The winning video of the third edition of the LOOP DISCOVER Award, 'Volva' by Édouard Decam explores and defines the role of the image in the construction of the contemporary landscape
Volva is the name that the German mathematician, astronomer and astrologer Johannes Kepler gave to the Earth seen from space in his book Somnium, considered the first work of science fiction.
Observatories study a very distant past, suspended in an uncertain time, almost without paying attention to their surrounding territory. Centred on the astronomical observatory of Pic du Midi de Bigorre, in the Pyrenees, this 16 mm film reflects on the space-time relationship between architecture, science and landscape.
Following a solar chronology, the machines try to capture the surrounding environment as a series of waves that appear to be transmitted by the mountains and the distant landscapes. The absence of human forms, the sequence of mechanical movements and the controlled gaze of the telescopes lead to thinking of an artificially controlled, robotized place. The frames, combining inner and outer spaces, make the place confront a parallel, extended space-time, from where it seems to come from. A new territory is built between the Pic’s architecture and its surrounding landscape. The film is constructed as a possible displacement of this space, moving in several temporalities at the same time, past, present and future, and several places, in and out of the Earth. By linking different representations of reality, Volva explores and defines the role of the image in the construction of the contemporary landscape.