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Diana Combo - Zentralflughafen

14:38, 2011, Experimental
Zentralflughafen is an audiovisual portrait of Tempelhof, the deactivated airport in Berlin.
The static camera shows the images inner movements while the sound reconfigures the space, emerging as its acoustic identity, as if it were the airports real voice.


DirectorAlejandro BernalProducerAlejandro BernalCameraAlejandro BernalEditorAlejandro BernalCrewDiana Combo / Soundtrack

CountryPortugalEdition2011 Compilation program (2006 2014) 1/3

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Interview

Who is Diana Combo?
It´s hard to tell what I am in relation to an artistic / creative practice, since I haven´t consolidated anything very specific. Maybe because I feel influenced by so many different stimulus and have the will the experiment various fields inside the audible sphere.
I´ve been working with sound since 2008, after finishing my career on Sound and Image. I participated in some workshops and developed an experimental approach to sound production and performance, first by the use of deformed vinyl records, combining the errors printed on the surface with the existent musical content, then by creating long textures made of lock grooves, vinyl noises and other samples, adding field recordings from various sources in a parallel layer. Lately I performed with a group gathered to develop a collaboration / improvisation live act to present during festival Trama, in Porto.
At the moment I´m doing a master on sound art in Barcelona and at this moment, more than being active developing projects, I´m focusing on what is that i really want to do - thinking, questioning, reflecting… - expecting that something will come out that will make me give some steps further.



What is Zentralflughafen about?
Zentralflughafen is an audiovisual portrait of Tempelhof, the deactivated airport in Berlin.
Each shot, while close to a photographic style, reveals the inner movements of the depicted point of views. The soundscape was created as it was the airport´s real acoustic voice, thus reconfiguring the space.



How did you start with film? And do you have an educational background in art or film?
I started with film in the university. The first time I had to do a video, I did not know how to work with the camera properly neither with software. I thought about a story, asked my friends to be the actors and shot everything in one weekend. I took sometime to edit and I was already giving as much attention to sound as to image. The short Mafia film was a great opportunity to work in different levels – script, directing, shooting, editing, soundtrack, etc.
During the career, I had cinema and video classes, more about reading and watch parts of significant movies, than doing our own movies. I felt interested in theory and started to read some of the books in the library about the subject.


Could you explain how you work, what themes or concepts you use and what is important to you?
The way I work always depends on the ongoing project. Maybe there are few common steps during the process or even themes, but the important thing remains the same: to enjoy and maintain the desire of giving shape to an idea, while being open to new influences and changes.



How long do you usually work on one project?
This also depends on the project. If I have deadline, I usually organize my time according to it in order to have enough time working and few time off before finishing, so I can have a certain distance and make some changes I find important.



Do you carefully plan the production process or do you work more intuitive?
I plan to a certain point. When I have an idea I want to work, is the possibility of the result that guides the process. But intuition is there and will have its part. I find myself very open to things that happen while working on one project, so it will contain the time of its own production, which will affect the original ideas.



How does the title relate to the work, and how do you find a fitting title?
Because of its central location, Tempelhof Airport is referred as Zentralflughafen (Tempelhof).



Where do you get your ideas or inspiration from?
I get ideas and inspiration from books, sounds, other works, people and places.



How important is sound in film, and if you use sounds, do you create your own or use existing?
Sound in film is has a particular significance for me. I enjoy to create a soundscape for images I like, in a way that it gains an importance of its own, an autonomy even, that makes it work detached from the images that inspired its conception.
For Zentralflughafen, the director proposed me to do the soundtrack in a similar way to my sound compositions. I used direct sound, recorded with the movie camera, field recordings and recordings of the manipulation of vinyl records with post-effect processing. I wanted to build the voice of the space, its acoustic identity that could make us believe that it is the real acoustic space of the airport, even for the ones who have been there before.



How does content relate to the form of your work?
If I start by thinking about a possible content, then I focus on which form could give it shape. If there is a form before the content, then I focus on which content could feed the form.



What possibilities of the web are yet to be explored?
I am sure there are still possibilities to be explored.
The web has been a tool to communicate and get information, allowing what we have now: loads of information, sounds and images, hundreds of emails, spam and junk, downloads, uploads, “google it” knowledge about any item we wish, pain in the back, the head and the wrists.
I would appreciate if new and stronger possibilities would come after a period of transition, when the web is used by any individual in its favor, providing more freedom than the opposite. Giving more stimulus to create, than to emerge in a culture of “how many movies and albums have you downloaded today?”
Which are those possibilities, I do not know, but I have been in touch with people exploring the web in different and curious ways, using the specificities of the medium to create a myriad of works and approaches that overcome its daily use.



Did the web changed your view on art, or your career?
The web has changed for sure the way I work. It allows me to be anywhere, able to communicate and share contents.
Maybe it changed my view on art (which was never a strong or solid point of view) because of that storm of information I mentioned. There are so many things going on, and preferring books and magazines as I do, I usually wait for some friends to tell me about their discoveries in the web. What I have in the end is a bit of too many things and I rarely feel motivated to get more of each.



Where would you place your work; cinema or art. And what is the difference between those according to you?
I wouldn´t place it anywhere, since it is not created with a goal to belong to a certain category. My work comes from a stimulus, a proposal and it grows to give shape to an idea. In the end it may be easier for somebody else to label it or organize it according to some common features found in relation to existing works.
The difference between fields or categories is sometimes very difficult to explain or understand without falling in ready-made sentences or clichés. I´m not so worried about giving name to things.



How influential is the reaction to your film by the audience?
The reaction by the audience is what can give sense to the film. I am interested in people´s feedback because it makes me think about what was done and some reactions may also affect future projects.



What is your next project about?
As I mentioned, my next project will probably be the result of this ongoing moment of introspection.


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