THREE SHORT STORIES
When the viewer enters the installation, he finds himself in a dark space facing a wall with a screen on which he can see a projection. There is a sound coming from behind that screen. Walking along the sidewall of the installation the viewer may enter the projection area with the microfiche viewer projecting the images of the microfiche into a cone. At the end of the cone, the focal point is the back-projection screen. The screen can be filled only with one still at a time, but the projection of the surrounding images stretches further along the walls of the cone. The viewer is surrounded by images and sound. Two stereo speakers are hidden at eye level in the wall, left and right of the viewer/operator. The viewer can explore the microfiche by moving the tray that is holding the fiche. The images start to move around before one’s eyes. The source of the images and the sound are three short stories. The three films are shot in a little fishing village in Hamburg by the river Elbe. I invented a system for film scores that allowed me to construct in this case three stories all happening at exactly the same time in seemingly different locations that are overlapping at certain points. The system provides a set of locations in which the scenes take place. The story line of each of the films travels through the same number of locations for the same amount of time. Due to the system, some of the locations of “story 1” appear in “story 2” at some point and in “story 3” at another. The system incorporates the possibility of the story line travelling back in time. One and the same location can be in the present in one story and in the past in another (flashback times mixed with present time). These recurring locations are filmed and sound recorded from different perspectives and out of different viewpoints. For the microfiche I selected the same amount of stills out of each of the three films. The stills represent the scenes in the film. Every scene is represented by 7-15 stills. The stills are arranged in a way, that the viewer is likely to find, or come across them, when browsing the fiche. The person operating the microfiche “edits” his individual versions of the films, live to the sound surrounding him. In this piece the sound is telling the stories. It is locating the viewer aurally in the scenes, and the viewer can edit the images to the sound. The sound tells you whether you are close to objects/people, whether the story drifts into a flashback time or comes out of it, whether there is a pan from left to right, whether you leave one room to enter another etc. The sound is designed to juxtapose space and time, objects and people that are visible on the surrounding images. The sound has been manipulated and mixed in a way that it hints at the existence of other scenes that take place at the same time. In film 1, we would hear an off-screen action which belongs to a scene of films 2 or 3 and vice versa, depicting the locations that happen to lie close to each other i.e. a piano song we hear in soundtrack1 as it is played in the room where the actual piano is. In the corresponding scene of the other film/sound track 2, we are located in a garden where someone prepares a dinner table. We hear the same piece of music but further away, perhaps only through the left speaker, mixed with close-up sounds of plates and cutlery being moved around. At the corresponding scene in the third soundtrack, we might be located in a room with a grandfather clock facing the garden and the windows open. One hears the ticking of a clock with the sounds coming from the garden, and the piano sound from another room above.