Anne Haaning

What’s your background?

Having been a Dane in London for many years, I’m now between London and the Arctic, working on a fellowship with the Norwegian Artistic Research Programme. Before achieving my MFA in 2014, my history was in architecture – but even then, my chief concerns and practice were animation and the field’s durational qualities. I think being introduced to 3D when 3D consumer programs emerged at the beginning of the millennium has really influenced the way I perceive the digital, making me, perhaps, a 3D native.

What influences you artistically?

I feel deeply connected to the moving image art scene in London. I think there’s something about the dis/utopian pulse of life, the scarcity of space and time that you can really sense in London moving image works in recent years. But in terms of who I look to for inspiration, it’s often writers, particularly those who play with voice and space in their writing: Andrew Durbin, Anne Carson, Lynne Tillman, for example.

How do you start a new work?

One work often bleeds into another. There will be some element that didn’t quite fit with the piece it was intended for which turns into something of its own. Often the work grows out of attempts to embody very abstract ideas in 3D animation and video editing, and of embracing the failure to do it, moving down the path where the templates break down, where the digital systems reveal their limitations.

What are you working on right now?

I’m currently working on a piece that looks at the mineral cryolite, mined by the Danes in Greenland in the 1850s, and the stories that surround it. Cryolite made the mass production of aluminium – and so modern technology – possible; in effect, it helped secure Denmark’s place in global capitalism. The mine has now been reclaimed by the ocean and is largely erased from the Danish conscience. The work revisits that scar in the Greenlandic landscape, geographically as well as symbolically, and the transformation of the now extinct mineral into ever-present technology.