VIP - VideoChannel Interview Project

Voskopoulou, Angelina

Angelina Voskopoulou
Greek video artist


Interview – 10 questions
15 June 2022

1. Tell me something about your life and the educational background
Born in Athens, Greece. Earned a BA in Fine Arts and Technology and a Master’s degree in Digital Arts at University of the Arts London. I have served as course leader in the field of Digital Arts at Iversity (Berlin-based online education platform). I have recently been working at Akto college as a post production tutor and I am running a video art seminar at the university of Athens (EKPA) My practice spans videos, performances, and sculptures made from polyester. I am a member of Visual Container – The first Italian Videoart platform and distributor. Her work has been shown in many festivals and institutions in USA, London, Paris, Hong Kong, Greece, Canada, Argentina, Morocco, Spain, Bulgaria, Italy, etc.

2. When, how and why started you filming?
When I was growing up, I was mostly exposed to art through an esoteric need for experimentation. I attended schools which, did not have an art program but, luckily, was brought to art galleries and fairs, shown documentaries, even spent weeknights drawing on the kitchen table…and though I really don’t think I was ever pushed in any way toward a career in art, I’ve always been interested in something art-related. When I hit high school, I took my “experimentation” to the next level I continued exploring the world of drawing, until I basically spent all my non-homework non-dancing hours in my room working on art stuff. I have always drawn…but I haven’t really thought of fine arts as a career path until I began spending nearly all my free-time working on it and, at that point, it was hard to think about anything else
I can’t say that this is a path that any artist should plan, but I also don’t know where I’d be had anything gone differently. The lack of structure taught me to experiment…But ‘painting ‘wasn’t enough for me, I was trying to find my ‘means of expression. That happened when I first met my maestro (Nikos Navridis). It was a meeting at the art school’s theater where he presented to us his video works and other works related to film and experimental filmmaking and that moment was the moment of my rebirth. I have found my way -That was it! But The truth is I have been interested in filmmaking since I was 15 years old. I had watched and loved a lot of films prior to this time. I had written some ‘spontaneous’ screenplays and had also tried to film them. I was interested in finding a way of telling a story…. Studying for my MA degree at Arts London (ULA university is the largest design and specialist university in Europe.The acceptance rate over the entire UAL is about 22%) under the guidance of Andrew Stiff, an exceptional man and artist, helped me to further develop my skills in relation to the medium of video. I was mostly exposed to art through an esoteric need for experimentation. when you working with video/ film, you have to constantly push yourself to grow and learn with the changing times. Pieces of us exist in all of our work regardless of how good, bad, old, or new it is. Experimentation! Experimentation is the key to test on an idea and try to create an art project.

3.What kind of subjects have your videos/films?
Most of the videos have to do with the dance of the unconscious, an expression of what we have not been able to express, of thoughts and feelings that are buried deep inside, beneath our conscious deals with the dark side of human beings and reflects things that people don’t want to face. The timing and movements are not set. I want to uncover movement, not tell the dancer what to do. Instead, try to give the dancer a task, something to do physically along with a visualization, acknowledging emotions like anger , fear, sadness, love and letting them go…

4. How do you develop your videos/films, do you follow certain principles, styles etc?
Art is about connecting with people’s emotions. It’s personal and at the same time, universal. The heart of my films, despite the concept, is the body and its movement. Even though choreography is somehow forgotten in movie making, what makes that so powerful is actually the editing process. When I create a video work, for the most part, I am creating videodance, (also known as screendance), I am not documenting. I am making dance for the camera. I choreograph a piece knowing that I will re-organize and ‘manipulate’ the material during the editing process. combining Elements such as time, space, speed and spatial composition. In addition, one incorporates the movement of the camera, as well as the composition of the frames. Even though the body in movement is the ‘seed’ and inspiration of screen dance, often the movement phrases get ‘throw’ around, the end becomes the beginning, the body gets fragmented and layers of dancers end up superimposed into different backgrounds, creating a new work which in some cases is far apart from the movement material that it was based on. My decisions are based on the rhythm and composition of the new piece, as well as on the design, contrast and the proximity to the camera. I am trying to create a visual metaphor. Using a combination of both, narrative and location. The concept of a video choreography, in my films, is based on my own lyrics , texts and ideas. What I am dealing with is the effects, the perception, and the visual effects of my work as proposals, as an open space, so that you can get there things you always wanted to feel and maybe didn’t know how to express, imagine, watch, observe, whatever. This is so far away from the strong screenplay, the beautiful movie, etc I work through lyric imagery, in poetry is a form of literature that uses aesthetic and rhythmic qualities of language-such as sound symbolism, and metre-to evoke meanings in addition to, or in place of, the prosaic ostensible meaning. Imagery draws on the five senses, namely the details of taste, touch, sight, smell, and sound. This way leads the way to all of my experimental films. It’s like a dream stage situation. Its like we have sleeping emotions in us all the time, half-sleeping, so one specific image or the combination of one image and sound, or the way of putting things together, like two images one after another, what we call montage, editing – these things ring a bell. These half-asleep feelings just wake up because of that – that is what it is about.

5. Tell me something about the technical equipment you use.
Simple stuff, camera, tripod, lights (soft boxes lights), green screen, sound recorder or microphone, action camera, drone in some circumstances…

6. What are the chances of new media for the genre videos/films in general and you personally? 7. How do you finance your films?
The introduction of digital technologies into the production processes of the forms is enabling the development of this new sense of formalism, and this is happening in ways that are both complex and diverse. In particular, different kinds of spectacle are manifest within each of the genres a fact which, to some extent at least, is related to the different ways the same digital imaging possibilities are aesthetically deployed. The positive reception of the films of digital cinema depends as much on a fascinated spectator, immersed in dazzling opticals and imagery and the machinations of plot and theme. Computer imaging techniques have assumed a central authority in this new mode or genre. Both directly and indirectly, they are introducing important and distinctive registers of illusionist spectacle into the cinema. The internet has changed everything We can access anything almost anywhere. There are a lot of opportunities in showing work. All of my experimental shorts are low budged and a self-production. I am working as an art tutor specialized in video art and experimental filmmaking.

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?
Concerning my own films, I am working individually. I had the chance to work on theatrical productions in collaboration with other artists and the outcome is different in the final form of the work presented because you are forced to compromise.

9. Who or what has a lasting influence on your film/video making?
Poetic image and video poetry … In the assembly -editing or “montage”- phase, syntactical decisions are made to render image-text-sound juxtapositions as a metaphor for simultaneous “meanings” which the viewer interprets as a poetic experience. These decisions are based on presenting the 3 elements as distant realities (often arrived at through chance operations) whose relationship strikes the viewer as surprising, as always new. It is imperative that the juxtapositions be consistently perceived as suggestive of indirect relationships – mysterious, oneiric.
10. What are your future plans or dreams as a film/video maker?
Plenty of future plans! I love daydreaming and dream logic and the way dreams go.