Ninna Bohn Pedersen

Ninna Bohn Pedersen

What’s your background?

My education spans film and fine art, but both taught me about authenticity and fiction. I have a love for collaborative practises.

What influences you artistically?

My influences come from many places, often my everyday life, often from working directly with a material. e.g. at the moment I am making some quite formal experiments in the studio with light and colour. These then inspire thoughts that blend with my personal situation and potentially produce writing and conversations or perhaps other experiments.

Another important influence is being in dialogue with other artists, especially those who are very close to me. I find often, they understand my work better than I do. I have always been more drawn towards that which is within my reach, than those and that which is far away.

How do you start a new work?

I feel as if I am always starting new work or that I somehow continuously work on the same forever evolving piece. My practice is a continuous flow of making, collecting video recordings, writing and painting. So I never really feel like I start anything entirely new as I build upon that which came before. It is the littlest of things that create a new forking in the road of making. However I find that it is the showing of a piece that essentially ends a line of thought. That whenever I share a work with others, the public, then I let go of it. Usually this is when I finally begin to understand what the work really is about.

What are you working on right now?

At the moment I am working on a video, which is made up of a series of formal experiments with light, colour, movement and sound. It is diving into the birth of cinema and the elements that constitute a filmic narrative. I am exploring the perimetres of storytelling instigated through moments of dramatic conventions.

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Eugenia Lim

Eugenia Lim

What’s your background?

I was born and have lived in Melbourne (on the unceded sovereign lands of the Boon Wurrung and Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung people of the Eastern Kulin Nation) my whole life. I am part of the Chinese diaspora: my parents migrated to Australia from Singapore in the 1970s for work and to raise their three kids. Because my father was a doctor, they were able to settle here despite the racist, anti-Asian ‘White Australia Policy’ at the time.

What influences you artistically?

My work is hugely influenced by big questions and conundrums I grapple with in life: how to live within systems (patriarchy, petro-capitalism, colonialism) I don’t agree with, but nevertheless am part of. I’m interested in intersectional feminism as a methodology to make space for both dialogue and difference: and the frame of art and art-making as a space for people of all genders, ages, sexualities, ethnicities and abilities to encounter each other as co-conspirators and collaborators across difference. I’m also inspired by the work of other artists who I see my work in a contemporary dialogue with: Mierle Laderman Ukeles, Tehching Hsieh, Megan Cope (Quandamooka), and Hoda Afshar to name a few.

How do you start a new work?

By researching, reading, writing, conversing and visiting or responding to specific architectures, sites and people.

What are you working on right now?

With my company APHIDS, I am leading a project called EASY RIDERS, a performance work and accompanying film that explores work, precarity and the physical body in the digital age. The work comes out of a long-term collaboration with a group of on-demand or ‘gig’ workers who ride, drive, deliver and work for Silicon Valley platforms here in Melbourne. It’s a work that tries to frame the personal and globalised experience of contemporary work through an artistic lens; and the similarities and vast differences between the experience of art-workers and platform-economy workers.

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Antonia Luxem

Antonia Luxem

What’s your background?

I was lucky to live in many different countries around the world, and have therefore spent the majority of my life as a traveller and explorer. Before inspiring me and teaching me to become an artist, London gave me an education in human rights and environmental law.

What influences you artistically?

I read and listen to a great deal of music. These two art forms really help me switch off and explore new dimensions.

How do you start a new work?

I’m usually reading something on a particular subject-matter, like a book or an essay, and then new ideas and possibilities start mushrooming and I start writing.

What are you working on right now?

I’ve been working on my next film for over a year now, which I’ll be shooting with an amazing crew at the end of February. It’s a really exciting new project that’s taking my work in a slightly new direction. It’s about the dreamlike journey of a queer woman through a strange universe where she encounters a number of puzzling characters, who are kind of archetypes of our society. The confrontation with these archetypes lead her further and further in her quest, until she meets a group of beguiling circus performers and magicians who show her a new and exciting way of life…

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Katie Goodwin

Katie Goodwin

What’s your background?

I’m from a big family brought up by my mum mostly on her own who has encouraged me in her own way to pursue my art. I was always into painting, photography and all kinds of films. I came to London to do BA Fine Art when I was young and not very confident and gave up painting and I made a few videos some of which I still like but the whole process made me not like art so much. So for a while I went off to work as a video editor and ended up working in the film visual effects industry in Australia. The hours were insane but I saved up and started making art again and so eventually I came back to London. And art. And got a studio. And this time with a lot more life experience and a drive full of very cool footage and lots of ideas enrolled in an MA Fine Art and was really blessed with my cohort that year.

What influences you artistically?

Cinema, writers and thinkers, architecture, scientific discoveries, astronomy. And although I don’t want it to a certain unease with politics and the world happenings of late.

How do you start a new work?

I usually find an image or read an interesting article or paragraph or find a special discarded object or I meet someone and a conversation sparks an idea. I have a little notebook for ideas. Most never go anywhere. And usually whilst in the midst of one project, another branches off and I have to put that part on hold until I’ve finished the first. Or the second branch becomes bigger and better and more significant and I drop the first. But generally I let everything grow quite organically. Even with the film shoot. Just plan where I’m going and then find my way. The edit is where everything comes together like cooking, throw all the ingredients together, give it a stir and try and make some sense out of it.

What are you working on right now?

I’m working on a pseudo meditation 3D animation utilising some fancy softwares I learnt over the first lockdown. It’s going to have some political overtones in the voiceover which I’m scripting right now but look and sound wise it’s going to be hypnotic.

And another animation work for an exhibition next year about waiting—something we’re all doing a lot of lately. The work is going to be set in a train station where trains pass through but never stop. It’s not going to be very long but it will probably be on eternal loop.

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Matthew Burdis

Matthew Burdis

What’s your background?

I was born in Newcastle upon Tyne in 1993. I initially began making and studying sculpture and then moved into video and film.

What influences you artistically?

I find myself being more and more influenced by reading than anything else: a mix between fiction and autobiographical writing.

How do you start a new work?

My work usually begins with a specific place: either one which I have visited physically or experienced in a removed capacity, such as in a film or a photograph. I initially build around either an image and / or an object from this location.

What are you working on right now?

I am currently making a work that exists as both a film and as a performance called Interior (The Spectator). This work has come out of working for the then studio and now estate of the painter Howard Hodgkin. The first memory I have of Howard is from twelve years ago, when I was fifteen years old on an annual school trip to Tate Britain, where I saw his painting Clean Sheets. It is the only work I can recall from that trip. The painting is a lot bigger than I remember it, the composition and colours remain the same.

My next encounter would be nine years later when I began working at his home and studio in January 2017, at the same time Howard was in India painting. Whilst he was in India, giving past memories a physical form, I was in his home, archiving and itemising those that had already found a tangible existence. As I awaited his return home, I listened to interviews of him as I logged the thousands of analogue photographs in his library, directly beneath his studio. His voice in my ears and his still image in my hands.

Almost immediately on his return home, Howard Hodgkin died, aged eighty-four on March 9, 2017. The anticipation of meeting him is a feeling that still persists. Interior (The Spectator) is built up of hundreds of still images, all but two of which were taken by myself, accompanied by a narration of musings and thoughts. That said, it is not so much about Howard Hodgkin, but around ideas concerning personal and collective memory, around knowing those we have never met. At a time when so many of us follow or look into the lives of others, I find myself thinking about what identity means now and how an object or an image can represent this.

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Tessa Garland

Tessa Garland

What’s your background?

I spent the early part of my life beside the sea in Cornwall, South West England. I went to Falmouth School of Art then then to Newcastle to study a Fine Art BA in sculpture. After art college I travelled and lived in many cities around the world. In 2002 I moved to London, mainly because of the brilliant access to art it offers. I am based in East London, which I love because of its diversity and the numerous artists who are in my life. Over the years I have watched the whole area change particularly since the London 2012 Olympics. Whole neighbourhoods have been crushed to dust and new ‘villages’ built. For many years now I have been witness to these changes.

What influences you artistically?

Banality, urban loneliness, the everyday, twilight and the way light shifts from day to night. I’m also interested in the way cities change and the politics of public and private space. Living in East London I am surrounded by new neighbourhoods where luxury flats (that are not so luxury) are marketed and sold. I have favourite locations that I return to and wait for something- a moment that interests me…this could be as simple as a lamp light coming on or the silhouette of a figure backlit in a window.

How do you start a new work?

Often through a collection of observations that I film. These recordings form into sequences and become longer works or are used as loops in sculptural works. I have created my own library of observations and have particular favourite recordings that reappear in many works. Early on in the process I will search for the right kinds of sounds to accompany the visual, audio is very important to me. I’m not musically trained have a keen ear for what is right. I’m also good at internet searches and sourcing sound that I remix and reappropriate for my own use. I’m naturally curious and like to try out new ways of working but it’s reassuring for me to return to the same piece of footage and rework it into something new. Recurring locations also allows me to fine tune my observations. I might return to a particular place up to ten times maybe more to get a single shot that I think I can use.

What are you working on right now?

It’s been very busy recently. I’ve been working alongside Sophie Hill (Nunnery Gallery Director) on the International exhibition of moving image and performance, ‘Visions in the Nunnery’, Nunnery Gallery. We showcase many brilliant artists across three programmes, each of these spans 3-4 weeks. The exhibition takes about 6 months every two years to put together. I’ve always organised exhibitions and activity and see it as going hand in hand with my own artist’s life. I’m a big believer in creating networks and being proactive. I’m grateful for the inclusion on this artist led platform, 6x6 project. I’ve already started to watch the films and have discovered so many artists who before where unknown to me. Also good to see some artists on 6x6 project that we have shown in Visions in the Nunnery too!

As far as my own personal work I am part of Visions P2 and will be showing a new work that I have been developing for quite a few months. The work in progress aptly named Chobham after the area in the Olympic Park where I have been filming people silhouetted on their balconies at twilight. It’s great to have a real physical gallery to be able to show work in, so I want to take full advantage of this particularly when so much content is now online.

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April Lin

April Lin 林森

What’s your background?

My background is a bit non-linear and convoluted: I studied sociology at the London School of Economics, and considered a path in academia, enamoured with the possibilities of creating knowledge that the university represented. By my third year, I had grown disenchanted by the endless hierarchies and bureaucracies, one of many students fatigued by the effects of privatisation on the UK university system. As my formal learning started to resemble that of an expensive chore, I started to work with video, a far less conscripting method of nurturing my interests. I could be emotional, loose-tongued, wandering; I didn’t have to be certain, productive, arguing my way forward. I decided to switch paths after completing a deflating research internship at a university, and did a brief stint at a documentary film Masters programme at Goldsmiths University, but didn’t feel comfortable in the genre’s attachment to factual truth claims. I kept making experimental work that played with what truth is or could be that confused people, I think. And so, I have arrived at working with moving image, where there is space for me to care about the issues I care about, in the ways I want to learn and explore and share them. As an ever-evolving person, I don’t know how long this iteration of my practice will last, but so far I am finding it more expansive and liberating than anything else I have done, which is promising and re-invigorating.

What influences you artistically?

Work that is disruptive, curious, and care-ful, that encourages us outside of obedience or passivity or neutrality. It grounds me in my own position as an artist, this comradeship of practitioners who materialise ways of being and living beyond these delineated boxes that were always destined for expiration. This doesn’t at all have to be formally recognised “artistic work”, I should say. More often than not, it is simply persons who are making expansive and envisioning work in whatever they do, perhaps even just by being. Crucial, of course, are the sociopolitical rootings — explorations need to address our contemporary structures in order to truly depart from them, or it can easily fall into erasure, or an unwitting re-looping of systems.

How do you start a new work?

I have a vague direction I want the work to move in, and then I grumble and mutter and eventually chisel a skeleton of a piece out of the haze of feelings, dreams, points of intrigue. Then I like to sprinkle something unfamiliar I have been wanting to try out — like a technique, a concept, an approach — into the process, to throw some unpredictability into it. Things take their time and rearrange themselves, before coalescing into a gut feeling that feels trustworthy and ready to be worked with.

What are you working on right now?

I am making a film for my solo exhibition at Obsidian Coast in 2021, titled
“Loving 佢 | /ˈlʌvɪŋ/ /keuih/”. It’s about how the unknown guides us towards knowing ourselves, and takes the form of an imagined exchange between two beings in separate worlds. It’s been delayed due to COVID-19, which has of course changed our relationship to labour, time, and care on a global scale. I’ve never been with a piece for so long before, and it’s quite special, feeling your relationship to each other undulate, like breathing together. I’m also about to start working on the second installment of my long-term project, “An A-Z Of Imagining A Better World”, in which I make one no-constraints, entirely-up-to-me video a year, ticking off one letter of the English alphabet at a time. I think the one for 2020 will be “C: Cry”, as this year has been one marked by grief and release, and I have found myself crying more than I can remember.

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Sasha Litvintseva and Beny Wagner

Sasha Litvintseva and Beny Wagner

What’s your background?

Beny: I was born in former West Berlin and spent my childhood moving between the USA, Israel and Germany. I studied at Bard College, NY, where I started in history but switched to fine art and became a painter for a few years. After graduating I moved back to Berlin and gradually shifted my practice towards moving image and writing. In 2015 I did a year long residency at Jan van Eyck Academy in the Netherlands, after which I started teaching at Gerrit Rietveld Academy in the Netherlands. Last year I moved to London to start a PhD at the Archaeologies of Media and Technology group at Winchester School of Art.

Sasha: I was born above the polar circle in the former Soviet Union, grew up in Moscow, and have been based in London since 2004. For my BA I studied Fine Art at the Slade, where I quite quickly began making moving image works and have been doing so ever since. I received my most hands-on filmmaking training during a semester at SAIC in Chicago. Recently I finished a PhD in Media, Communications and Cultural Studies at Goldsmiths, which also developed my commitment to writing as part of my practice.

What influences you artistically?

In terms of our collaboration, there are several ongoing strands. On the one hand, we’re constantly discussing the kinds of films we want to make on a formal level. This comes in response to other films we see but also from just about any kind of stimulus we encounter. On the other hand, we’re intellectually interested in how we know the world. To this end, we seek out knowledge about the labor structures, scientific developments, technological infrastructures that have informed the particular ways in which we perceive the world and ourselves within it.

How do you start a new work?

There is this general cloud of information that we’re always adding to, whether in notes, images, anecdotes, etc. Sometimes we’ll get excited about a theme we want to explore and start thinking about how this could be translated into a film. Sometimes that doesn’t at all work. Some things we’re very interested in don’t really lend themselves to film and sometimes we have to try it out in order to figure out it can’t work. The things that do work, usually happen kind of spontaneously. Like for example, with our film A Demonstration, we had actually been working on something else for about 6 months prior to that which we ended up abandoning. A Demonstration came from one sentence we read somewhere, which sparked this excitement and we worked very quickly from there.

What are you working on right now?

Right now we’re working on a film that presents 3 episodes in the history of measurement. We became very interested in the metric revolution, it’s relationship to the French revolution, how the meter was defined as a fraction of the distance from the North Pole to the equator. From there we started learning about the relationship of measurement to justice, and maybe more importantly, its use of the pretense of justice as an effective way of cheating. This project is new territory for both of us because we have a script and are collaborating with quite a few people who have skills that we don’t. So it’s a more ambitious and decentralized scale of production than we’ve ever had before.

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Jamie Jenkinson

Jamie Jenkinson

What’s your background?

I’m from Morecambe on the north west coast of the UK.

What influences you artistically?

I’ve been heavily influenced by experimental filmmakers, like: Peter Gidal, Nicky Hamlyn, Rose Lowder, Nick Collins, Jennifer Nightingale, Cathy Rogers, Stan Brakhage, Andy Warhol; and more recently Dóra Maurer, Jonas Mekas, Marie Menken, and Josef Robakowski. But it’s almost impossible to see their films on film — even Tate exhibit them on pirated video copies — but many of these video versions are also online, so I’ve been watching more of these. I find exciting new video work more difficult to come across. My partner Amy Dickson’s keeps a progressive flow of wonderful vids; Chris Welsby has been making some new vids in a nice direction (but that are now offline); the live feed video performances of Karolina Raczynski are also really brill; and some excellent student work, they’re a real inspiration. Then there’s music, with an unparalleled experimental community, which has been a huge influence recently; Amy introducing me to a wealth of exciting happenings at Cafe OTO (who need support now more than ever). There’s also a lot of exciting and creative experimentation in skateboarding, with recent highlights like: Roman Lisivka, Joey Obrien, Trent McClung; and always Chris “Avi” Atherton. There’s also really naff stuff, like: Frasier, Jonathan Creek, Dune, Dumb and Dumber; things I grew up with that I keep coming back to. I feel like this all influences the vids one way or another, along with what I’m reading and whatever else is going on in the news etc.; but I try to keep that separate.

How do you start a new work?

I try not to think too much. Ideas are so quickly commodified. I like Vilém Flusser’s thinking, to “sacrifice of the intellect in favour of the intellect”, to go with impulses of inspired improvisation; to encourage play, experimentation, creativity; outside the limitations of commercial rationale; as is achieved in improvised music. With this in mind, I wait for something to look like it might make a nice vid. There is no guarantee with this, and it can take days, weeks, but other times it’s can be overwhelming. The smartphone lets you do that, lets anyone do that. I think it’s important we play with these machines to understand them more intuitively, how they work/think, as this is changing the way we think, and the more they use us.

What are you working on right now?

Amy and I were planning a big cycling trip in Europe for the summer to make vids, see family, and avoid London rent. Now that’s not possible I’m not sure. I’m concerned about making “isolation videos”, feeding of the crisis, but this period will inevitably be reflected in the vids, as it will for anybody making anything through this difficult time; but oddly not when using it as a subject matter, that distances from it somehow. So not sure really. I’m also still trying to finish my thesis, so should probably focus on that!

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Rafael Guendelman Hales

Rafael Guendelman Hales

What’s your background?

I studied Art in Chile at Universidad Católica, but I always liked to work with video. There, I took some courses about film, video, and film theory. I also did the MA on Situated Practice at The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL, which was about the relationship between context and practices. In a way, I have been always getting into stories from the perspective of spaces, travels and chance (and very often using video and drawing).

What influences you artistically?

I feel stimulated by small stories, personal archives, and random encounters. I love to study, to research, and to dig very deep into something. Sometimes this could be misconstrued as a waste of time, sometimes is not the most “productive” way to produce something, but I feel it is just part of the process. On occasion pieces can appear very narrow and small, but behind them there is a big amount of information that is not displayed. I am also very attracted by alternative ways of thinking society; in that sense I feel very influenced by other disciplines such as ethnography, sociology or social sciences.

How do you start a new work?

As I said before, first I feel attracted by something that could be a particular story, and then I go deep into a research period. In this process, I can go searching for information in Libraries, internet, flea markets, interviewing people or in my own mind. There is always a degree of randomness in the research process; in this process I always try to leave space for non rational thinking, or for some random mental connections. In this weird equilibrium of disciplined study and random uses of time the work begins to emerge.

What are you working on right now?

I am working on a project that is an exercise in reframing the memories of my father’s family when they migrated to Israel in 1970 from Chile, escaping from the Socialist government of Allende, then returning to Chile to a regime of radical Neoliberalism in the 80’s and 90’s. There is a question around the validation of Zionism but, deeply, is a work about the questioning of our own attachments and motivations. It will lead to a video piece and an artist book that will be exhibited next year in Chile. For this I’m working with the curator Claudio Guerrero and the designer Gracia Echeverria.

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