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Erik Knudsen – ‘portfolio’ discussion

RedEye network emailed members advanced notice of 30 minute portfolio discussions with renowned practitioners. Free for members. Erik Knudsen is one of those practitioners ( – a film maker and photographer and professor of digital culture at UClan (

From the Doubt Project ©Erik Knudsen, source:

I’ve been lucky to book one of the few available 30 minutes spots with Erik on 5th October and record the process and outcome in this post.

  1. Erik’s own work. I spent time browsing his website this afternoon. What attracted me to having the discussion the focus of his photography and film on the ordinary, along with a feeling of psychological tension – perhaps the anticipation of change or the downtrodden acceptance of slow change. His work ‘Doubt Project’ is described in the context of doubt being part of his creative and spiritual development – something he has learned to recognise an embrace. There is always doubt in art, perhaps an equivalent to doubt or anxiety when putting one’s own children out into the world. I feel doubt, but I tend to brush it aside rather than embrace it.
  2. Questions for Erik. In between my tutorial for A4 BoW and the session with Erik, I managed to update my film for to reflect the suggestions from my tutor – mainly to reconsider a few of the images and to re-sequence the images so that they connected with the narrative in the film’s timeline. This resulted in edit 3 of my film and the one shared with Erik. There were two aspects I hoped to get Erik’s feedback on: a) critique of the work as a short stills film and, if time allowed, ideas for publicising the work.
Edit 3 of film
  1. Outcome of session.
    • Process – the technology/communication hosted by RedEye didn’t go as smoothly as it might have done. There was miscommunication of start times (luckily too early rather than late) and the link I shared with them to pass onto Erik had not been passed onto him. It was also not possible to share my own screen from RedEye’s Zoom break out room, so I ended up sending a link in the comments. However, I’d walked through potential problems before the session so didn’t find this as distracting as it could have been.
    • Comments – Erik watched the 7 or 8 minutes of the film up to the end titles and I waited in silence. He said that he enjoyed the film and asked a little about why I’d chosen that medium. He felt that the images were strong and very evocative of the place. Our discussion then focused on the sound. Commented that while I’d started to bring in some ambient and background sounds, there was potential to develop that area much further. He encouraged me to think about conveying the narrative through the sound – to imagine doing that without the narrative. Observing that a simple narrative would have a beginning, middle and end. Perhaps even ending in silence. Erik said that people remember emotions more than words and the images and sounds are the most powerful way of carrying emotions. Could the sounds be used to evoke the past – what was once the artery of the industrial north is now a marginal space? Put my own feelings about the place at the centre of the narrative – a melancholic, abandoned empty place. Perhaps consider the idea of the journey, from inland Leeds, opening out into the world through Liverpool.

      We didn’t have time to properly resolve our session as RedEye technology undid us once more. However, I thanked Erik through Instagram and he asked me to let him know when the work was finished.
  2. Next steps – the sound track will be worked on further for BoW A5. I’ve begun searching sound archives for suitable raw materials. Once, finally done I’ll send a link to Erik.
Published inP1: research & preparation

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