I leave traces.
Traces of my daily journey.
Traces of me?
Traces written in colours, textures and soundscapes.
Traces on my iPhone, in my apps.
Traces of my emotions, my movements, my thoughts.
I leave traces of my life.
Life traces, life sequences, life movements,
Living in a kaleidoscope, living in layerings and transitions.
Mirroring me. Deconstructing me. Remembering me. Recreating me.
(Words by Orlando Bay, inspired by the work of Vanessa Vox.)
First at all Thank you very much for the invitation to speak about my work
My name is Vanessa Vox. I‘m living in the Drôme Provençale in the south of France.
I‘ve originally studied art history and medieval archeology. But I was also engaged in stage activities concerning ancient dances.
Since 2003 I began to explore the possibilities of digital art in collaboration with my husband, a Swiss artist and musician. We produced several short experimental and music videos and night photo series with a tape camcorder and a desktop computer.
Then, an iPod touch was my first mobile device in 2012 which could record and edit videos at once. Wow! It was a huge difference to the way I produced earlier. I felt free and amazed at what such a small thing can do. I appreciated the possibility to get the maximum out of a minimum.
This is why I decided at this time to work completely with mobile devices. Furthermore it opened doors to worldwide groups of iphoneographers, filmmakers, app developpers and organisators of mobile festivals and exhibitions.
Today I‘m using an iPhoneSE and an iPadPro.
In my short films and pictures I am mostly the main actor, because I am always and everywhere available without having to ask for permission. But I also get inspired by everything which encounter me. Insects, clouds, trees. I enjoy to have the freedom of spontanity and improvisation.
In a nutshell:
For me, my iPhone is my third eye in the pocket,
My tool box like a painter's palette,
And it is my lanterna magica,
A black box with many surprises within and a lot of space to store.
So I really love it as an all-in-one-tool.
I use my devices daily, creating short videos as well as photos, sharing my best of regularly on the internet.
Now I‘d like to give you an example:
I‘m walking down the narrow street of a perched stone village. The golden evening light highlights the structure of an old wall. A pigeon flies to perch on this vertical wall, always trying to find its balance. I pick up the phone, take pictures and record the scenery. This situation creates love for the aesthetic of the very moment as well as a specific feeling paired with a lot of associations.
In the editing process I try to enhance and densify the impression. And at the same time I create a matching soundscape directly on the iPad. Or I use a keyboard or a breath controller in connection with my device.
My images and the soundscapes are of equal value. They are expanding and growing in togetherness. I cut and use Fx on both, music and video, using the app Luma Fusion as a central place for both.
How do others see my work? Here the comment of LUMA TOUCH concerning my short film „Where are you“, which won the Mobiography Mobile Pictures Award in 2021:
“We loved the emmersive and driving nature of the video by Vanessa.
We were engaged and drawn into the sounds, motion and colors.
Mesmerizing and a great example of experimental film”
This hit exactly what I'm aiming for)
Personally I see my videos as little digital dances,
sometimes strange and weird, sometimes like a dream.
They are always the expression of my emotions in a special moment.
Intuition and random are my companions during the process to let reveal the moment. To find a special motiv. To dip deeper into reality and fantasy, to get more iconic.
Finally a few words about „The Missing Snowflake"screened by MINA this year:
„The Missing Snowflake" is an introspective selfie video, a visual snapshot of the images in my mind driven by the rhythm and the dynamic of the soundtrack.
The title stands for the missing link in life, something you can feel but can‘t see or give a name. A feeling that drives you forward, with or without a crisis or frustration. Something you are searching for, deep in your soul.
You ask: Is everything like it should be? What is missing? Why doesn't it feel quite right for me? Where are we going to? The lack of something hidden leads me to the title „The missing Snowflake“.
Now you can make your own interpretations.
By the way I used for this film the first version of the AI app WomboDream which has gotten very successful in the internet. To start with this app you have to type a few words, then choose a painting style to get finally an automatically generated image by the app. It is a really fascinating even addictive app, but also a little bit disappointing to me. The style of WomboDream is easily recognizable. And I had set a lot of work in it to make it my own.
So… this was a brief insight into the way I‘m creating my short videos. It is only a vague description of a creative process that still has many unconscious components.
I hope you enjoyed it!
Last but not least: A big thank you to Max Schleser and his MINA team for the invitation to speak. For the exchange, the screenings and all the work since so many years around smartphone innovation.
Bye for now!