We had a very intensive residency in Philadelphia that would have been impossible without the efforts, help, guidance, assistance and wisdom of:
Excerpt of the film
Once we get there
A Documentary that leads you through an unfolding city
by Esther Polak and Ivar van Bekkum.
Movements and audio recorded in Philadelphia
Update per May 2016:
We updated the interactive website in a very great and reliable way. It now runs based on video files.
For the project a special recording device was developed, nicknamed “The Beagle”. The Beagle looks like a normal sling-bag and allows people to go out on their own, and record the city in a special orchestrated way. It takes the participant into a solist, yet shared journey and center stages the role of the individual as a data collecting entity.
The Beagle records sound and movements and gives the person who wears it a series of prompts (via a pre-recorded pod-cast) whereby the participant is given a choice on forehand: between 3 options of prompts-flavours: an empathic, a suspicious or a neutral angle. After her/his return, the participants trajectory is synced with the sound recordings and both are audio-visualised in a cinematographic way: they play out on the flatness of the satellite images.
A hand, reaching for a gift wrapped in wrinkly tissue paper with an image of the street that lies on the opposite side of the location where this image can be seen – the façade of the Apple Storage Building on 52nd and Willows Avenue.
The Mailman’s bag, like the mural, is one of the special side-works realized during Esther and Ivar’s residency. The work is based on the recording of a Philadelphia mail man’s bag. Using a different visual language the meaning of the work shifts, so that the work becomes a separate piece
In contrast with the map as still image, digital systems, computers, smart phones and tablets more and more connect us to, what film maker Harun Farocki called „Operative Images”. These are images that not only are a representation, but perform themselves, actively, in the world. The digital image gets agency whether we like it or not. 250 Miles Crossing Philadelphia is a poetic interpretation of this shift.
Ivar and Esther are very happy to let you know that they will present their 250 Miles Crossing Philadelphia NavDoc “Once we get There” on April 16 in Philadelphia at The Rotunda at 6:30PM. The screening of the film will be followed by an artist Q&A, and a modest celebration. They are looking forward welcoming you, and exchanging thoughts about this new form of documentary making, and the way it portrays the city experience.