VIP - VideoChannel Interview Project

Tirelli, Sara Francesca

Sara Francesca Tirelli
Italian videomaker


Interview: 10 questions

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

I was grown up in the North East of Italy close to the border with ex Yugoslavia but my family is originally from Naples and I’ve always be surrounded by cultural misunderstanding. My educational background is a mix between humanities studies and underground street culture.

2. When, how and why started you filming?
In summer ’89 my father bought an S-VHS camcorder to film our holidays. Since that day I had a pure obsession in watching what surrounded me through a viewfinder.
I’ve always belief in video as a tool to explore and understand reality.

3. What kind of subjects have your films?
Video making became soon my job, I’m a freelance in moving images industry and often fighting between commercial oriented content and my personal artistic research.
I can say when it comes to my artistic video the contents are rarely linear narratives once, but rather inputs to trigger a personal vision in the audience.

4. How do you develop your films, do you follow certain principles, styles etc?
Everything starts from a vision, an image that pop up in my mind. In the developing stage I always attempt to stress the limit of the audiovisual grammar, experimenting new way of non conventional narratives. I like to disorienting the viewer, asking him to be active rather than passive in the perceiving process of moving images. I think nowadays our cognitive approach is stucked in pre-existing categories and is full of prejudice. For this reason my principles in creating video is always trying to touch first the physical apparatus rather than the mental one. Utopia?

5. Tell me something about the technical equipment you use.
I used to have a SONY PD170 which i had to abandoned when the HD aesthetics conquered our eyes. I now mainly shoot with a DSLR Canon 550D enjoying the variety of lenses you can attach to it. At the same time I like to play with older video format, for example last june I’ve shot a video clip with an old s-vhs camcorder.
For sound I use the H4N audio recorder from ZOOM and I’m lately experimenting with binaural microphones, while I edit my video on Final Cut with MacBook Pro.

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 have to say I do hate the word “video art”. I find it such a reductive label to incorporate the vast realm of audio visual language and its infinite ways of expression. I think “video art” belongs to the past, when video was something new and opposite to film as medium in its specific nature. So for me video art is the one of the late ’60 until the the end of the ’80.
Nowadays I think of “experimenting filming” when comes to the field of art and moving images. Sincerely, I’m quite pessimistic in seeing a future where I could live only of my personal audio visual experiments. It might be because I’m from Italy, a place where only rich people can try to join a strictly artistic career and grant and residence for artists are really few. For this reason my production is shared among commercial video work and artistic ones.I have to. As a viewer I also have problem with exhibitions where videos of more 15 minutes are showed. I don’t think museum are the right place to show this kind of video. I’d rather prefer to think that one day the concept of art and moving images can established in cinema through screening of the so called Experimenting Films.

7. How do you finance your films?
I do finance my films with my own money. What I earned with my profession of freelance director and video-maker is often spent in my independent production. And of course the network of friends and artists I know is the main and big resource to achieve my goal.
I do believe in collaboration and I always go low budget.

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?
As i said before I think collaboration with other artists and creative people is always a plus in a video production. Off course, the match of personal interests has to be perfect otherwise what often happen is a invisible war between 2 or more egos.
I’m definitely individualistic when comes to create a concept and pursue my personal vision.Then if I think I need an outer input to enrich my work I ask people to join my venture, but rarely they are video makers like me. I often work with performers and creative costume makers. I think the definition of roles in a team is the main ingredient for a successful collaboration.

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

“I don’t want to get my vision polluted by other people’s works” this is a sentences that I often used to say. Off course this is impossible, because we are everyday surrounded by visual input, that on a unconscious level shapes our imaginary. But I have to say, I don’t have a clear influence in my video making process. I guess to answer to this question i should be hypnotized. What I instead rationally know are, very few, director’s name I like, the first name now that comes in my mind is the one of Harmony Korine. but hey, out there there’s many artists I do respect.

10. What are your plans or dreams as a film/video maker?
My dreams is definitely won a millionaire prize lottery and to dedicate to my artistic research 24/7 . Then having a personal exhibition screening at MoMa.;)
My plans is to continuing following my visions in order to be able to touch people and connecting with an underground and invisible collective strategy to enrich our imaginary and make this world a better one. I always believed that art is a political tool.