Curating Commissioning Producing


Once Seen

Curated by Lina Dzuverovic
Funded by the British Council Norway, produced by Mesen

Tromso Kunstforening, Tromso, Norway
8 - 11 November 2004

Once Seen is a screening programme of British video work examining the relationship we have to public space through a series of small everyday events caught on camera - fleeting encounters, vignettes of passers by, covert footage of people in shopping malls, train stations and airports. Some works offered sharp and humorous observations commenting on our relationship with everyday technologies, while others took us on dreamlike journeys through fictional landscapes and constructed narratives. Taking its title from the Once Seen column in Time Out magazine, in which people search for someone they have once seen in passing, the programme celebrated everyday encounters and moments too brief to ever fully register. A series of narratives and highly subjective visions and musings on travel, technology and movement were presented in a programme which brought together some of the leading British artists working across video, animation and installation.

About the artists:

In Infrastructure, Rachel Reupke creates an imaginary transport network through the Alps. An airport, a railway, an autobahn and a ferry port are presented centre frame, while a constant flow of traffic passes through the scene. Against this relentless procession the viewer is witness to fleeting moments of human drama: a glimpse of a woman in flight, a pursuit across a meadow, a shooting narratives left unresolved, personal stories lost within a grander spectacle. In this programme, four parts of Infrastructure crop up between other works.

Joe Magee & Alistair Gentry's Hypnomart uses covert footage of shoppers in a suburban mall to study human behaviour, and as source material for the artists' own manipulations of unsuspecting consumers. In these comprehensively surveyed and clinical environments, tiny gestures are magnified and transmit virally through the crowd.

Dryden Goodwin's video Hold considers the nature of memory, exploring the tension between our desire to hold onto experiences against the inevitability of the passing of time. Hold exploits the fact that film is made up of separate frames; the majority of the film features a new person on every frame, or every eighteenth of a second. In his second piece in the programme, Closer, Goodwin investigates and subverts the encounters we have with strangers in public places. Using a zoom lens and a long distance laser pen Goodwin collapses the spatial distance between the camera's eye and its subject, filming individuals as he simultaneously touches them with a beam of light.

In his two works Moon Walk and Lofoten Greg Pope leads the viewer through what is a highly personal moment in his encounter of the very north of Norway.

In Ferment, Tim Macmillan uses his especially designed 'time slice' camera to animate space while holding time still as the camera moves through a city catching people in their activities at a given moment.

In Remote Controller, People Like Us take us on a nostalgic tour of their collaged universe which uses found or 'orphaned footage' to create a sinister yet highly humorous vision.

Semiconductor's Green Grass Of Tunnel is a music video for the Icelandic band Mum. The piece brings to life a 1950's Norwegian tourist book. The animated landscapes feature a flock of birds as they move through a hand drawn terrain, creating a dreamy mysterious landscape.


Joe Magee & Alistair Gentry
Hypnomart, 3' 47

Rachel Reupke
part 1

Dryden Goodwin
1996, 5 min

Greg Pope
2000, video, 4 mins

Rachel Reupke
Infrastructure, part 2

People Like Us
Remote Controller
2002, 10 minutes

Rachel Reupke
Infrastructure, part 3

Tim Macmillan
1999, 5 minutes

Greg Pope
2001, 1 minute

Dryden Goodwin
2000 6 min 30secs

Green Grass Of Tunnel
2002, 4:30
Sound: Mum
Copright: 2002 Fat-Cat Records