One artists video request results in 37 artists answering from all over the world
The urban contemporary artist and photographer Falk Lehmann – whos alias AKUT is well known as a photorealistic painter in the street art and graffiti scene as founder of the legendary German graffiti collective Ma’Claim and one part of the artistic duo Herakut – was suffering from isolation. As a natural part of his job he travels to exhibitions, festivals and commissioned jobs several times throughout the year. Due to the corona crisis everything scheduled and already worked for, was cancelled right away or postponed until further notice in the beginning of March this year. People all over the world are currently asked and at some places even forced to stay in quarantine, which easily leads to social isolation when you don’t have anymore regular touch points as through work, hobbies or just a walk in the park with a friend. Millions of people had to rearrange their lives and simple daily routines.
Despite the fact that AKUT was and still is spending his time in quarantine together with three kids and his wife, he almost immediately felt the heavy weight caused by being locked out from the world and the social life. In the first two weeks it felt like an adventure, but after some time under certain circumstances he realized that even a routined grown up will fail several times. Have you ever tried to homeschool a six and a nine years old kid, occupy a toddler, keep the house clean, everybody well nourished, satisfied, entertained, to stay in decent physical motion and to be productive (not to be misunderstood as being creative) at the same time, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for weeks? Exactly.
Those nice little (business) trips to locations at the end of the world, not for money, but for the place you would otherwise never have the chance to travel to, sound really awesome, don’t they? Even if the lift turns out to be a soul catcher, if the material arrives three days later and there was no giant tree in front of the wall on the photos you received beforehand and planed your project with. You start to appreciate the freedom to travel, to go far away from your daily duties at home. Especially because there’s always that super nice artist you met at powwow 5 years ago or that guy you always forget the name of, but admire the artwork of. You meet colleagues and role models, old and new friends, who you share unforgettable experiences with. This was part of AKUTs life for almost 25 years and it was cut off quite suddenly.
ISOLATED (part I), an infinite loop to despair
Luckily his studio is part of his apartment in Berlin, so he is still able to work. Since it’s uncertain when he would come back to business as usual again, he started to take some time and experimented with infinite video loops. Something he does from time to time since back to the days when he was a student at Bauhaus University. He first recorded a shot from his studio through his apartment and back to his studio again. Afterwards he created an infinite loop of a recording through his studio to transfer the despairing feeling of being isolated through physical distancing. Having the time to work on something different made him wondering how all the other artists were coping with this new normal. He escaped from the feeling of being left behind and alone by remembering the invisible connections, which nevertheless exists and started to reach out to his artist friends and colleagues. It turned out that they were doing the exact same thing. They were creative and productive in their studios and somehow they have been grateful for this time out.
An idea was born.
During a phone call with friend and artist Onur, AKUT explained his idea of asking other artist to take a video through their studios and put them all together as individual parts of a long, infinite chain shot. Onur was thrilled and immediately started to contact other artists and friends to ask them for participating in this idea. He even got a befriended musician to compose a lovely piano piece for the film. It took only some days and AKUT received much more clips than initially expected. This response was overwhelming. 37 artists from 29 different cities all over the world were instantly into this project. Perhaps the little distraction came handy for them as well and the constant social interaction was a very positive side effect.
The technical requirements were easy – please take a time laps shot through your studio, that is not longer than 4 seconds – but still challenging, because they had to move really slow and avoid vivid movements. Some artists took recording after recording and it still wasn’t optimal. However, in the end and after some long hours of editing and learnings the finished short film came out as a proof for the principle of mentalism. Sliding through the contrasting and inspiring studios as lively spaces in constant use by the respective artists felt refreshing and very comforting. It symbolizes the connection of all individuals being part of an universal infinite, living mind, in which you don’t necessarily need to check in physically. It’s always out there.
WE ARE ONE INFINITE, LIVING MIND (ISOLATED part II):
Idea and Editing:
Camera (participating artists):
Adnate https://instagram.com/adnate Melbourne, Australia
AKUT https://instagram.com/akut_herakut Berlin, Germany
Andreas Englund https://www.instagram.com/andreasenglundart Falun, Sweden
Apolo Torres https://www.instagram.com/apolotorres São Paulo, Brazil
Base23 https://www.instagram.com/23base Berlin, Germany
Bezt & Natalia Rak https://www.instagram.com/bezt_etam and https://www.instagram.com/nataliarakart
cantwo https://www.instagram.com/cantwo Wuppertal, Germany
Cristian Blanxer https://www.instagram.com/cristianblanxer Barcelona, Spain
Conor Harrington https://www.instagram.com/conorsaysboom London, UK
Greg „Craola“ Simkins https://www.instagram.com/craola Torrance, California
Daniel Man https://www.instagram.com/daniel_man_codeak Munich, Germany
D!RTY https://www.instagram.com/spurcus_am Erfurt, Germany
Douglas Greed https://www.instagram.com/douglas_greed Berlin, Germany
Drew Merritt https://www.instagram.com/drewmerritt Saint Vrain, New Mexico
Hueman https://www.instagram.com/hueman_ Oakland, California
James Bullough https://www.instagram.com/james_bullough Berlin, Germany
Kamea Hadar https://www.instagram.com/kameahadar Hawai
Kevin Ledo https://www.instagram.com/kevinledo Montreal, Canada
KKADE https://www.instagram.com/kkade_schwarzmaler Bern, Switzerland
Louis Masai https://www.instagram.com/louismasai Margate, UK
Low Bros https://www.instagram.com/low_bros Hamburg, Germany
MadC https://www.instagram.com/mad_c1 Halle, Germany
Marc Jung https://www.instagram.com/marc_jung_ Erfurt, Germany
Mauro C Martinez https://www.instagram.com/ztm_oruam San Antonio, Texas
Miel und Telmo https://www.instagram.com/telmomiel Amsterdam & Rotterdam, Netherlands
Mike Dargas https://www.instagram.com/mikedargas Los Angeles, California
Nate Frizzell https://www.instagram.com/natepaints Los Angeles, California
Nuno Viegas https://www.instagram.com/nunoviegas.pt Quarteira, Portugal
Onur https://www.instagram.com/onurpainting Berlin, Germany
Paola Delfin & Mateus Bailon https://www.instagram.com/paola_delfin and https://www.instagram.com/mateusbailon Itajaí, Brazil
Pat Perry https://www.instagram.com/heypatyeah Detroit, Michigan
Ricky Lee Gordon https://www.instagram.com/rickyleegordon Sri Lanka
Suiko https://www.instagram.com/suiko1 Hiroshima, Japan
Wes 21 https://www.instagram.com/wes21_schwarzmaler Bern, Switzerland
Waone https://www.instagram.com/waone_interesnikazki Kyiv, Ukraine
Wow123 https://www.instagram.com/markus_wow123_genesius Bremen, Germany
Music (exclusively composed):
“M’Goun“ by Pablo Nouvelle https://www.instagram.com/pablonouvelle