One-on-one with filmmaker and digital artist Leyokki Tk
Leyokki, born in 1990, is a digital artist, living and working between Paris and Berlin. He calls himself a weaver of lines of flight. He is a graduate of the School of Graphic Research in Brussels, the Sorbonne-Nouvelle University and the School of Advanced Studies in Social Sciences in Paris. His work consists of both audiovisual essays and digital installations.
His experimental short Croquis::VRS, a cinegraphic sketch of notes about the lockdown and coronavirus, was selected for the 2021 Brussels Independent Film Festival. iFilmFestival had an exclusive one-on-one with him on his experience as a filmmaker.
iFilmFestival: Tell us a bit about your most important film so far.
Leyokki: “I think it might be #wreckOfHope, a movie I made in 2016 about a painting by Caspar David Friedrich. The idea behind this movie was to make an audio-visual interpretation of the painting, i.e. without any words. I started by recreating the painting with a 3d software and built a variation through a split screen in four panels, each one following the course of one virtual camera around the object. And, a few years later, it drove me to rethink totally what cinema is, and to create a form of score for the visual part of the movies – a cinegraphic score.”
iFilmFestival: What were the key challenges making it?
Leyokki: “At first I had to recreate the painting in a 3d environment – so, in fact, I had to imagine what would have been behind and under the scene we see in the painting. Then, from a basic principle of distortion I found – the use of a split-screen with different camera motion at the same time –, the challenge was to build a form of narration that people would be able to follow without the use of any words.”
iFilmFestival: What’s one aspect that you’re particularly proud of?
Leyokki: “I think I'm proud of the fact that the movie works, in a way that you are able to follow the course of the movie, and even to produce your own images through seeing the movie – as music would allow you to. There is also a stroboscopic part that I particularly like because it corresponds to a proper figural solution, which arose from the conflict between the loop of the image and the one of the sound.”
#wreckOfHope (full film)
iFilmFestival: How did you get involved in filmmaking?
Leyokki: “I got hands on a version of After Effects, Cinema 4D and discovered the existence of programming languages at the same time when I was a teenager, and used these to create motion pictures. I think this is the starting point.”
iFilmFestival: What new projects are you working on or are you hoping to work on in the future?
Leyokki: “I have created a system of score to write movies, which I call "motion scores" or "cinegraphic scores" and where I can write music and video. I am exploring this system to build a new type of live videos, where someone else will be able to interpret my creations. The basis of this system has been published into Sound and Images. Aesthetics and Practices (dir. A. Knight-Hill, Routledge Publisher, 2020), and you can find a description on my website, with an open sourced software I am also creating. Following this, I am also working on a huge creation for next year with the Ensemble des Possibles (dir. Antonin Rey), in which I will play live video during a concert of contemporary classical music.”
iFilmFestival: What role do film festivals play?
Leyokki: “Film festivals allow me to meet people and films in the same field as mine (art/experimental), which I wouldn't have discovered through other channels.”
iFilmFestival: What is your advice to filmmakers tackling the festival circuit?
Leyokki: “Maybe just focus on festival that show films you would like to watch, and keep making movies until you get in.”
iFilmFestival: How do you see the future of film?
Leyokki: “It is a possibility that the frontier between animation and live-action falls away — thanks to deep learning technologies and the use of games engine such as unreal engine —, allowing to a greater creativity in our relation to reality. I also think, or hope, that live cinema will improve and win its spurs.”
iFilmFestival: Which filmmaker do you admire and why?
Leyokki: “The first name to pop-up would be the one of Jean-Luc Godard. I am impressed by the way he wanders into cinema, from fiction to visuals essays through very experimental works. Godfrey Reggio, then, with his movie Koyaanisqatsi, made a strong impression on me and my vision of cinema. I would also like to pay a tribute to a few others filmmakers: Jacques Perconte, Gustav Deutsch, Leo Hurwitz, Sky Hopinka or John Gianvito.”
iFilmFestival: What film have you recently seen that you have admired in one way or another?
Leyokki: “In a totally different field, I saw recently the movie Paprika (Satoshi Kon, 2006), in which the fluidity of transmutations of shapes, space and forms is just admirable.”
iFilmFestival: Thank you Leyokki for answering our questions!
Interview by iFilmFestival on October 8th 2021.