Watch this film exploring the feeling of true freedom

Shooting hay bales in a field, streaking down sand dunes, or going full pelt on a motorbike – a Californian filmmaker and Brooklyn band join forces to find out

Whether it’s streaking down steep sand dunes or shooting hay bales in sloping Indiana fields, POWER/LAND is a short film exploring our notions of personal power and freedom. We’re asked, in German, what the world around us is like. How we feel it, what the sun and the moon look like, and what it’s like to fall in love.

POWER/LAND is a creative collaboration between San Diego-born artist and skater Julian Klincewicz and New York Indie duo Haerts. Set to three Haerts tracks that explore the otherworldy, dreamy defiance of youth, the film is a lo-fi tribute to fearlessly experiencing the world.

Klincewicz has previously worked with Gosha Rubchinskiy filming his Vans project, exploring skateboarding and the interconnecting subcultures it manifests between Russian and the US. In this new venture, Klincewicz brings his VHS vision to life to imagine what it’s like to feel completely free and powerful. Here, Nini Fabi and Ben Gebert of Hearts and Klincewicz spoke to Dazed about their visual and aural ode to living life how you choose.

How did the creative process begin with POWER/LAND? 

Julian Klincewicz: I think the very first step was just building on the existing mood of the songs, and then figuring out how to put them in visual/physical space that could represent them – for me this was the Mid-West. I listened to the songs through a couple of times to see what came to mind visually, and from there sort of building some context and relationship between what I imagined visually and the feeling of the songs. Nini and I shared some ideas back and forth over the phone, and we sort of landed on an idea of exploring assimilation, specifically in space, as a base point, and then built, evolved, shifted around, swayed focus from there.

Did you all share a similar vision for the piece?

Julian Klincewicz: Nini reached out to me based on some of my past work with Gosha, I believe. I think we just felt the same mood with the songs, and had a similar idea of what would be interesting and nice and hopefully on some level important to put out into the world, based on the music. It was a really mutual and collaborative and free process of just trying to make something interesting.

Nini Fabi: Ben (the other half of Haerts) and I had this project in mind for quite some time. We had these three unreleased songs that we imagined in a visual world and I found Julian online through his collaborations with Gosha, as well as Eckhaus Latta.

I loved his rhythm and his colours and his style was in a way reminiscent of Gerhard Richter’s blurred snapshot scenes from the 60s. There was something in the way he filmed people, the way they looked at him and the way he and his camera looked at them. 

It’s almost as if they were in love with him or he with them on some level. It was interesting to me that he showed something intimate and meaningful in very ‘small’, normal things and that’s what made me instantly trust him, to be the one to approach about this project. We talked about our ideas and the mood, but the process was less about finding an exact treatment, but more about capturing a feeling and a space that seemed relevant to all of us.

“I try to film in a way that’s sort of like voyeurism as a means to humanisation – trying to really see a person, so you can show them” – Julian Klincewicz

What influences your visual style? 

Julian Klincewicz: Ray and Charles Eames’ Glimpses of America has been one of my biggest reference points for making videos in general – this idea that you can convey an overview of something and let people relate to that mood.

I think right now my strength still lies mostly in observing and showing moments of the world, rather than fully ‘directing’ and creating moments – it’s a shared experience… the people I’m filming always influence the project hugely, because it’s about trying to show them, and their human, in hopefully a conveying way. I try to film in a way that’s sort of like voyeurism as a means to humanisation – trying to really see a person, so you can show them.

What are the most important themes you explore in POWER/LAND? Is it about being in control of ones self and your surroundings?

Julian Klincewicz: I think it’s in the title. Power, what does personal power look like? And then also what space does that live in? I think there’s still that idea of voyeurism for the sake of empathy too… maybe that’s more style than theme, but I think if you can really fall in love with the world you’re presented, and see it through that, it will dictate the rest on some level. It’s also just about looking at freedom – which sounds a bit grandiose, but like, what does that look like now? What does that really feel like? Falling naked down a sand dune, or riding a dirt bike then sparring with your two best friends, or buying a BB gun and shooting a hay bale in Indiana… these can all be really normal or totally magical moments – probably both – that actually make you feel free for a moment.

Nini Fabi: 2015 was a crazy and violent year. I sensed a lot of fear in the world and even myself. Going into this, I hoped that we could show something of strength that was true and lifting. I think the themes that emerged are freedom and fearlessness. The way of seeing and experiencing the world as a child. When you ask different questions, when you’re in a space where your focus and time is endless. There is a beauty and strength in that, it’s good to look at. Almost like, as Julian said, empathetically looking at the most normal and seemingly insignificant things and falling in love with them – brave, focused and clear as children.

Check out more on POWER/LAND here