Ljungdahl, Mads

Mads Ljungdahl
Danish video artist

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biography

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Interview: 10 questions

1. Tell me something about your life and the educational background

I’m originally a painter from Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen, but has since worked in a lot of different fields: Sound in both theater, film and music. Photography, drawing and different hybrid techniques.

2. When, how and why started you filming?

My first film dates back from the mid-eighties when I did experiments with the double-8 film format. More recently I began a video-adventure, exploring what my sound and visual work can do together.

3. What kind of subjects have your films?

I tend to be telling stories, “The Blank Entertainer”, that I submitted for VideoChannel is a good example. But I’m strolling along some path and branch roads can be very tempting.

4. How do you develop your films, do you follow certain principles, styles etc?

It’s still so new for me and at the moment I’m trying to keep things as free and fresh as I can. After all my work in other fields I really don’t need another cage to be trapped in.

5. Tell me something about the technical equipment you use.

Since animation is my main thing at the moment I don’t even have a video-camera, other than what’s included in my Olympus still-camera. Multiple photos and drawings is my main material, as is sound. I edit on my computer [not a Mac btw.], I guess that’s it.

6. What are the chances of new media for the genre film/video in general and you personally?

Since the video shares the format of television and all the “players” on high speed network computers, it would be possible to spread video-work like no other art form [except for music] now and in the future. So it has a huge potential as a mass media art communication format. This is a very interesting but not necessarily a positive thing, since we’re already drowning in media, and more art is not necessarily better art. We have to hope that some of the good things actually surfaces [I don’t believe they always do].
Personally – I have tumbled around with different media types [in theater, music and visual art] over the years, and simply try to select the most appropriate, for different expressions.

7. How do you finance your films?

I don’t actually, but this is a problem – I need funding.

8. Do you work individually as a video artist/film maker or do you work in a team? if you have experience in both, what is the difference, what do you prefer?

My experience with collaborations has been very good when it comes to video. I’ve joined the “Exquisite Corpse Video Project” [even making titles for the next Vol.2 release]. I personally adore interplay between different work forms, and I need to do my solo work also, so my preference would be both!
If we’re talking teams as a group of people on a single movie. I have done this on large scale commercial movies [sound] and in theater, to make an income. This can be very uplifting work too, but it all depends on the project.

9. Who or what has a lasting influence on your film/video making?

The mystery of life itself. A somewhat pompous statement but also a simple one. I don’t think I can come up with anything better or more relevant..!

10. What are your future plans or dreams as a film/video maker?

I have several ideas for new videos and video-related works that I look forward to make, but I can’t reveal much right now. Things need to grow in me, develop in my darkroom so to speak; some has to do with finding a way to melt stills and moving image.
I don’t know what my dreams are right now but I have some hopes: that my video-work can go hand in hand with my other art and media projects as limiting myself to one art form would kill me.
Preferably my work with sound and video will continue to grow in a mix of solo-work and different collaborations.

Can works of yours viewed online besides on VideoChannel? Where?
List some links & resources

Exquisite Corpse Project Vol.1 #9 [last part]: http://vimeo.com/2631035
That’s the only uploaded work I have out there at the moment, but more will turn up, so maybe I can add them later.