Oliver Griem

Associate Professor
Visual Communication Design
Hongik University, Seoul

Oliver Griem is a media artist who lives and works in South Korea. He currently teaches at Hongik University in Seoul. In the 80s he studied at the HFBK University of Fine Arts in Hamburg/Germany. In the beginning of the 90s, while working as video editor for documentary, music video and television he studied media-design at the Academy of Media Arts in Cologne (KHM). Through his graduate work at the KHM, a documentary feature called ’Parallel Worlds observations in South Korea’, he got interested in South Korean society and culture and moved there in 1995. For a few years he worked in a Korean company on compositing and special effects for television advertising and after that he started to teach moving image and media art at Korean universities. In many of his works the city Seoul plays a role as source for inspiration or it is the subject of study. Since his work ‘Pundang loop’ from 1997, which consists of a 5 minute uninterrupted camera pan starting in the wilderness around Seoul and ending in the apartment desert of Seoul’s satellite city Pundang, 360o image and video is a recurring element in his work. His works include single channel video, video-, light- and interactive-installations as well as scenographic video for stage-performances.

Loop The Loop

In my work looping is a recurring element. On the one hand because for me it reflects an idea of one basic principle of the world we live in, on the other hand looping is an approach to overcome the shortcoming of the medium moving image, that a video work only exists temporarily, because usually it has a beginning and end, whereas other art forms like painting or sculpture seem to exist eternally. Cylindrical or spherical 360o images are a loop in space and consequently another element I frequently use in my work. Another recurring element in my work is to use methods to physically encircle the viewer in the space of the work because then ‘the work’ becomes ‘the world’ from the viewpoint of the spectator, draws the spectator in and make them focused. I like to work with dance and performance because they are art forms that can structure time without necessarily being narrative and both are methods to structure the exhibition-space. Based on these thoughts in my talk I will introduce some examples of my work since 1995, talk about the concepts and technical approaches and how the progress of technology has influenced both methods as well as concepts.

Embracing The City Of Seoul

2009, 360° Video

This work was realized in the context of the COMP residency-project at MODAFE 2009. Results where an interactive installation with 15 360° video environments, as well as a collaborative 25 minute performance where some of the video-environments became the stage. Music for the scenes made by Yuta Kumachi. Opera singing by Xenia Hanusiak. Dancers are Miyao Akino, Moukam Fonkam, Jeremy Neideck, Park Soon-Ho, Lee Seung-Min, Son Hye-Jeong.