Tidal Pulse at Arctic Moving Image & Film Festival (AMIFF) in Harstad, Norway.

Tidal Pulse Arctic Moving Image & Film Festival (AMIFF) in Harstad, Norway, 18. – 21. October 2018.

A site-responsive sound piece and visual voyage 

by Enrique Ramírez

Curated by Vanina Saracino

During one single journey lasting three hours, the local speedboat Stjernøy becomes Tidal Pulse, a temporary world emerging from the aftermath of the sociopolitical and environmental crisis, interweaving the abyss and the cosmos into a new history of the future. The engine of the boat, its heart and lung, will guide us with its rhythmical voice through the nightfall and along the waters. Our pulse will be soon synchronized with the tides and the undertows. Other beings will share space with us intermittently, leaving us to reach smaller islands called by the names of uncharted planets. We will see daylight merging into darkness, geographies blurring. Strange critters will emerge from the depth of the oceans. We will slowly drift into another dimension. 

* Please turn your mobile phones to flight mode to avoid sound interferences.

For this new work, Chilean artist and filmmaker Enrique Ramírez recorded the sounds of the boat – the vibrations created by the engine inside and outside the moving vehicle and in the operations room – and composes, in real time, a sound piece that becomes the pulse of this fuel-powered heart drifting along our increasingly threatened oceans. 

The boat’s pulse intertwines with the voices of local activists, politicians, scientists and workers in the oil industry business, reflecting on issues regarding the future of post fossil-fuel societies, the future of Norway and, by extension, the future of the Earth. 

We, the passengers and the audience, can hear these sounds through wireless headphones, having the opportunity to circulate on the boat, to immerse completely in the sounds and images, or even to choose silence. The length of the journey, lasting three hours, invites us to take the time to sense the surroundings and to embrace a slower pace, and it explicitly aims at countering the increasing acceleration of Western societies, which demand us to be faster, more productive and more efficient in the name of a destructive conception of progress. 

The wonderful landscape of the islands surrounding Harstad will accompany us during the first hour of our journey. But gradually the natural light’s intensity will decrease and the projected light will emerge from the twilight and the increasing darkness. With this modality of presenting moving images in a public space, and especially on a moving object, we aim at reflecting on the different meanings of motion and the temporalities within this medium, as well as exploring other potential configurations of the movie theatre as a privileged immersive space for the reception of video works.

The voices and statements that will accompany us along the journey belong to Silje Ask Lundberg (environmental activist, Naturvernforbundet / Friends of the Earth Norway), Barbro Hætta (Sami person and local politician, practicing as a doctor), Kjell Giaever (director of Petro Arctic), Dr. Jack Kohler (glaciologist, Norwegian Polar Institute, Tromsø), Anne Henriette Reinås Nilut (member of the Sami parliament and cultural producer). We thank them for their crucial contribution to the project. We also thank Helene Hokland (director, AMIFF) and Helene Eggen (producer, AMIFF) for the invitation and their deep commitment to the project, the captain and the crew of Stjernøy for their invaluable support, Mat av Vahl for the soup and Therese Jensen for the local seaweed buns served onboard and all the guests for taking the time to accompany us along the journey.

Tidal Pulse has been commissioned by AMIFF – Arctic Moving Image and Film Festival, 2018. The images were partly realized during the artist’s research for INcoming (2017), commissioned by Screen City Biennial (Stavanger).