VIP - VideoChannel Interview Project

Sverdrup, Ninia

Ninia Sverdrup
Swedish videomaker


Interview:10 questions

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

I am a Swedish artist living in Berlin since 2004. My first education was in Political Science, Economics and Philosophy (BA) and worked one year at the Swedish help organization for developing countries. There I released that it was too much administration and too little of own ideas, and started my art education instead.

2. When, how and why started you filming?

I started to work with video as I documented my own performances. My interest in the medium itself grow quickly and in 2002 after a 3 month stay in NYC as an apprentice to Vito Acconci, video became my main medium.

3. What kind of subjects have your films?

My videos are dealing with timespace. I try to understand the way we in the western society perceive time, and I try to get around the linear way of time perception.

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

I have since 2004 been working with the same series which I call “Urban Scene”. All videos are loops (1-10 min), filmed with a stationary camera. Nothing is directed, but all sound is made in a studio afterwards. The principle is the same in each video, but the result differs. Each video brings me closer to my understanding of time/space.

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

Last year I started to use full HD, with the Canon EOS 5. My videos are a lot about the image. To begin with I was not at all satisfied with the HD; I thought it gave a totally flat image. But with this camera for stills, I could do very nice video.

6. The field of “art and moving images” (one may call it videoart or also differently) is is manifesting itself as an important position in contemporary art. Tell me more about your personal position and how you see the future of this field ( your personal future and the future of “art and moving images”)

I see video as a medium like any other medium, e.i paint, pen, clay, photo, performance etc. It will stay as such. Sometimes video seams to be very “interesting” for the moment, sometimes something else does. Painting was “dead” in the late 90s, now it is fully alive again.

7. How do you finance your films?

My videos are very cheap to produce since it is just me (mostly) doing all the work. The camera I can rent for €15 a day and that is what I need to do a video piece. Most of the work in my videos is about editing (image and sound).

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 individually. Ones I worked with a cameraman, but that didn´t work out very well. The problem for me was that I then did know too much what I thought I wanted. The material ended up dead; I didn´t find any interesting way of continuing. I need video material which is still open to a lot of different possibilities; I want to surprise myself through different try-outs.

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

I like the filmmaker Antonioni very much. I am also very inspired by some Asian filmmakers, for ex Ozu, and the films “Dragon Inn”, Hana-bi and Chunking Express. Chris Marker has also been of great importance to me. I also read a lot, mostly philosophers and other people who try to open up the way of thinking about out time.

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

My hope is that I will have the possibility to continue doing my “research” about perception of time/space/life. If it will be as a video maker or not I don´t know. But I really enjoy doing the video editing and I find the medium very interesting.

Can works of yours viewed online besides on CologneOFF or VideoChannel? Where?

My works can be seen as excerpts on my homepage