VIP - VideoChannel Interview Project

Nilsson, Jonas

Jonas Nilsson
Swedish videomaker


Interview: 10 questions

1. Tell me something about your life and the educational background.
I was born 1964 and brought up in a rather small town, Tidaholm in Sweden. I had a couple of “ordinary” jobs before desiding to make a change in my life. First I thought I wanted to become an interiour designer and did a 6 months art course learning the skills of drawing and painting. During this course I changed my mind in what I wanted to do for a living and put my focus on Fine Art instead. Went to a few pre-art schools before starting my BA Fine Art at Falmouth College of Arts in the UK. Directly after I did my MA Fine Art at Norwich School of Art & Design also in the UK. Moved back to Sweden after my Master degree in Fine Art.

2. When, how and why started you filming?
When doing the MA Fine Art course (1999-2000) I started to become influenced by Brittish video artists and had an idea I wanted to carried out using an video camera. I have always been very curious about new technology and see this as a way to develop my artistic way of working.

3. What kind of subjects have your films?
My early works were very simply done, filming myself in parts in front of the camera or more of a documentary approach. Lately I have come back to this way of working again where I use myself as an actor just becouse I find it easier to direct myself then others. And also to keep the filming part very easy, well prepared and organized. I am currently interested in issues the western way of life and increasing amounts of time and money spent by individuals on becoming successful, and the consequences of such achievements.

4. How do you develop your films, do you follow certain principles, styles etc?
Most of the times I do everything when creating my videoworks, from research to editing. I then try to plan all details as much as I can before starting the working process.
For me its important to try to have a strong concept or idea to work with. But sometimes during the editing process new ideas and concepts accure that seems better than the original idea and therefore the work can sometimes take a slightly different route.

5. Tell me something about the technical equipment you use.
I have Apple Mac computers and using the software Final Cut Pro when editing my
Videos but also using Photoshop quite a lot. I try to use the software Garageband or
Audacity when editing the sound. Sometimes I mainly use a miniDV camera to record my
material but I often seem to combine both miniDV camera and digital photographs or
mobilephone nowdays.

6. What are the chances of new media for the genre film/video in general and you personally?
I believe that new media as a terms to explain the genre of film/video is going to take over the term video art or experimental film. The art world has difficulties what to call video art today, some say new media other just don’t know. For example Tate Modern in London is building a new building beside the power-station building that will be useed only for new media. I think new media I now going through a fase, a new Reinessans for video art/moving image and will develop in to something different and as video art/moving image or new media is the art genre that is developping the most, I believe it has a great future.

7. How do you finance your films?
So far only with private money but I hope in the future I will be succsessful with my
applications to be able to find external funding. And I also hope to be commissioned to produce new works.

8. Do you work individually as a video artist/film maker or do you work in a team?
If you have experience in both, what is the difference, what do you prefer?
Most of my work is made individually but sometimes I also do collaborate works with Eva Olsson. I prefere to work individually but I also think its good for me to sometimes work with others because it forces me to developp the way I explain ideas, thoughts etc.

9. Who or what has a lasting influence on your film/video making?
Nothing in particular. It can be many things but it often starts off with one idea that origins from something I have reacted to and developps from there.

10. What are your future plans or dreams as a film/video maker?
To be able to produce and developp new ideas and to find a way to make a living that is directly linked to my work as a videoartist.

Can works of yours viewed online besides on VideoChannel/SFC? Where?
Yes some of my works can be viewed online on my homepage.
List some links & resources