Research project

”Image as site” by Ellen J Røed

Researcher: Ellen J Røed

Image as site is a research project by Ellen J Røed, Professor of Film and Media for the Profile Area Art, Technology, Materiality.

My research evolves around how devices that produce images, such as cameras and microphones, invite their users to engage with the world by enabling a network of relationships. By appropriating the concept of field from certain discourses of sound art and applying it to the moving image, I am exploring the capacity of video-based art for enabling elements of performance characteristic to site. In the intersection between field recording and cinematography, I consider how the moving image might be seen as a form of site in itself.

Aim and research questions

The aim is to consider, from a contemporary perspective, how artistic approaches to video can be seen to engage place and enable sites through movement, transience, and body. How might the moving image be engaged to explore specific surroundings and to create artworks that operate across any dialectic opposition between experience, mediation and representation, as a form of place making?

Research implementation and anticipated impact

By exploring performative aspects of the moving image, the project will enable new perspectives on the material conditions of medial representations. The research will contribute to an understanding of the potential of the moving image as a tool for developing situated knowledge and of its material conditions in terms of experience. It will add to the understanding of the capacity of the moving image for enabling realities based on elements of performance connected to a contemporary understanding of site.


I will collaborate with different artists from the fields of music and visual art who work with field recordings and make sound installations and site-specific performances, as well as cinematographers. These collaborations will on one level aim at experimenting with and discussing how the moving image might be used in a similar way as audio to do field work. During work in diverse places and envionments, together with sound artists and musicians as well as a cinematographer, I will experiment with image based inquiries into site and explore how the notions of site and field, borrowed from site-specific art and sound-art, can be applied to the moving image along some of the methods and gestures involved in field-recording. Questions of body, movement and transience will inform the work.


This research project started in 2017 and I aim to complete it by the end of 2022.

The project is financed by the Swedish Research Council.