VIP - VideoChannel Interview Project

Pelovski, Yona

Yona Pelovski
Canadian videomaker


her video
The Eyes that Stop the Train, 2013, 2’43”
is participating in artvideoKOELN – audiovisual experiences 01

Interview: 10 questions

1. Tell me something about your life and educational background
Coming from visual arts and literature (with early education in both), I was afraid I might be doomed to an eventual schitzophrenic split. I saw an opportunity to resolve my looming schitzophrenia by bringing together word and image in cinematic movement. This is a kind of musical resolution, because ultimately, I committed to an art of time, of rhythm (and to a couple of degrees in Film Production).

Years later, troubled by the fact that, unlike the traditional art techniques I had come from, Cinema was bound to an industrial technology, I began to question the meanings and movements of language and technology. How did cinema relate to art and was there anything in its very inception that programmed it to undermine the very modality of dream and poetry it claimed to most nearly manifest? This resulted in a PhD dissertation the work on which also inspired “The Eyes that Stop the Train.”

2. When, how and why started you filming?

I started filming when I began controlling my dreams, at the age of 5 or so.

3. What kinds of topics have your films?

Whatever topics show up in my dreams and in the heart of my thoughts. Anything can inspire me for a moving image meditation.

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

5. Tell me something about the technical equipment you use.
I use whatever equipment I need for a particular project or, conversely, often get inspired for a project by the range of equipment I can access. It’s a dialogue with the material, and I am rather promiscous as far as moving image media and techniques are concerned, not at all a film purist.

6. These days digital technology is dominating also video as a medium. In which way the digital aspect is entering the creation of your videos, technologically and/or conceptually?
As I mentioned, I am technically promiscuous so, for me any technology that is available is an opening into moving image making, digital technology makes no exception. In fact, it is the technology that keeps on giving as it offers a range of posibilities of image treatment that are harder to achieve in analogue. Most of the time, I tend to mix analogue and digital, especially at their edges where they are irreducible to each other or at least unnecessarily labour/time intensive.

7. How do you finance your films?
Through a combination of self-financing (working on my free time and/or savings), art grants and lately, crowdfunding.

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?

I work best alone and try to do as much as possible, but delegating is not a problem when necessary. Since sound is extremely important in all my films, I usually work at least with a composer. “The Eyes that Stop the Train” are an exception as I used an already existing John Cage piece.

9. Who or what has a lasting influence on your film/video making?
Probably many things and people have propelled my work over the years but by now it’s all amalgamated into my own voice. I can say that discovering experimental cinema in Film School turned my largely intellectual decision to try filmmaking as a point of convergence of literature and visual arts into a full blown passion.

10. What are your future plans or dreams as a film/video maker?
To finish and release my larger projects.

Can works of yours viewed online besides on the CologneOFF/artvideoKOELN platform? Where?
Yes, some of my work can be seen on my YouTube and my Vimeo channel:

List some links & resources