Diana Combo - Eosin av

10:40, 2010, Music video
Eosin_AV is a fragment of a video made for one of my previous sound performances.

For a show last summer, I was asked to bring some visuals. I usually play without images, so this made me focus on what could work for the sounds I present. It had to be something able to flow and integrate with the improvisation part of the live act. I didn’t want to create an history and make people focus more on the screen than on their audio perception.
I tried to create an atmosphere, rather than a film.
DirectorDiana ComboProducerDiana ComboCameraDiana ComboEditorDiana Combo

CountryPortugalEdition2010 ScreeningsAt Salon des Amateurs (Cologne), for my performance (07.09.2010) http://www.salondesamateurs.de

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Who is Diana Combo?
Diana Combo is a sound practitioner from Portugal, working under the name Eosin, an anagram of noise. With her background in Sound and Image studies she developed an experimental approach to sound production and performance. Based on curiosity and influence by theory, she started to work with deformed vinyl records, combining the errors printed on the surface with the existent musical content. Nowadays she is creating long textures made of lock grooves, vinyl noises and other samples, adding field recordings from various sources in a parallel layer.

Your film is about?
My film does not present a story. It was created as a visual accompaniment for one of my previous sound performances.

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.
One year after finishing my studies, I went back to the same university to teach Sound Art, Image Theory and Video, which allowed me to feedback the input I had received.

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?
The title of the film is the description of it - Eosin A/V, this is, audiovisuals for Eosin, the name I use to sign my sound work.
I can find a fitting title before I start the work, when I listen to a single sound I want to use, during the process or in the end, when the title comes from the overall sonorities I assembled.

How do you finance your projects (by yourself, sponsors or subsidy)?
So far, I have financed my projects by myself.

How important is sound in film, and if you use sounds, do you create your own or use existing?
Sound is what moves me, even when dealing with images. So it has an importance of its own, no more nor less than the visual part of the work. I enjoy to work on soundtracks to images I like, as I enjoy to work with sounds presenting no images with it, stimulating myself and the audience to create our own imagery.
I sample vinyl records and I make field recordings. The creation of the sonorities happens when assembling those bits together, during edition and mixing.

How would you describe contemporary videoart?
Although I studied Video and even taught on the subject, I watch movies and other kind of videos very rarely. Every time I try to explain this to my friends, saying I feel too lazy to watch they ask: Is there anything more appealing to a lazy mood than watching a video? – including high intellectual movies or confusing video art works.
But just know I found something I can use in my defence and it comes in relation to what I said before about being interested in theory/books about the subject. Its Jennifer Walshe in this month´s Wire:

"(…) Recently I was talking to a bunch of Austrian and German composers about this time in my life, my memories of discovering experimental music before the internet. Now people can click and hear anything they want. But I remember reading about La Monte Young before I heard his music and liking the idea of what I was reading about. (…) How his music sounded inside my head was the most amazing music you could imagine, better than actually hearing it (…)."

Back to my student time, I remember to read about certain movies I did not watch and create my imaginary landscapes from the descriptions, even the technical ones. With this in mind I would go to exams and write about those movies I have not seen and I would do my own video work using sometimes what I imagined when creating my own imagery for existing movies.
After this confession, it is easier to understand I cannot provide an answer to this question, I would have to know more about it to form an opinion.

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, “googlian” 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 favour, 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.
I have trouble in getting updated, in talking about the same bands, movies or any other kind of art works people find in the web. I even try to fix this, but I fail.

Where would you place your work; cinema or art. And what is the difference between those according to you?
I cannot place my work with visuals in cinema nor art. It would have to be my main focus or source of interest to make something out of it, more than creating an atmosphere to accompany sound performances.

How important is the reaction to your film by the audience?
The reaction by the audience is very important. They come to listen, so the existence of the visual part has to make sense, even if that means being in contradiction with the sounds. When I used this video in two previous performances, I had feedback from the audience and according to it I achieved my expectation.
One person had been in a performance where I did not project the video and came the day after to a similar performance, this time with the video on. She said it provided a new listening experience, that did not distracted from the sounds, this is, that did not become the center of attention, but something the audience could follow, looking now or then, feeling an attachment between what they listen and what they see.

What is your next project about?
I am now collaborating with a friend that made a movie with images of Tempelhof, the deactivated airport in Berlin. He asked me to make the soundtrack, which first cut I just finished.
Meanwhile, I am preparing new material to be released by an online label, and that I want to premiere in my next performances (in Porto and Berlin, December and February, respectively)

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