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fig↑ info folder remix configuration version

fig↓ illustrations of the installation and remix version



By Aeolian Lipara an island rises steeply on
spray-steaming rocks in the sea near Sicily's flank.
(Virgil The Aeneid 8.416-17)


The video installation VULCANO EOLICO consists of three mo­nitors and a videoprojection. The monitors are mounted on pedestals which stand close together, forming one unit. The videoprojection is on the wall or on a projection screen and occu­pies a somewhat isolated position to the right of the moni­tors. The three monitors show a panorama shot of the edge of the large crater of the Eolian island Vulcano (Italy). The video projection shows part of the space above the crater. This spa­ce is part of the panorama as well, but then shifted somewhat to the right.

The chief motif of the installation is the vulcanic smoke which escapes from a cavity directly under the outer edge of the crater, and which, due to the direction of the wind during the making of the recor­ding, is blown over the edge of the crater. This smoke forms the plume which is charac­teristic of Vulcano and which, judging by the poet­ry of Virgil, has dominated the appearance of the island for cen­turies.
On the monitors, the viewer sees the trail of smoke flowing past continually from left to right. This can be seen in the videoprojection as well, but by then the plu­me of smoke has become much wider and is beginning to dis­perse. On the third mo­nitor, wisps of smoke can now and then be seen escaping from the earth over the edge of the crater. Because of the leeward positi­on, these fine plumes rise up in the opposite direction and some­times influence the dynamic of the other smoke there as it just passes the edge of the crater. This motif of wafting smoke represents the domain of the classical gods Vulcan and Aeolus and can be for the whole duration of the installation, practical­ly without inter­ruption.

Interwoven with this main image are several series of very short shots, which sometimes completely break through the smoke, but which are more usually partly concealed behind the smoke. These images are largely taken from TV newsreels and documentaries, which were compiled for this project during the first half of 1991. These series of TV images, which each have their own rhythm, show a contempo­rary processing of a number of the­mes woven around Vul­can and his association to other mytholo­gical figures, especi­ally Minerva and the monster Typhoon. Vulcan was the god of fire, the blacksmith of Ju­piter and sometimes of other gods, and the maker of all kinds of ingenious things. Because of his association with fire he has long been seen as the founder of human civili­sation. He worked together with Minerva, who, apart from the significance which she had as the protector of handiwork and applied arts, was not only the goddess of science and wisdom, but at the same time also a goddess of war. The stories surrounding the birth of Vul­can sometimes merge with the stories surroun­ding the birth of the mytho­logical monster Typhoon. This monster, who was impriso­ned deep un­der the earth between Sicily and Italy, symbolized both the rumbling of vulcanos and earthquakes, as well as the destruc­tive power of sto­rms.

Unlike my earlier video installations, in which the diffe­rent lay­ers of images were spread over all the monitors, the images in this installa­tion are largely concentrated on one place: the videoprojection. There are three main lines of images, associ­ated with the collecti­ve sphere of activity of Vulcan, the ambiguous Minerva and the monster Typ­hoon. These layers of ima­ges can only be seen the video-projection, half-visible behind the smoke. Other themes connected with Vulcan and his consorts - such as as­socia­tions with fire, the powers of nature, primordial elements and primitive forms of civilisation - are shown in the images which break through completely. The images are partly to be found in the three previously mentioned lines of images in the projection, but they sometimes also appear, and then synchronously, on all four screens: monitors and videoprojection.
Apart from the above mentioned synchronous images, the three con­nected video screens only show images which are not taken from television recordings, but which were speci­ally shot for this pro­ject in the ruins of Pompeii. These images are alternately shown either disconnected from each other or in the form of 'broken' synchronous mixes. The synchronous mixes of Pompeii are brought to completion on the videoprojection, which at those moments is showing (televi­sion) ima­ges of ruins and associated factors, brought about as a conse­quen­ce of the war in progress at the time that the television film footage was being compi­led for this project.

The division which exists to some degree between the group of three monitors and the videoprojection is also carried thro­ugh in the sound of the installation. For the 'Eolian' side of this project, Pien Stades has com­posed a piece of music for an instrument - called a bambuso sonoro - which was developed by Hans van Koolwijk. This composition, per­formed by Pien Stades herself, is linked to the main image of the three monitors and the projection on the wall or on a screen. The 'Vulcanic' element has been given form by Rob Glotzbach. He has made a melting-pot of sounds for the video projection, as well as the sound for the synchronous images.

The remix on this DVD is a configuration of three pictures in picture designed for one video projection on three panels and projection screen or wall.

(ndk 1992-2004)


installation (1991-92)
concept and script Nol de Koning, camera Louk Vrees­wijk, Nol de Koning; editing Ivo van Stiphout; sound track Rob Glotzb­ach, sound mixing Studio Barra­deel, Amster­dam, postproduc­ti­on MonteVide­o, Am­sterdam, music Pien Stades WIND-FORCE 7 per­formed by the composer on a bambuso sonoro, created by Hans van Koolwijk;
four video tapes, 32'30", colour, sound (stereo), three video monitors, one video projection (wall or screen)

remix (2004)
concept Nol de Koning, online editing Ramon Coelho, postproduction Netherlands Media Art Institute

> Bulicame   > Palinuro   > Miseno   > Palinuro and Miseno   > Vulcano Eolico
> Hylas' Song   > Nox Umida   > Malebolge   > Versions of the Blue Hour
> Terra Morale  > The C of Scylla   > Old Ocean
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