Rainy Day in Rekdal

Participating in the event Between Sky and Sea: Tourist organised by Performance Art Bergen in Kvalnes, Lofoten, I gave a talk there, “Between Sea and Sky with a Tree”, and used an old work, The Tide in Kan Tiang as an example. Seeing the magnificent landscape I immediately thought of creating a companion piece to that work, perhaps recording the tide here with a tree for a day or a day and night. Yesterday I set out to look for suitable trees – most of them are small rowans with some sturdy mountain birches in between them, and look more like bushes. I wanted to find one relatively near the house where I am staying to make the repeated visits easier, but did not find anything inspiring.

Today, relaxed after my talk last night, I headed out again despite the rainy weather and decided to try a really small birch on the shore, which could be framed to stand there on its own with the sea in the background. While I was placing the tripod next to a rowan it started to rain more, and I tried to cover my clothes with my raincoat while entering the image. My spontaneous plan was to record a long enough sequence to use together with the other work, which is 11 min 52 sec. It was cold and wet, but bearable after all. The surprise awaited me when I looked at the material. The raindrops really covered the image, both me and the tree, at times, and although the overall image is rather bland and grey, these sudden blobs might make for an interesting video.

There was a moment towards the end, when the raindrops washed the lens clean, and a sudden sharp image of the tree and me on the shore looks almost normal. I include it here below to give an idea of the situation, although a series of still images with the white or grey blobs might well be more interesting. And probably more interesting than the video as well. I am happy I did not wear my usual pale pink scarf, because my ordinary dark crimson clothing suites the environment much better. But I am slightly worried that the sound might be really bad because of the wind. While I was only planning to do some test images, I did not bother to use the external microphone with wind protection. Perhaps I will return to the little birch tomorrow and revisit it with one or two-hour intervals for a day, although I guess the bay is fairly deep there, so the tide is perhaps not so visible. If the weather clears up a little bit the changes in light might be worth recording, perhaps even the midnight sun…