“Movements of an Impossible Time” by Flatform

FlatformThe artistic duo Flatform has been invited to present their videos in some of the most important international art institutions such as the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the Venice Film Festival, the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, and the TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival). Their work focuses on the study of the landscape, its modifications due to the passing of time, changing weather conditions, or human intervention.
But Flatform is also virtuoso with their medium, almost obsessive in the use and control of all the available techniques designed to make the final product sophisticated and flawless.
The video I chose for the project “Virtual vs Real,” which is being developed on this platform, gathers all these aspects together. Titled “Movements of an impossible time,” this video portrays a rural landscape that changes with the weather conditions. To get the desired impact, Flatform has used special effects techniques as in cinematography. The music following the weather mutations, changing rhythm and sometimes even deliberately jarring, is “String Quartet in F Major” by Maurice Ravel.

Tiziana Casapietra

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Movements of an Impossible Time

Text below

  • “Movimenti di un Tempo Impossibile” by Flatform and “Exotik” by Carlo Chiddemi at Casa Museo Jorn in Albissola Marina, Italy. A project conceived by Radicate.eu

Movements of an impossible time / Movimenti di un tempo impossibile, 2011 (video still). Color HD, 8 min. Courtesy of the artists.

Movements of an impossible time / Movimenti di un tempo impossibile, 2011 (video still). Color HD, 8 min. Courtesy of the artists.


An abandoned rural house, the Ravel Quartet in F major and then rain, wind, snow and fog are the elements of which this video is composed.

In an impossible procession, one take presents four atmospheric agents to strike against the house. The musical instruments which follow the quartet each become an audio track which corresponds to each one of the atmospheric agents. So the sound of the first violin drips like the rain, that one of the second violin is muffled like the snow, the sound of the viola moves like the wind and that one of the cello vibrates like the fog.

In this work the causes of change are visible. The time of metamorphosis is concentrated or accelerated by the simultaneous status of its causes. As in music, in this video different atmospheric agents present themselves separately only to later achieve a meteorological chorus which is not seen in nature.

The sound, become solid, undergoes climate agents.


Beyond the hill

What follows is an excerpt of a text published on the occasion of “Revelar a paisagem” (Reveal the landscape), Workshop on the work of  Flatform, Faculdade de Letras da Universidade, Lisbon 2013, by Adriana Verissimo Serrão.

… Flowers are immortal, the sky is a single entity
and that which is to come is just a promise.

Osip Mandel’štam

Movements of an impossible time / Movimenti di un tempo impossibile, 2011 (video still). Color HD, 8 min. Courtesy of the artists.

Movements of an impossible time / Movimenti di un tempo impossibile, 2011 (video still). Color HD, 8 min. Courtesy of the artists.


The Landscape as a place can manifest the superimposition of possible imaginings and the dislocation of imagining possibilities.

Often to speak of landscape entailed formulating a new aesthetic theory, or rather disputing or qualifying the possibility of an antecedent. Principally for modernity it has been, and still, is a privileged locus for discussing the relationship between man and the world, subject and object, seen though from a unique view point, that of the contemporary thinker. This is a logical inference, as the inherent compactness, or even monolithic dimension of a Thought, can be understood as a dominant element within its own structure, at least according to western cultural tradition. Abstaining from the argument by confronting most problems and themes, principally classically formulated, through the various philosophical disciplines (ethics, aesthetics, logic, etc.), can be seen as confirmation of a Corpus which, articulated and all inclusive, can be seen to offer a new perspective for viewing the world, which is as assertive as the singularity of its forward impetus. Certainty prevails over doubt as an action of control, and not only in the eidetic sphere.

But ours is not a philosopher’s vision. It’s not even a single point of view. Rather a plurality of artist’s view points, permitting theoretical affirmation and daily testing of the veracity of these assertions about landscape. For us landscape offers a meeting with nature, her plurality and differentiation, the intersection between natural and historic time, an expression of atmosphere and the atmospheric, a place where living is not confined or constrained by self imposed limits, and the transforming of nature through art. Landscape is all these and much more besides. It is a place where from time to time one of these aspects prevails whilst albeit coexisting with the others, as these determinants are neither exclusive nor do they preclude the existence of others. Landscape serves as an emblematic model for overcoming the limits of reason which the principle of non contradiction and the resulting pseudo-dialectic has subjected us to. Our vision of landscape does not contemplate contradiction, but rather conflict, tension and collisions. Our itinerary confronts and reconfigures, through differing processes, the principle elements of landscape such as the passage of time, sound, space, disassociation, meteorology and insertion. Our intervention is facilitated, if not triggered, by our chosen process which while projecting moving images also allows for the grafting of more movements within the same image. Rather than impose, we hope that our intervention, as opposed to the rigidity/facility of a process of thought based on oppositional couplets or dualism defined by Tournier as the mirroring of ideas, could be in its own way a small contribution to an innovative modelling of thought, as well as, or possibly in function of, being an artistic practice.

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