing it new opportunities to develop and grow as an art form.

Participants in the conversation on 11 December 2019:
Alazar G Ejigu D. Tech., Architect and Analyst in Social Sustainability at Tyréns, and Researcher at  Södertörns University
Eli Bø Professor in Production Design for Film and TV (incl. scenography for film), StDH
Emma Creed Master’s student, StDH
Eva Henriksson Business Unit Director of Administration, Vasakronan Stockholm
Jennifer Norström Project Manager, Smart Kreativ Stad
Louise Bown Film Consultant, Uppsala County
Maida Krak Producer and Founder of MADbunny
Martin Hallberg Sound Designer & Concept Developer, AFRY Ljud & Vibrationer
Salad Hilowle Artist and Filmmaker
Stefan Hagdahl Head of Stockholm Konst
Viktoria Wahlberg Content Strategist, Vasakronan Stockholm
Sofie Weidemann Architect and Partner, White arkitekter

Moderator: Roger Mogert
Introduction: Geska Helena Brecevic

Participation in a cross-sectoral encounter
Emerging in several ways from the conversation is the value that participants place on having been invited. Meeting people from the many different sectors that lie outside of one’s regular occupation is exciting. Learning what film is and can be, how it is viewed and could be screened, and being given the opportunity to pose questions is appreciated. It is noteworthy that a round table is the optimal shape for gaining insight into other worlds. One example is the mention of “nudging”, a term unknown to the participants from the creative class, but a matter of course for representatives of the real estate industry. The concept refers to how to influence human behavior, for example, through art and culture. For many creators, this is an unfamiliar, instrumental way of relating to their profession; and the example suggests a need to talk across sectors to effect a broader understanding of one another’s needs and capabilities. From the conversation, it is ascertained that the film, with its low public threshold, creates ideal conditions for entering into fruitful collaborations.

The conversation focused on the skills needed to work with moving images and film in public spaces—about spectators, temporality, flows, design, space, publicity, and the like. Moreover, requirements for maintenance over time or licensing—what does one need to know about this? Here were examples of how demanding project implementation in public space can be, where larger work teams, similar to those in a film production, would have been needed. The conversation also offered examples of companies employing creators to meet the needs they themselves do not have the skills to perform, such as sound and light design. Specific skills for a broader labor market for creators led to educational issues. In this regard, the tendency that today’s students are not as limited as previously by the format of film was reported. The need for curators experienced in public art in the field of film was also raised.

Practice—a prerequisite for increased competence and development
From an educational point of view, there was talk of meeting students’ transboundary practice, in terms of choosing a film’s format and working across genres. It is challenging to remain in phase with the opportunities to develop the new formats and expressions that are constantly emerging. For established filmmakers and creators who are curious about searching beyond traditional filmmaking to public performances, it is essential to try out practices on location and in the environment for which they are intended.

Beginning with evaluations of temporary projects, it was ascertained that working with ephemeral expression ensures gains in material sustainability, since consumption is limited to light and sound. The creators called for opportunities to more actively use temporarily underused city locations for creative public screenings. This is yet another aspect of sustainability that considers utilizing existing infrastructures to a greater extent.