For the past weeks I was suffering from isolation. As a natural part of my job I travel to exhibitions, festivals and commissioned jobs several times throughout the year. Due to the corona crisis everything scheduled and I already worked for, was cancelled right away or postponed until further notice in the beginning of March this year. People all over the world are currently asked and at some places even forced to stay in quarantine, which easily leads to social isolation when you don’t have anymore regular touch points as through work, hobbies or just a walk in the park with a friend. Millions of people had to rearrange their lives and simple daily routines.
Despite the fact that I was and still am spending my time in quarantine together with three (bonus) kids and my wife, I almost immediately felt the heavy weight caused by being locked out from the world and the social life. In the first two weeks it felt like an adventure, but after some time under certain circumstances I realized that even a routined grown up will fail several times. Have you ever tried to homeschool a six and a nine years old kid, occupy a toddler, keep the house clean, everybody well nourished, satisfied, entertained, to stay in decent physical motion and to be productive (not to be misunderstood as being creative) at the same time, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for weeks? Exactly.
Those nice little (business) trips to locations at the end of the world, not for money, but for the place you would otherwise never have the chance to travel to, sound really awesome, don’t they? Even if the lift turns out to be a soul catcher, if the material arrives three days later and there was no giant tree in front of the wall on the photos you received beforehand and planed your project with. You start to appreciate the freedom to travel, to go far away from your daily duties at home. Especially because there’s always that super nice artist I met at powwow 5 years ago or that guy I always forget the name of, but admire the artwork of. I meet colleagues and role models, old and new friends, who I share unforgettable experiences with. This was part of my life for almost 25 years and it was cut off quite suddenly.
Luckily my studio is part of my apartment in Berlin, so I’m still able to work. Since it’s uncertain when I will come back to business as usual again, I started to take some time and experimented with infinite video loops. Something I do from time to time since back to the days when I was a student at Bauhaus University. I first recorded a shot from my studio through my apartment and back to my studio again. Afterwards I created an infinite loop of a recording through my studio to transfer the despairing feeling of being isolated through physical distancing. Having the time to work on something different made me wondering how all the other artists were coping with this new normal. I escaped from the feeling of being left behind and alone by remembering the invisible connections, which nevertheless exists and started to reach out to my artist friends and colleagues. It turned out that they were doing the exact same thing. They were creative and productive in their studios and somehow they have been grateful for this time out.
An idea was born.
During a phone call with my friend and artist Onur, I explained my idea of asking other artist to take a video through their studios and to put them all together as individual parts of a long, infinite chain shot. Onur was thrilled and immediately started to contact other artists and friends to ask them for participating in this idea. He even got a befriended musician to compose a lovely piano piece for the film. Awesome! It took only some days and I received much more clips than initially expected. This response was overwhelming for me. 37 artists from 30 different cities all over the world were instantly into this project. Perhaps the little distraction came handy for them as well and the constant social interaction was a very positive side effect for me.
The technical requirements were easy. I asked them to take a time laps shot through their studio, that is not longer than 4 seconds. But it was still challenging, because they had to move really slow and avoid vivid movements. When you are not familiar with moving images and since they didn’t had my vision of the shot in mind, it was more difficult then expected. Some artists took recording after recording and it still wasn’t optimal. However, in the end and after some long hours of editing and many learnings (why do you always know it best afterwards) the finished short film came out as a proof for the principle of mentalism. Sliding through the contrasting and inspiring studios as lively spaces in constant use by the respective artists felt refreshing and very comforting to me. It symbolizes the connection of all individuals being part of an universal infinite, living mind, in which you don’t necessarily need to check in physically. It’s always out there. So here it is.
WE ARE ONE INFINITE, LIVING MIND (ISOLATED part II)
short film by AKUT, 2020
Idea and Editing:
Camera (participating artists):
Adnate https://instagram.com/adnate Melbourne, Australia
AKUT https://instagram.com/akut_herakut Berlin, Germany
Andreas Englund https://www.instagram.com/andreasenglundart Falun, Sweden
Apolo Torres https://www.instagram.com/apolotorres São Paulo, Brazil
Base23 https://www.instagram.com/23base Berlin, Germany
Bezt & Natalia Rak https://www.instagram.com/bezt_etam and https://www.instagram.com/nataliarakart
cantwo https://www.instagram.com/cantwo Wuppertal, Germany
Cristian Blanxer https://www.instagram.com/cristianblanxer Barcelona, Spain
Conor Harrington https://www.instagram.com/conorsaysboom London, UK
Greg „Craola“ Simkins https://www.instagram.com/craola Torrance, California
Daniel Man https://www.instagram.com/daniel_man_codeak Munich, Germany
D!RTY https://www.instagram.com/spurcus_am Erfurt, Germany
Douglas Greed https://www.instagram.com/douglas_greed Berlin, Germany
Drew Merritt https://www.instagram.com/drewmerritt Saint Vrain, New Mexico
Hueman https://www.instagram.com/hueman_ Oakland, California
James Bullough https://www.instagram.com/james_bullough Berlin, Germany
Kamea Hadar https://www.instagram.com/kameahadar Hawai
Kevin Ledo https://www.instagram.com/kevinledo Montreal, Canada
KKADE https://www.instagram.com/kkade_schwarzmaler Bern, Switzerland
Louis Masai https://www.instagram.com/louismasai Margate, UK
Low Bros https://www.instagram.com/low_bros Hamburg, Germany
MadC https://www.instagram.com/mad_c1 Halle, Germany
Marc Jung https://www.instagram.com/marc_jung_ Erfurt, Germany
Mauro C Martinez https://www.instagram.com/ztm_oruam San Antonio, Texas
Miel und Telmo https://www.instagram.com/telmomiel Amsterdam & Rotterdam, Netherlands
Mike Dargas https://www.instagram.com/mikedargas Los Angeles, California
Nate Frizzell https://www.instagram.com/natepaints Los Angeles, California
Nuno Viegas https://www.instagram.com/nunoviegas.pt Quarteira, Portugal
Onur https://www.instagram.com/onurpainting Berlin, Germany
Paola Delfin & Mateus Bailon https://www.instagram.com/paola_delfin and https://www.instagram.com/mateusbailon Itajaí, Brazil
Pat Perry https://www.instagram.com/heypatyeah Detroit, Michigan
Ricky Lee Gordon https://www.instagram.com/rickyleegordon Sri Lanka
Suiko https://www.instagram.com/suiko1 Hiroshima, Japan
Wes 21 https://www.instagram.com/wes21_schwarzmaler Bern, Switzerland
Waone https://www.instagram.com/waone_interesnikazki Kyiv, Ukraine
Wow123 https://www.instagram.com/markus_wow123_genesius Bremen, Germany
Music (exclusively composed):
“M’Goun“ by Pablo Nouvelle https://www.instagram.com/pablonouvelle