David Sant - Somewhere/elsewhere

3:06, 2010, Video Art
Structurally, this experimental film is very much influenced by abstract expressionist painting. Lines, patterns and colours are combined with movement and direction. Tranquillity is soon replaced with frantic flashes of light and rapid panning shots. Experiences of locations and space are transitory. Dreamless tranquillity remains evasive.
DirectorDavid Anthony SantCameraDavid Anthony Sant And Ana Marin SanchezEditorDavid Anthony SantCrewOriginal Music Composition: Jamwala

CountryUnited KingdomEdition2011 Screenings2010. Video Screening: ’Kinemastik International Short Film Festival’: Herbert Ganado Gardens: Floriana: Malta. August 7-8.

2010. Video Screening: ’The Walthamstow International Film Festival’: Beyca: Walthamstow: London. September 3-12.

2010. Video Screening: ’Exploding Cinema’: Reuben Powell Open Studio: London. September 25.

2010. Video Screening: ‘flEXiff 2002-2022’: The Newington Armory: Sydney Olympic Park. September 25-26.

2011. Video Screening: ’Action 2011, International Short Film Festival’: Prokuplje: Serbia. February.

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Who is David Anthony Sant?
Born in 1968, Sydney, Australia. Since 1984 I have incessantly created art works during periods of study and teaching, and have had a significant number of exhibitions of my work. The solo exhibitions I have had, the group shows I have participated in, and the screening of my films, have taken place in galleries, cafes, theatres, arts centres, exhibition centres and festivals around the world.

What is ’Somewhere/Elsewhere’ about?
Structurally, this experimental film is very much influenced by abstract expressionist painting. Lines, patterns and colours are combined with movement and direction. Tranquility is soon replaced with frantic flashes of light and rapid panning shots. Experiences of locations and space are transitory. Dreamless tranquility remains evasive.

How did you start with film? And do you have an educational background in art or film?
Since migrating to the U.K. In December 2000 I chose to work entirely in digital video. After many years of creating two-dimensional imagery the rapid advances in affordable digital technology allowed me to experiment with the creation of moving imagery. The twenty-seven videos I have directed and produced since December 2000 combine experimental visuals with experimental sound. I have a Bachelors Degree in Art Education and have nineteen years of experience teaching Fine Art and Graphic Design in Secondary Schools both in Australia and in England.

Could you explain how you work, what themes or concepts you use and what is important to you?
A subject that re-occurs in many of my films is the experience of location and space. These films are often films about space and spaciousness as experienced within urban environments.

Every film I create is an attempt to innovatively explore the visual language of the moving image. My approach to film making can best be described as Extemporaneous Film Making.

How long do you usually work on one project?
When filming a new project I consciously capture more than enough digital footage. I feel it makes sense to do this because filming digitally allows you to do this. Consequently, most films I create require extensive amounts of editing. On average, I will create between three to four films per year.

Do you carefully plan the production process or do you work more intuitive?
I try to always include an element of chance in my films. I try to ensure that this element is a part of the filming and/or editing process that I have little or no control over. Because I aspire to be an intuitive film maker I am self conscious about my production processes, particularly when they are becoming carefully planned and repetitive. At these moments I need to re-assess what I am doing and what the outcome is likely to be.

How does the title relate to the work, and how do you find a fitting title?
The title ’Somewhere/Elsewhere’ relates to the transitory nature of the film. Many spaces and locations were filmed, and because the film was a collaboration much of where the footage was shot remains unknown to me. For me the film captures fleeting memories of spaces and locations. I often find the experience of finding a title for a film as being difficult. This is because I consider attaching a title to an experimental film as being important because it can potentially define the concept behind the film.

How do you finance your projects (by yourself, sponsors or subsidy)?
All my films have been self-financed.

How important is sound in film, and if you use sounds, do you create your own or use existing?
Sound is an element in all of the films I create. I appreciate the extra dimension it adds to the visuals. In some of my films the sound accompanies the visuals and sometimes the visuals accompany the sound. I tend to ask other artists who understand and create original experimental sound or music compositions to create the sound for my films. When I request their collaboration I let go of the project and allow the visuals to be steered in whatever direction the sound artists feels it should be taken.

How would you describe contemporary videoart?
Ongoing advances in affordable technology will see more and more artists create moving imagery. Video art has a short but well documented history. Many students of video art have an understanding of how the art form has developed and are actively creating works that challenge pre-conceptions of what defines video art or experimental video. I consider myself to be a student who continues to learn and critically responds to visual influences.

What possibilities of the web are yet to be explored?
The web is constantly evolving and adapting. I am yet to find truly inventive collaborative work between artists who use the web. I have concerns about the web being used to exploit the work of artists. Festivals and screenings of films created by artists nearly always offer nothing more than exposure for the artist. Artists are more than ever before pinning their hopes for success on the dream of being noticed and financed through the increase in exposure that the web claims to deliver. Advances in file transfer efficiency are making it easier for artists to distribute their films yet the chances of these artists ever making money from the increased distribution remains next to nothing. In many ways the global networking web is undermining the financing of artists and their work. Artists need to choose and distribute carefully.

Did the web changed your view on art, or your career?
The web has facilitated my interest in researching the way other artists’ use moving imagery and has provided me with the ability to store and recall that research when I require it. The web is an essential networking and promotional tool for all artists.

Where would you place your work; cinema or art. And what is the difference between those according to you?
My work is Art because unlike cinema it is not bound by convention.

How important is the reaction to your film by the audience?
Attempting to articulate the concept behind an experimental film through the visual language of the film, the title and the synopsis, is confirming that the audience and the way it reacts to my film matters.

What is your next project about?
My next project is evolving and changing. As this creative journey continues my understanding of what I am trying to say becomes clearer and hopefully becomes evident in the outcome produced.


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