From 2019, Makino and Knapp have launched a new project Axis of Aion. It uses two video projectors, each projecting live video and fusing them on a single screen. In addition, they perform live music. Makino’s unique organic depth, produced by layering materials such as water and landscapes, and Knapp's imaginative monochrome line movement creates a new vision beyond the imaginations of the viewers.
Desistfilm: Can you talk about your collaboration with Manuel Knapp in At the horizon? How do you decide on the strategies to create this communion of techniques and methods?
Takashi Makino: I collaborated with him in Japan many times in performances. I used my films and videos and he came as a guest musician. We collaborated twice in Tokyo and twice in Austria. We had an experience on working together and we both work with sounds and images. Then we started to talk about making a film together, about what we could create… When I saw Manuel films for the first time I realized that his sounds/images were sometimes quite similar to what I dreamt in the car accident as a kid. Very dark spaces, and horizons made with computer-animated lines. I really had an interest in his works with those dark spaces and strong sounds.
I explained to him my dream experience from the car accident so we decided to make a similar film. We started from the green horizon image and kept it changing like my dream… First I shot some images of water and organic materials, and Manuel used very different and artificial objects on computer. Our images were so different, that was the real collaboration. We used the same screen but separate computers, different parts of the images. We tried to create the transformation of the landscapes.
Manuel made an animation, and I made a film and we edited and recorded the music together. The idea was to recreate my dream from when I was five, and then it was more like… not an improvisation but trying very different things together. And now we’re talking about starting a new project, using one projector each and combine them in one screen and play music together. We will start this project this or next year. More like a performance.
Can you tell us about what you’re working on right now? You mentioned this possible performance with Manuel Knapp, is there anything else?
We’re still thinking on the name for the project with Manuel. I like doing collaborations with a person who can create image and sound because since I do both we can understand each other. Our images are so different but never fight on the screen, and that is one important point. Last year I found out I can control the live video by computer, but only using materials from nature. Before I only used 16mm film and prepared video for the performances. But last year I got new software that lets me control the video on live mode, so I have new possibilities in collaborating with other musicians. I want to do that now, try to make more performance art and expanded cinema.
Desistfilm in conversation with Makino Takashi1
- 1Makino Takashi, “Takashi Makino: ‘I have a big interest for the image of dreams and imagination’,” desistfilm, interview by Nicole Remy and José Sarmiento-Hinojosa, 1 July 2019.