VIP - VideoChannel Interview Project


Karolien Soete
Belgian videomaker


Interview: 10 questions

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

I am born and raised in Flanders into a family of artists and musicians and hold a master degree in historical graphic techniques from St. Luke Academy of Art in Ghent, Belgium. Additionally, I studied stone and clay work, photography, architecture and voice.

2. When, how and why started you filming?

The works began as I was convalescing from a series of annoying physical maladies, and a minor surgery. In fact, some of my body issues were caused from years of protracted exposure to the, not so healthful, chemicals associated with my various processes (involving paints and varnishes etc.). Seeking to work in more open air spaces than my current studio, and wanting to incorporate my love and work with film and moving images, I next experimented with various animation techniques. First came a series of photo- graphic self portraits with a spiraling camera, then some light-hearted short films with a doll from my childhood, followed by practices with different wall animations in my home studio and in a studio in an abandoned school in Ghent. I set out to ‘visualize’ my thoughts in moving mural animations. Using the walls, floor, ceiling I created, frame by frame, with acrylics and ink, a digital still camera, and computer editing software the film sequences.

3. What kind of subjects have your films?

My movies have no subjects as such, they are a continuation of intuitive thoughts, memories, dreamlike images all connected in one way or another with the location.

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

I always start in a place, a room. In that space I trust my intuition to come up with images, there is never a screenplay. I use all of my senses to grasp the unique location of the building en walls. Sometimes I use poetry to get me started or even one sentence that gets my intention. But the location is my primary muse.
My animation on the walls is life size using ink and white paint. Every movement leaves a trace of ghostly images.

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

Besides the ink and paint, I use a simple photocamera to capture the moments. I’ll adjust the thousands of pictures in photoshop and bring them together in an editing program.

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

It is essential in my work.
The animation shows the story of the unfolding mural. Figures will grow and fade, landscapes emerge and disappear telling a story of inner turbulence and memories. The images of the mural will correspond with the natural environment of the wall, the history of the building or city in which it stands.
I’ll be doing research of the place and incorporate that together with my inspiration and own sense of the place. If walls could speak is the key here. My conquest is to give the wall a voice. The painting on the wall will emerge day by day telling my comprehension of it’s history. My attempt is to materialize the images buried deep in the brick and cement. During that process images will turn up and disappear.
The longer I work on a wall the more it will reveal. At the end of it’s process the wall will return to its original state, no trace of my visit will remain.The wall will surface it’s story during a moment in time and goes back into silence when I leave. It is an installation that comes to life during my visit, a performance that can be viewed, showing the visitors an unique image, constantly changing over time. Next to my workspace there will be a television screen showing the progress of the animation it self, day by day that animation grows until the animation is finished. During my stay I set up a webcam showing the artist at work where people can log in and view the process from a distance.

7. How do you finance your films?

Until today every film is financed by myself, some extra financial support would be very welcome though.

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 alone.

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

Life, personal experiences, glimpses of poetry or images I’ve stumbled upon.

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

My dream is to visit different cities in the world, explore and animate their unique locations. At the end of my journey I would like to produce a DVD combining all the talking walls stop motions, it would be a stop motion voyage which shows a minimum of 5 different cities and my personal view of them.

Can works of yours viewed online besides on the CologneOFF platform? Where?
List some links & resources