Pulheim Jam Session, 201522'40'' loop HD
Pulheim Jam Session
Pulheim Jam Session is a film about a place, but it is also about the logic of staging and playing out of an event. A car jam and a jamming session are two distinct kinds of activity, both with their own freedoms and constraints. In its initial incarnation Pulheim Jam Session was a participatory act as part of the project series Stadtbild.Intervintion in which more than 60 cars carrying over a hundred people from the Pulheim region of Germany, situated within commuting distance from Cologne, took part in constructing a traffic jam in a countryside area. During the 70s Pulheim’s 12 disparate villages were reformed and became ‘Pulheim’, a constructed city that today consists to a large extent of rural inbetween spaces, which has lead to a strong car dependency among the residents. Statistic says that each family has 2.7 cars per household. With a similar organizational structure of a music festival, involving red cross safety van, outdoor toilets and volunteers in yellow jackets, the traffic jam here turns into something opposite of the frustration it usually is: a pause, a hiatus, a temporary stop in time. To an industrial backdrop of plumes rising from fossil fuel and wind turbines behind fields of corn and turnip, people spontaneously start to busy themselves; eating fruit, doing crosswords, play around with their dogs in the fields and talking. Parallel to the car jam, in a nearby barn, the Swedish musician Edda Magnason is improvising on a grand piano. Forty years earlier, on 24 January 1975, in Cologne, in the same year as Pulheim's reform, the American pianist Keith Jarrett held a live improvised concert in Cologne Opera House: the now-famous Köln Concert. These two historical events are connected by their geography and by people’s memories and experience of the area. For Billing, with her sociological interest in the phenomenon of the traffic jam and the intertwining of private and public space, these connections as well as the idea of a recording serving as an aide-mémoire, bound these events into a space constructed between document, memory and repetition. In the film Magnason’s improvised musical performance, acts as a ‘soundtrack’ generated from within the film shoot itself, providing the rhythm and structure for work, dictating the editing and enabling the two events to interconnect.
Pulheim Jam Session, 2015, 22'40'' loop HD
Directed and edited by Johanna Billing.
Cinematography: Jan Höhe (1st Camera operator), Julia Franken (2nd Camera operator), Kris Willner (3rd camera operator). Sound recordists: C.A. Ramirez, Ephraim Wegner. Sound editing, mixing and mastering: Henrik Sunbring, Helter Skelter, Stockholm. Vfx Videoeffects and Colour & Grading: Swiss International, Björn Jankes and Jon Wesström. Digital mastering: Thomas Ahlén, Filmtech, Sweden. Project coordinators: Angelika Schallenberg, Laura Dosis (Cultural Department of the City of Pulheim Stadt Pulheim), Heike Ander (Academy of Media Arts Cologne). Artist’s assistant: Lauren Brincat. Technical coordinator: Nadine Hübsch. Technical assistants: Carla Matthes, Claudia List. Still photography: Sigrid Marie Luise Lange, Lauren Brincat. Project organisation: Carola Steffen-Aufsfeld, Martina Mosebach (Cultural Department of the City of Pulheim). Volunteers: Chelina Schütz, Anna Bathe, Sarah Kuss, Yvonne Großterlinden, Norbert Aufsfeld. Grand piano: Bechstein Centrum Köln, Piano Express.
The film was produced by the Cultural Department of the City of Pulheim (as part of the project series Stadtbild.Intervention) in co-operation with the Academy of Media Arts Cologne and with the kind support of the regional cultural funds of Nordrhein-Westfalen, The Ministry for Family, Children, Youth, Culture and Sport of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, the Kultur- und Umweltstiftung (foundation for culture and environment) of the Kreissparkasse Köln The Foundation for Culture and Environment of the Kriessparkasse and nctm e l’arte.