Road to 2012 commissioned-photographer Brian Griffin, sound artist Martyn Ware, Goldsmiths tutor Julian Hendriques and Goldsmiths students collaborated on this digital multi-media project.
Goldsmiths students were challenged to respond to a live brief set by the artists and presented their proposals before an ‘X Factor’ style judging panel critique in spring 2011. The project brief was to explore, experiment and reflect on what the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games means to them, to a neighbourhood, to a community, to east London – and to tell that story. We were looking for exciting and interesting stories developed for a digital platform. Two of the digital projects were screened at the National Portrait Gallery on 5 August 2011 as part of ReAnimate Late Shift Extra.
The two selected student projects:
Under Your Skin - Yuval Gerstein & Cristina Picchi
'When I first saw 'Under Your Skin' I was staggered by the sonic elements in particular - it was so refreshing to see and hear a unique insider's view of the processes and efforts involved in the tireless pursuit of Olympic success. The nature of the sound recording and filming puts you viscerally right at the heart of why we ,as a society, are still looking for heroes as an eternal theme.' Martyn Ware
'This immersive audio-visual project sets out to explore carefully chosen Olympic sports from a fresh angle. We are capturing portraits of local London-based athletes and revealing a world which sports fans do not normally have access to in television broadcasts and interviews. We have explored three very different but complementary moments during their training - preparation, participation and rest.
The work weaves different sports together to complete a statement about the intimate personal, emotional and metaphysical inner worlds of the athletes involved. From the teenage gymnast who already carries an injury but keeps pushing further, to the young boxer who dreams of participating in the Olympics while completing his University degree, they each bear the qualities encapsulated in the Olympic manifesto and even if some of them will never compete in the Olympics, they still bear an essential part of London's Olympic spirit as it grooms itself towards London 2012. Cristina has filmed the athletes' perspectives and Yuval is the sound artist for the project. He is fascinated by the power of binaural recording techniques that allow you access to "hidden sounds" and experience a true sense of being in someone else's shoes. Recording the athletes for this project, Yuval has aimed to capture the ambiance in which they perform, as well as their own subjective sound world in the most honest and accurate way possible.' Yuval and Cristina.
Yuval Gerstein was born in 1979 and is a guitarist and music producer based in London. After completing his undergraduate degree in jazz performance, Yuval was guitarist/vocalist for the band Cooloolooh and played at festivals including the Montreal jazz fest and New York's Highline festival. He is currently studying for an MA in Creative Practice at Goldsmiths focusing on music production, film scoring and music technology.
Cristina Picchi, born 1981 is an Italian documentary filmmaker and writer based in London. Having achieved her degree in European Literature at the University of Pisa, she is about to complete her MA in Screen Documentary at Goldsmiths College. As a filmmaker she has directed and edited the documentaries Fragments of a Dream (2011) and The Disassociated (currently in post-production). Her written work includes short stories and contributions to award-winning books.
COUNTO12 - Yujin Yun, Christina Katsantoni and Ewa Balazinska
'Challenging, inspiring, revealing. The Road to 2012 project has been an exciting experience for us. The freedom offered through both artistic and multimedia means to express the range of emotions of the people of east London on the journey to the Olympic and Paralympic Games, has been a decisive factor in our participation in this project. We felt eager to portray our local environment of people living, working and studying in east London and represent them in their natural surroundings and everyday occupations.
For COUNTO12 we have photographed over 500 people living, working and studying in the Olympic-host boroughs of Greenwich, Tower Hamlets, Hackney, Newham and Waltham Forest. Different faces, different places, same feeling of anticipation...' Yujin, Christina and Ewa.
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Yujin Yun was born in 1985 in Seoul, South Korea. She studied BA Visual Communication Design at Hongik University. Yujin then worked as an assistant curator at I-GONG Media Theatre before moving to London and studying for an MA in Digital Media at Goldsmiths.
Christina Katsantoni was born in 1975 in Athens, Greece and studied BA Marketing, Communication and Advertising at Columbia College in Chicago. She returned to Athens where she worked in international advertising agencies for ten years. In 2010 Christina moved to London to study for an MA in Digital Media: Technology and Cultural Form at Goldsmiths.
Ewa Balazinska was born in 1986 in Wroclaw, Poland. Having graduated with a first class degree in Media and Cultural studies in 2009 Ewa is currently studying for an MA in Digital Media at Goldsmiths.
Special thanks to: SangDuck Bae, Paul Yeung & Amanda Shiu, Tomoko Kinoshita (photography)
Thomas Daly and Stephen Pho (flash programming).