Director: Jarkko Räsänen
Finland, 2023, 8 min
The latest addition to a series of experimental short films by Jarkko Räsänen is KULTAMA, in which he demonstrates the possibilities of misunderstanding found footage through his self-made algorithms. This fatherly-guarded, 7-minute-long hypersynthetic trip to the digital subconscious uses bits of video footage downloaded from YouTube to form an ecosystem of forms and colors before the viewer's eyes. This pilgrimage through the Information Amazon offers a granular view of the world, presenting information as paint in the spray can of a digital expressionist at an empty subway station. After listening to the archangelic soundtrack, viewers might wonder what a choir of bass players would sound like.
About the director
Jarkko Räsänen (b. 1984 FI) is an artist working with photography, moving image, and sound art. His work is computer-based, using algorithms that create new visuals from already existing images and moving images. He is interested in questioning the realism connected to image files that we consume by deconstructing them in the spirit of glitch art – despite this his work is more related to conceptual art via the strict structural operations he uses in programming them, rather than to errors. He wishes to bridge the coder-aesthetics to the traditions of experimental cinema and informalist & impressionist painting. He graduated from the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts, Time and Space Art department in 2011. During his studies he also spent a semester at the University of Arts Berlin. Räsänen's moving image works have been presented in various venues including CCA Derry/Londonderry, ARD1, ZDF, Arte, ORF, Anthology Archives NY, Videotage HK, Ars Electronica Linz & FRACTO Berlin.
I have been obsessed with programming since it was introduced to me in the midst of the 90s Finnish demoscene, a UNESCO immaterial world heritage-listed computer subculture. In 2009, I opened a portal to other dimensions in every given JPEG by inventing a pixel-sorting style algorithm as my MFA graduation work. Ever since then, I have been studying variations of it, and Kultama is perhaps the closest in structure to a classic demoscene piece, which I still hold as an ideal artistic form. Nevertheless, Kultama is strongly connected to the tradition of experimental cinema by arrogantly using found footage as raw material for its very special effects - and for the soundtrack. I like to think that the algorithm “Order'd Dance“ plays the main role in Kultama, not the alien sample material.