I väntan på berättarrösten: Öresunds Filmkommisions "platsdatabas" och det urbana landskapets manuskriptur

Maria Hellström Reimer


It is today more difficult than ever to isolate the reproduction of landscapes from a growing and ever more all-embracing economy of images and signs (Lash and Urry, 1994). Even though repeated attempts are being made from within the spatial professions to develop a tectonically or geo-morphologically formulated immunity to these changes, landscape appears as a subject matter in an increasing number of fields, from trend analytics and economic forecasting to environmental science and health care. One of these new and increasingly important fields of landscape practice is film production. As a micro-environment with global span (Sassen 2003), this spatio-temporal domain has developed its own platforms and tools for commissioning, managing and evaluating environments, thus also providing a new and increasingly important cartography of contemporary space (Abbas, 2003). Here, the emerging film commissions play an active role, engaging not only in promotion of landscapes and places, but furthermore also in its categorizing, assessment and reproduction.

What we have to ask, however, is what are the premises for this new spatial production, and how does it affect the further intermediation of architectural knowledge? Through a case study of the Oresund Film Commission and its web based location database, this paper aims to discuss these and related issues. A compilation of more than five hundred still images of potential locations for film production, the database provokingly actualizes the ambiguities of spatial categorization and its dependency upon an often unarticulated expectation for timely and fitting narratives. The paper interrogates and examines this new locality production, as well as the expectations, both for adaptation and change, to which it gives rise. The argument developed is that although landscape practice is one of intermediation, the purpose is not to provide an increasingly powerful media industry with a legitimizing voice-over. What is needed is rather a critique of landscape narratives that goes beyond passive commentary, activating the discursive potentials that the global and intermediary landscape eventually holds.

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