The Philharmonie Project : 2 Video Installation Artworks
Social Sciences, Arts & Humanities Research Institute
School of Creative Arts
Art and Design
Research into Practice
The research output “The Philharmonie Project” consists of a series of video installation works developed in collaboration with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra and video production team of the Digital Concert Hall. The Philharmonie Project’s significance to artistic discourse on performance and mediation lies in its recasting of the spectacle though the apparatus of its dissemination. The project employs behind-the-scenes video and audio recording of symphonic concerts to explore how our collective experience of spectacle is mediated and controlled. The installations reconfigure the roles in the distribution of the sensible (what is apprehended by the senses) where the viewer bears witness to the re- distribution of their experience. The project, funded by the Bambi Foundation (Germany) and the Quebec Arts Council, includes two video installations: (Nielsen) exhibited at PROGRAM: Initiative for Art and Architecture, Berlin and (Bruckner) exhibited at the Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal. The National Gallery of Canada purchased the (Bruckner) installation for its permanent collection. The work is original from other video installations based on musical performances through its use of a unique cinematic grammar. By prioritizing the observation of technical work and behind-the-scenes production, the video triggers connections to documentary forms and the ‘making of’ film phenomenon. However, the work subverts these forms by employing a cinematic language using extreme close-ups and split screen to create an abstracted and limited representation. This limited view creates a form of lingua franca – a bridging language – a third distinct language set apart from musical performance and documentary cinematic conventions. For each of the Berliner Philharmoniker's concerts, a video/audio production team coordinates six remote controlled cameras, choreographing them to the musical score for a live broadcast online. The rigour of this project lay in the intense collaboration with the video/audio production team and methods used to translate and reframe their working methods. In Philharmonie the tight focus of the camera frame imparts a high degree of specificity giving insight into the vast machinery of job segmentation, on which an entire socio-economic system depends.