25.Aug.2016 - 01.Oct.2016
  • Event

Film, Sound & Music: The Extra-Ordinary // We Are Watching You!

Peter Ole Pedersen

Marie Koldkjær Højlund

Kunsthal Aarhus is launching a new event series in film, sound and music. THE EXTRA-ORDINARY // We Are Watching You! is curated by Postdoc Peter Ole Pedersen & PhD student and musician Marie Koldkjær Højlund, both employed at Aarhus University.

We are documenting like never before and we share these documentations through social media, amateur journalism and other types of network, but what does it mean for the authenticity of the fact-based medium? For the value of evidence? With this series Kunsthal Aarhus wishes to give the audience both a challenging and unique experience with the documentary genre. Special attention to interplay between images, sounds and music are set against the depiction of reality. At the same time this series of events gives the audience the possibility to enjoy a couple of classics within the genre. They are reframed in the light of our current use of digital media.


August 25th, 8-11pm

Echoes of Silence. Director: Emmanuel Goldman (USA, 1967, 60 min.)

Disorder. Director: Huang Weikai (Kina, 2009, 58 min.)

- With live-soundtrack by Xenia Xamanek Lopez (DK) and Yung (DK)

The series is kicked off with a party, as two young experimental artists plays live to two visionary and radical documentaries about the sudden and violent transformation of everyday life. One of them is Weikai Huang’s Disorder from 2009, which will be accompanied by Xenia Xamanek Lopez. The other is Peter Emmanuel Goldman’s forgotten documentary classic Echoes of Silence from 1967 accompanied by the band Yung.

Yung: Danish punk foursome Yung from Aarhus, led by frontman Mikkel Holm Silkjær, will play a live soundtrack for Echoes of Silence. After releasing two EP’s during 2015, the band just released their first album A Youthful Dream via the label Fat Possum.

Xenia Xamanek Lopez: Composer and sound artist Xenia Xamanek Lopez works under the aliases Equis and C.cell. With her guerilla-like stylle and expressive recordings on the Copenhagen-based label Infinite Waves, she has created a name for herself on the Danish underground scene for electronic music.

September 28th, 6-8.30pm

Koyaanisqatsi. Director: Godfrey Reggio (USA, 1985, 85 min.)

+ Talk with sound director Peter Albrechtsen about the soundtrack of the documentary

In 1982 the Italian-American film director Godfrey Reggio launched the first part of his Qatsi-trilogy, a mind-blowing series of documentaries that tries to completely reconfigure our common understanding of everyday human life and our relationship to nature and technology. Maybe most important of all, Koyaanisqatsi, challenges the very way reality is presented to us on film.

The soundtrack for the film is created by legendary film composer Phillip Glass and the sound director and filmnerd Peter Albrechtsen will be here to discuss the importance of sound and music in relation to this documentary classic.

October 13th:

The Empire Strikes Back!

– Full-day Event and Seminar on Andy Warhol’s cult classic Empire

Participants: Lars Movin, Peter Brix Søndergaard, Mads Mygind, John Levack Drever and many more (TBA)

Swing by Kunsthal Aarhus for one of the longest films ever created! This event is centered around Andy Warhol’s eight hour long documentary recording of the New York landmark Empire State Building. While we show the film in three different versions, one net-based, one part of the original and one a fan remake, a number of artists and scholars will be presenting talks, reciting poems and playing music.

As a central part of the event, author and filmmaker Lars Movine will be talking about Warhol’s film on the basis of his newly published book American Avant-Garde Film – From Surrealism to Poetry and Politics, a book that has over 100 pages devoted to Warhol. This day is going to be about the power of icons, patience, boredom and everything within that spectrum!

November 30th:

The Conversation. Director: Francis Ford Coppola (USA, 1974, 113 min.)

- Live music by Kolonihaven Unikum (DK)

The Conversation is the story about surveillance expert Harry Caul (Gene Hackman). Harry desperately tries to protect every aspect of his private life, while at the same time probing and sneaking into others people’s personal affairs by way of his profession. This, to say it least, problematic conflict of interests sets the stage for an intense psychological thriller, where Harry suddenly becomes the victim for his own methods of surveillance. The film won the Palme D’or in 1974 and still stands as one of the most brilliant and shocking depictions of the impact of surveillance on individuals, our psyche and by that also our society.

This evening, the two musicians Anders Ørbæk and Christian Windfeld, that together comprises the avant-garde jazz group Kolonihaven Unikum, will give the memorable soundtrack from the film a loving treatment through a live-transformation of the original music. Don’t miss this opening musical experiment and the following screening of an unforgettable classic.

January 26th:

Panic Room. Director: David Fincher (USA, 2002, 112 min.)

Self-surveillance, technology and the Illusion of Control

Debate and Book Release. Participants: Peter Lauritsen, Jan Løhmann Stephensen and Peter Ole Pedersen

This evening we examine the technological and sociological implications of surveillance through a debate between researchers within the field. There exists a tenacious myth about the positive potentials of having surveillance technologies monitor our society; the more surveillance, the more secure we will be. But which type of self-help and understanding of the function of surveillance is in play here? Are our advanced registration-technologies and desire for control only an illusion? And does these tendencies even work as a catalyst for increased paranoia and insecurity?

This final event will also mark the publication of a book about the depiction and theme of surveillance in fiction film. The authors behind the book are Jan Løhmann Stephensen and Peter Ole Pedersen. It will be released through Antipyrine Distribution.




The essence of documentary is in the depiction of the relation between the everyday and exceptional. Often it is the radical break with a well-known situation or an overlooked detail, maybe even little wonders caught by the documentarian in the chosen medium. 

In the territory of the documentary, everyday life and it’s surroundings presents far more thought-provoking and singular situations, than one would expect. In many ways, these situations help to frame our behavior and at the same time, they accentuate when the course of events suddenly takes an unexpected turn, or when we are surprised in the middle of our daily rutines.


This part of the programme focusses on the relationship between surveillance and fiction film, a highly relevant subject, which on a daily basis affects our way of understanding the world. Surveillance is no longer something that is reserved for sinister governments or murky security companies, now a days, it even functions as a state-sponsored phenomenon, which is further accelerated by our own behavior on the Internet and the widespread tendency to document and distribute each other’s actions and whereabouts.

Thus, the saying ‘Big Brother is watching you’, put forth by the author George Orwell in his famous science fiction novel 1984, have reviewed a surprising twist and with this part of Kunsthal Aarhus’ film and music programme, we wish to explore these developments of our surveillance culture through two distinct modern film classics.

The series is part of a research project that investigates the relations between different artistic expressions and our current documentary culture. The project is financed by The Novo Nordic Foundation and is directed by Peter Ole Pedersen, curator and assistant professor at Aarhus University. The series is curated in collaboration with Marie Højlund, musician and researcher in sound design.

Price to all events: DKK 50





Concert: Emmanuel Holterbach (FR) & Tobias Sejersdahl

Film & Music Night: Echoes of Silence & Disorder

Film & Music Night: Koyaanisqatsi - Life Out of Balance

Film & Music Night: The Conversation

Film & Music Night: The Empire Strikes Back

Film masterpiece + KOSMOS 2: Død over Hollywood