segunda-feira, 11 de agosto de 2008

Uma das vias contemporâneas de reordenação do visível reside em nosso acesso cada vez mais corrente a imagens de satélite a partir de dispositivos como GPS, Google Earth e diversos GIS (geographic information systems). Tais imagens nos colocam numa perspectiva de sobrevôo antes restrita a deuses, máquinas ou experts do ramo científico ou militar. Ao mesmo tempo, tais imagens nos chegam a partir de um olho satélite em larga escala invisível, constituindo jogos diferenciados entre visibilidade e invisibilidade. Nesses jogos há uma série de aspectos estéticos, políticos, militares e cognitivos a serem explorados.
Lendo sobre essas questões, descubro o filme (10:40 min, 35mm), de Martin Heckmann. Abaixo, uma entrevista com o realizador do filme:

Interview by Michal Hoge for January 2008
How did you strike concept or idea about film?
It was during the second gulf war, that more and more satellite images appeared in the media. Mainly from weapon facilities in Iraq or disaster areas after the tsunami. I was fascinated by the nature of these images: they are abstract in one way and documents of reality in another way.
The perspective is sublime. Like “god contemplating his work”, and also like a child’s view on a sandbox. And I was alienated about myself: to look from an aesthetic point of view on these documents of suffering. So I decided to work something out that reflects these different layers of

Was it difficult for you to get the satellites shots?
The images in the beginning of the movie are from NASA’s Landsat and they completely free to download for everyone: The resolution is 1px=30m, so you won’t see any cars or smaller buildings. The images later in the movie (from villages and cityscapes) are commercial (=expensive) high resolution images from the Quickbird satellite. The resolution is 1px=0,6m. I worked out an agreement with the company distributing those pictures in Germany. They received other satellite image animations from me for their presentations at fairs.

How often do you use animation in the film?
The whole film is animated. There is a base layer of images from different parts of the world, stitched together and then animated to one seamless flight. As soon as villages and roads appear I animated cars on the roads and some airplanes in the air.

Why did you choose these concrete locations?
Because they are connected by the “war against terror” anyway. And the place where the satellite crashes is the house of my parents in a suburb of Hamburg. So the big world out there is connected with my small world also!

Can you say something about the sound scape in this film?
The Belgian musician Yves De Mey did the sound for this film. It is done in Dolby Digital Surround and Yves derived most of the complex electronic sounds from some simple guitar chords. The idea was to have an atmosphere where you can’t say of which
origin the sounds are. And to develop the sound like the film does: from very pure and simple desert landscapes to complex and chaotic city structures. Until the crash.

Do you think that there is the danger at this time of Orwell / Big Brother is still watching you?
I must admit: I am ambivalent in this matter. On one hand I see the dangers of surveillance and
the technical evolution in general but on the other hand I do love machines! And I like satellite images...But as the satellite crashes at the end of movie, I believe that all those machines are always imperfect. We love and we fear the idea of perfection but we won’t get there. Ikarus never reaches the sun but crashes in the end.
(The reprint of this interview appears
with kind permission of

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