“HONEYMOON IN POMPEII – work-in-progress” is an artistic research project conducted at the National Film School of Denmark. In it, I explore transmediality through the production of a prototype artwork spanning film, literary text, sculpture, and virtual reality all loosely inspired by the archeological technique used to cast the Pompeian victims of the Vesuvius eruption in 79 ad.
I describe my initial inspiration and how I changed my intentions of exploring a consistent storyworld to more abstract associations and themes and the different collaborative efforts in producing the four parts of the prototype (a test not meant for public exhibition). The prototype ended up consisting of:
1) A film representing a foot specialist helping a costumer try running shoes in a sports store but showing an obsessive interest in her feet and crossing her personal boundaries.
2) A literary text consisting of selected passages of Wilhelm Jensen’s short novel “Gradiva” (1902) translated to Danish in which we meet the young archeologist Norbert Hanold and notice his obsession with an ancient bas-relief portraying a young woman walking.
3) A sculpture consisting of four transparent plastic reliefs depicting a walking woman (copies of the bas-relief described in the novel) suspended in a 1x2x2 meter aluminum frame.
4) An erotic virtual reality experience in which the perceiver’s bodily movements affects the virtual world. When moving, the represented scene freezes and vice versa.
We conducted a test of the joint transmedia artwork with a small group of respondents who answered a questionnaire reflecting on their experience. I reflect on the respondent’s answers and propose further questions and themes that may be interesting to explore through artistic research: How does one explore transmediality not necessarily in relation to a consistent storyworld but also relying on abstract characteristics? What are the limits (if any) between mixed media art, transmedia art, and installation art? How can transmediality be explored as either a goal in itself or as a development tool for artists working with particular media in mind? Could it be beneficial to explore transmediality through the metaphor of archeology and how?