Route One

Road%2Bmap.JPGIcelandic avant-rock band, Sigur Rós hailing from Reykjavik, Iceland in 2016 created this 24 hour long format, slow tv production called Route One intended to be broadcast live on BBC4 as well as The band created this television event to accompany the release of their then newly released single, ‘óveður’. In this live-streamed youtube production, the band travels on the longest day of summer in Iceland, traversing route one, a road spanning around the entirety of Iceland’s 1332km Ring Road.“the soundtrack to this “slow tv” adventure was created using generative music software taking the multi-track stems of the sigur rós song ‘óveður’ and endlessly reinventing them to create new and unpredictable musical directions in real time.” (1) This meant that over the duration of the 24 hour TV event, the sounds heard, like the scenes filmed, would never be repeated exactly. The soundtrack was produced in a generative music software called ‘Bronze.’


 Accompanying the 24 hour-long song, was the equally important 360 degree footage capturing the entirety of the visible landscapes at any given point while on the road. This access to 360 degree views from a remote location allows the viewer/listener to telematically transport themselves to the location of the bus at any given moment on its journey. This dynamic of the piece exposes art’s ability to exist in several different modes simultaneously. Firstly, Route One can be observed statically, from the comfort of the home on a stationary screen. This method allows the viewer to take a more passive mode of spectatorship that lets the experience present itself in a more ambient and atmospheric form. Secondly, the spectator may choose to access Route One in a much more dynamic manner, as it is an interactive piece that can be manipulated digitally to perceive the work from different angles and perspectives utilizing the 360-degree camera angles. sigur.jpg

Erkki Huhtamo is referenced in Art Electronic Media stating, "The user is invited to travel, but not simply up and down the shaft of time, as if encapsulated in a chronographic elevator. Instead, the traveler navigates in a much more complex realm of past-present and present-past, in which layers of time overlap and associate with each other…" Route One shares a very similar function. The 360-degree camera introduces an interactivity with the piece that grants the viewer opportunity to observe the piece that is both moving and simultaneously static repeatedly in different perspective. The sheer duration of the art piece, visually and sonically, allows Route One to be observed in a near infinite amount of perspectives. Long-format television was created in hopes of removing the average citizens from the fast paced, hustle and bustle of modern society and placing them in a more meditative and trance-inducing state, witnessing and experiencing, second hand, the outside world.


Sigur Ros’ Route One accomplishes this feat, leaving viewers in awe at the mysterious vastness of the Rim Road’s chilling and empty landscapes, while at the same time utilizing new technologies to invite viewers to explore this empty vastness and uncover hidden gems caught with the camera’s gaze. One such gem was the Icelandic horse that gained short internet fame in the most majestic fashion.(2)



Conversion of St. Paul

The Conversion of St. Paul. 1600-1601.  [2]

“Caravaggio’s technique, a high-contrast form of chiaroscuro known as tenebroso, achieves effects that bear an uncanny resemblance to Edgerton’s high-speed flash photography,” such as Milk Drop Coronet (1936) [1]

“In 1600, soon after he had completed the first two canvases for the Contarelli Chapel, Caravaggio signed a contract to paint two pictures for the Cerasi Chapel in Santa Maria del Popolo. The church has a special interest because of the works it contains by four of the finest artists ever to work in Rome: Raphael, Carracci, Caravaggio and Bernini. It is probable that by the time Caravaggio began to paint for one of its chapels, The Assumption by Annibale Carracci was in place above the altar. Caravaggio’s depictions of key events in the lives of the founders of the Roman See have little in common with the brilliant colours and stylized attitudes of Annibale, and Caravaggio seems by far the more modern artist.

Of the two pictures in the chapel the more remarkable is the representation of the moment of St Paul’s conversion. According to the Acts of the Apostles, on the way to Damascus Saul the Pharisee (soon to be Paul the Apostle) fell to the ground when he heard the voice of Christ saying to him, ‘Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?’ and temporarily lost his sight. It was reasonable to assume that Saul had fallen from a horse.

Caravaggio is close to the Bible. The horse is there and, to hold him, a groom, but the drama is internalized within the mind of Saul. He lies on the ground stunned, his eyes closed as if dazzled by the brightness of God’s light that streams down the white part of the skewbald horse, but that the light is heavenly is clear only to the believer, for Saul has no halo. In the spirit of Luke, who was at the time considered the author of Acts, Caravaggio makes religious experience look natural.” [2]



[2]: Edward A. Shanken, Art and Electronic Media, p.17