How do different places become interesting? Can a wet and dirty road running through a barren field be appealing? What are the common denominators between a heavy industrial harbour and a nature reserve? In Surreal Scania, launched 2006, we examine these questions. The work is a way to explore imaginary geographies.
Digital technology, in form of video equipment and GPS-units has been used to look into how aura and attraction are connected to different places. Filmmaker Anders Weberg and cultural analysist Robert Willim started by visiting various points within a specific region. This time the region was Scania, located in southern Sweden. On the different locations video material has been collected, which was then used as the raw material for six short films. These films are available for download.
The films can be seen as comments to processes of place marketing and branding. In choosing the places, the aim has been to mix both geographical locations that are seen as tourist attractions and locations off the beaten track. In the digital manipulations, made by Anders Weberg, the visual raw material is transformed to highlight a dreamlike and surreal imaginary geography. All films are based solely on sound and video from the different geographical points.
All the films are accompanied with files containing the exact geographical coordinates for all the different places. By using Google Earth it is possible to view aerial photos of the points represented in the different films. Using a GPS-unit it is also possible to visit the locations where the visual raw material was shot. And as the films are provided in various file formats optimized for most mobile video players, it is possible to enjoy the filmic representations on the very spots where the material was filmed. In this way the imaginary can be compared to the real. But what is real or imaginary? With Surreal Scania we want to explore different representation techniques, and we also want to recognise the fact that our imagination has an important role in forming the experiences of these locations.