Some Minutes of a Time
Some Minutes of a Time
is the title of a cycle of mainly experimental videos by the Cologne based media artist Agricola de Cologne, created between 2004 and 2008. As time based art, the essential aspect of these works represents “time” and “history” and its subcategories “memory” and “identity”.
Agricola de Cologne came quite late to the medium of video, or how the artist calls his works “moving pictures”, which already gives the idea about his artistic intentions.
Some minutes of a time – this is in first place the very personal time, the artist is offering the audience for participating in his experiences, perceptions and stories transformed into moving pictures via the medium of video. The viewer gets the unique opportunity to place himself for a short time into the historical context the artist is acting in.
Soon, very specific characteristics become visible, all videos have quite a short duration, but according to the artist’s special pictorial language a lot of things happen on different levels of perception so that the viewer is not able to get the totality of the work just in one single screening, in so far such screenings on festivals, for instance, do not remain really satisfying. Differently than a conventional film, the story or better the course of events are not linear, but follow their own non-linear rules, producing the unexpected, the not-yet-experienced. All these works incorporate a strong interactive component, but they cannot be defined as interactive, as such. Even if all works were presented on numerous festivals and received prizes and awards, they can actually not characterized as shortfilms or videos in a conventional purist sense, also not the type of looping clips we all know from gallery exhibitions, but the works represent “hybrids”, which incorporate aspects and components of all these media types. As art works they need to be run continuously looping, for instance, so that the viewer has the chance to go deeply down to the essence of the work step by step by reviewing and reviewing again.
Visible becomes also the diversity of representation, since each work is differently structured than the other, so the complex diversity can be seen as another essential component of the video creation.
The artist’s works are all based on personal philosophical ideas and experiences, and incorporate film material shot during his numerous travels around the world. Many works are expressively inspired by visits at certain places, and incorporate this way additional aspects of history which are not related to the artist himself, but by filming and incorporating these movie components the artist is setting himself and the viewer into new historical contexts. Perceivable becomes also the intensive, but very careful use of colour and space.
Another relevant aspect represents the fact, that the artist started working with video only when the medium of digital video became popular, and in this way the production of film and video affordable. The digital medium allows the artist to expressive his divers artistic talents in the development of one single moving picture, which was and is not possible in the analogue video this way.
As an artist, he creates a total art work (Gesamtkunstwerk), by holding not only the position of a director, but also the producer, editor, composer, animator and much more, controlling all processes until the final artistic result. Differently than most filmmakers, he does not see it as his primary goal to create a full length feature film once, this way he does not face the medium of short film/short video just as an intermediate state, but as an ideal format for his personal artistic expressions.
It is interesting, but also typical, that Agricola de Cologne came to his “moving pictures” when he started in 2000 developing and creating Internet based art, interactive and streaming art pieces, which incorporated a lot of digital video material. By doing, the artist recognized his strong affinity to moving pictures and he saw after many years the chances to continue now a certain type of work and artistic content which was executed in static and analogue media before, by transforming his ideas into moving pictures, also interactive works can be counted to this spectrum.
In 2003, he realized his first one minute movie, and slowly he extended the duration of his works to 15 minutes, which how ever represents a kind of magic mark for the artist, since the way how he is creating his movies, by doing and experimenting instead of using a script, or instance, becomes too complicated if the duration of a film exceeds 15 minutes, he simply looses the overview over the complex composition of image and sound the longer the work takes. The artist, however, recognized that the duration of a work does actually not really matter since the way of how he creates complex artistic content on different levels of perception is able to incorporate as much time as it is wanted.
Some Minutes of a Time
selected videos 2004-2008
Inability of Being Nude – 2:00, 2004
Truth – Paradise Found – 3:00, 2004
Rivals & Friends – 2:30, 2005
Distortion Projected – 4:50, 2005
House of Tomorrow – 3:00, 2005
Message from Behind a Wall – 10:00, 2005
Morire Cuba – 4:00, 2006
The Rehearsal – 6:00, 2006
Home so near, home so far – 11:30, 2006
Orfeo Negro – 4:20, 2006
Paint the Time – 9:00, 2007
Urban.early sunday morning_raw – 4:30 – 2007
Bareback – serial DIScharge – 6:00, 2007
RED: One Day on Mars – 8:00, 2007
En [code] ed – 5:30, 2008
Timed Out - 9:30, 2008
Hairdryer, 1:00, 2008