-40:加拿大跨世代藝術家重新創造過去的影音實驗

五個月之前,加拿大的 Michel BlondeauECentricArts) 與 Katherine WatsonMeta4 Creative Communications Inc.) 應邀來台參加數位典藏年度成果展的國際研討會。當然,我不用詳述他們研討會中所談論有趣的緊的議題,你可以在網上閱覽研討會的成果紀錄

在 Michel Blondeau 與 Katherine Watson 所帶來的觀念、想法與作品中,有一個由 C0C0S0L1DC1T1NFB 加拿大國家電影理事會terminus1525 計畫共同執行的作品:-40,我到這幾天才有機會詳細瀏覽,就被裡面的有趣深深吸引。

這個計畫(簡單的新聞稿)是一個由加拿大國家電影理事會邀請六位知名的影音導演、創作者,與其他十四位二十五歲以下的聲音與影像創作者合作的計畫。遊戲規則是創作者必須從指定的老電影檔案中選擇一部作品,只能保留影像卻修改聲音軌重新混音,或者重新搭配組合影像保留音軌。這二十位數位藝術創作者,參與了這場重新創作宣傳影片(propaganda film)的盛宴。

策展說明(Curatorial Statement)是這樣說的:

“-40″計畫所收藏的作品是它們的時代數一數二的製作,同時也是一段延續仍在進行中的個人與國家認同的對話。無論是從個人到政治、獨特到全球共享,"-40″ 是一個從多重的視角來觀察的,二十世紀加拿大數位藝術家探索過去與現在相遇、再各自踏上不同路途的一場影音計畫。藝術家們運用著選自加拿大國家電影理事會保存的 1940 年代社會與政治宣傳影片,策展的規則是他們必須基於聲音或視覺媒介,創作出一部新的作品,面對整合影片中保持原狀元素的對話挑戰。

Mark Glassman 在它的評論文章〈好好搖、狠狠攪拌:混成我們的過去〉(Shake Well and Stir: Remixing Our Past)中介紹了這些作品的獨特性與其整體形成的意義:

That’s the beauty of this collection. Each artist is up to the task of reconfiguring old Film Board material into something fresh and exciting. In Ordeal by Ice, prhizzm uses a light, melodic touch to remix the audio on the film, allowing the eye to roam freely and see the stark, beautiful quality of the frozen terrain of Northern Canada. By contrast, Amen by David Lemieux, a remix of Terre de Nos Aieux (1943), incorporates digital imagery into a film that used to be a portrait of “pure laine” Québécois country folk. Cutting down the film’s length, Lemieux avoids most of the doc’s visuals, preferring to create silhouettes of the farmers. By emphasizing, through drawings, the sound levels and faces—without mouths—of the inhabitants of the region, the vice-like grip of the Church becomes all too clear.

-40 was set up with a simple set of rules. Remixers had to keep either the audio or cinematography intact from the original NFB films. Cuts could be made as some of these shorts were quite long, and that factor helped the artists to place an emphatic stamp on the material. The major reworking—and rethinking—was done either through new soundtracks or visuals.

The effect of this organizing principle is two-fold. First, it allows the artists to re-imagine the films, creating exciting work(首先,策展規則讓藝術家重新想像這些影片,因而創造出精彩的作品). With remixing so important in our culture today, -40 proposes a whole new area to “plunder”–older films, especially documentaries. Re-makes in the collection range from the overtly political (Definitely Not Internment Camps’ plea for the imprisoned Japanese-Canadians of WWII) through the purely formal (Action Stations’ “thriller” electro-pop score) to the satiric (Bonjour Voisin’s contrast between tourists’ images of Canada and the mundane reality).

Secondly, these remixes allow us to see Canada’s past with clearer eyes(透過重新改作,讓人清晰地看見加拿大歷史). With voice-over narration and musical effects freed from their visuals, the audience can listen and examine how a nation was moved to work together during the stirring times of World War II and the rebuilding years that followed the Allies’ victory. Lorne Greene’s acclaimed “Voice of Doom” serves to remind us how Canadians were mobilized into action.

More poetically, the remixed audio tracks allow us to see the beauty of Canada(更為詩意地看見加拿大的美麗): the zig-zagging trails of skiers on mountains, the toiling workers outdoors cutting lumber, the children playing in small towns throughout the country. It reminds us that Canada was once a pioneering nation. With new technologies and fresh attitudes towards cultural expression, perhaps that spirit of adventure still prevails.

於是我在這些片中看到了慢動作搞笑、提醒人們對群眾講話是一件多蠢的事情的希特勒(Matt Burke “When You Address the Masses"),石油與水重新剪輯與塗抹的歷史影像(Creatrix, “Oil + Water"),還有英國的孩子在戰爭時到加拿大避難的複雜心情DJ Dopey, “Children From Overseas")。我多麼希望我的朋友、同胞能夠也能夠看見保存、分享與新世代重新創造 remix 的巨大力量…

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