VIP - VideoChannel Interview Project

Bajusz, Orsolya

Orsolya Bajusz
Hungarian videomaker


1. Tell me something about your life and the educational background

Everyone calls me Orsi. I was born in Hungary, I live in London. I studied visual communication in the Glasgow School of Art, dropped out after year 2, moved to Vienna, lived and studied there for 6yrs, made a masters in fine art, moved to london, made art, worked, trained in computer graphics, and now I study for a masters in sociology at Goldsmiths College, University of London.

2. When, how and why started you filming?

I was about 14 when we made our first film with my group of friends. It was quite good. It was about a spaceship (a grill oven actually) landing in an alien planet, and the alien planet was the garden of my friend. It was beautiful, a field and electric pylons in the background. There was even a space-police chase scene, animated with matchboxes on a stick.

3. What kind of subjects have your films?

Usually the subject is of us being political subjects.

4. How do you develop your films, do you follow certain principles, styles etc?

No, I don’t care about “style” at all. I am annoyed by this whole David O’Reilly theory-cult. His cat-mouse film is ok, but this nonsense about “making it look right” is just nonsense. i would quite like to ask him whether this endorsement of “rightness” implies a hierarchy of value. Say, Lord of the Rings CGI. At least Tolkien was openly influenced by William Morris. So making a Tolkien adaptation look craftsy is coherent on a structural level, as a cat and a mouse being jaggy artefact looking is not parallelly coherent on a structural level, and so we follow this logic, and coherence is the key, than the more coherent ie the Lord of the Ring CGI is better. I think style is primarily surface, and should not merit too much attention on it’s own.

5. Tell me something about the technical equipment you use.

Computers. Any camera someone lends me. I use Maya a lot, Zbrush and Nuke.

6. What are the chances of the digital video technologies for creating art using
“moving images” generally, and for you personally?

I guess it depends how willing people are to give up thinking within “film”, and the conventionalities of film. HD is coming closer and closer to film, but the fundamental difference is still there, as video it is still technology that communicates about itself, the materialism is still within the machinery. Concerning HD I think what matters is breaking free from the haunting of film and filmic language.
Deep down what I think, is that if something similar to music, punk/new wave and the synthesiser would happen at this particular junction we are at with visual media, it would have happened by now, but as everything is accelerating, normalisation is accelerating aswell. Also, distinction is a complex phenomena, and technology itself will not make it go away, as we all can go and buy a phone with a HD camera now, the “professionals” will come up with some new tools for distinction, now the “quality” image will have a pink glow from 3m big halogen softboxes emitting pink light or whatever nonsense.
I also wonder about computer generated image. An often overlooked aspect of CGI is how democratic it is, anyone can download the basic software Avatar was made with. Maya is hard to use, but there are easier, mode user-friendly software based on the same solutions. At the basic user level, these software only used to allow certain modes of realism, but they are getting more and more sophisticated.
The most I can hope for is that the aesthetics canons will become more fragmentary, and amateurs, amateurs in the classic sense of the word will have a chance to find their own voice.

I was thinking about this, how if the philosophers often are the bureaucrats of pure reason, and the artists often are the craftsmen crafting the monument of the happily globalised creative class, from led lights, mdf plates and dripping paint. The thing is with me, as an artist, I would decorate my room with the led lights, sell the mdf plates and paint on ebay, and would get a jobless recent graduate to be my intern and wear some round costume from flimsy materials to embody a “token” and dance around in a place like Spitalfields Market, no Peckham Rye and carry around the logo of the funder on a sandwich board.
I am with the housewives and the graffiti kids instead the ryanair-setting artistic researcher-in-residency bunch.

7. How do you finance your films?

I wish I knew. Concerning my next film, I have a few people interested who can give a real answer to this question, so it should be ok.

8. Do you work individually as a video artist/film maker or do you work in a team?

I rarely work on my own. With my films, usually my friends get involved at some point. We are an art making team with scottish sculptor Laura Yuile. We do time-based installations. I would say I forgot to pay attention to the spatial turn, I am working within time, and my primary spatial frame is still just the timeline.

9. Who or what has a lasting influence on your film/video making?

As I am totally indifferent towards most art (there is some I really love, my current favourite artist are Trevor Paglen and youtube user wendyvainity) so it is rather what than who. Inspiration is something definitive for me, I just know it, when I make art I am driven by my gut instinct, and only use my intellect to tidy up the result a bit. I make art out of compulsion, I did not arrive to the conclusion logically that doing it is any good idea, I just have a drive to go and do it, so I do it.

10. What are your future plans or dreams as a film/video maker?

Referring to the rant at 6. I have no illusions it’s going to be easy for me. I am very busy now with my sociology masters, and with artist and architect Zsuzsanna Werner we are getting together a CGI film about a creative community thriving on the astral plane. ( The other day I saw this diagram in “What is philosophy” from Deleuze and Guattari about Kant as an abstract machine, and read bits from a Phd about the ontological status of the digital object, and how metadata is something like the Kantian schemata. So in our next film, the wheel of metadata plunges in and out of the shallow stream of time, and alien-like beings with golden hands sit around and weave baskets under a vine-clad gazebo. Oh how much I look forward to the funding forms inquiring what this film brings to my community!

links to my works: