LAND-Shape Festival

LAND (Land Art North Denmark) wants to work strategically towards realizing an annual LAND-SHAPE land art festival. But how can you sustain a land art festival and find environments with the resources and motivation to extend the festival duration?

LAND-SHAPE festival

LAND-SHAPE is an international project that wants to promote land art in the region of North Jutland. The project is a part of the Danish Ministry go Culture’s cultural agreement with North Jutland and its 11 munilipalities : Frederikshavn, Hjørring, Læsø, Brønderslev, Jammerbugt, Aalborg, Rebild, Mariagerfjord, Vesthimmerland, Morsø and Thisted.

The main idea of the festival is to lift the whole art scene in North Jutland, stimulate the site-specific art, develop the cultural/natural heritage from this area and through land art experience the beautiful countryside of North Jutland. In addition the festival ambitiously aims to attract new users, seek international art connections, rely on public participation and work with children and local organizations.

The theme for the pilot festival in 2015 will be ‘Regional Resources’. The purpose of this theme is to merge art and society towards regional development and meaningful exchange in a natural and cultural level. The aim is to collaborate with cultural institutions and farmers and to involving the community by active participation.

Concept of land art

Land art is a form of art in which nature plays an essential role. Land art is normally works of art created by nature’s own materials. Some land art is created in interaction with nature while others make contrasts. Land art intends to interact with civilization and become part of the landscape.

Case 3: How can you sustain LAND-SHAPE land art festival?

Our case is to sustain Land-Shape festival for the future. The case description states that we should look into what else need to be done, other than having a strong festival concept (another group has this case), to sustain Land-Shape. The festival needs to have a strategy to secure its future were it is necessary to analyze the art scene of Northern Jutland and to find environments with resources and ability to sustain Land-Shape. What can motivate the artists of Northern Jutland in an international collaboration to sustain the festival. What are the vital parameters to enable the Land-Shape festivals vision.

Group members:

Jan Rønø
Vanessa Santos
Pernille Christine Larsen
Nicklas Hovgaard Lassen
Anders Lisborg Christensen
Maja Kathrine Lundholm Larsen


Concept video

Our final concept illustrates how to get the locals of Hanstholm involved in the Land-Shape festival. This difference from our original case description (This is elaborated in the design process page), as we found that Land-Shapes real problem was to 'soften up' the locals to hopefully support and contribute to the festival and thereby sustain its future.
The concept is to have a pre-event in Hanstholm where the locals are in focus. The pre-event should contain local food, drinks and entertainment which should reflect that the festival is all about the local community. Also with a presentation of some smaller land art pieces the locals should get awareness of this kind of art and thereby get the meaning of the festival. Furthermore one of the land art pieces should give the locals a possibility to participation in a simple manner (illustrated with the lighthouse in the video), as the Land-Shape festival wishes people to participate actively, and by having a way to simply participate in the pre-event, the locals should be more open to participate actively in festival. This pre-event should be free for the locals (food and drinks should be sold at a reasonable price of course) and have no interest in making a profit, otherwise the locals could get the impression that the festival only does this to make money - which is not the case.

Through our research from the first week, we discovered that these kind of events should be 'by the people' and not 'for the people'. In addition to our concept (which is more 'for the people') it should hopefully have an effect to make the locals participate in the festival when it is launched in 2015, and thereby have a basis to be 'by the people' on a long term.
All in all our final concept is a pre-event with the goal to 'soften up' the locals and make them realize the benefit of a festival of this kind and hopefully motivate them to participate. In the long term we believe that this is an essential part of sustaining the Land-Shape festival.

Here is the final concept video:


Design Process

Week 1: Fieldwork

The design process started with the group exploring the subject. Different existing art festivals were looked into, and inspiration from them was taken into account for the further work.
During this first week we started our research. We discussed the meaning of the LAND-SHAPE land art festival and discussed different ways we could approach our case.

We engaged in object theatre to visualize our case. The result was brilliant as we saw many new angles on our case which opened a whole new world of ideas. At the same time it was difficult as we realized the complexity of the case. We realized that we needed to have a concrete focus in order to proceed as this case contains many different possibilities.


Our next step was interviewing a founding member of the the already established Bunker Love Festival. The interview gave us insight into the many difficulties creating a land art festival. Furthermore people involved in the festival needs to be highly motivated and engaged to the project in order to secure it for the future. Therefore we decided to interview a land artist to find out what motivates and engages him to make land art. The artist told us that his motives primarily was to make public art because of its possibilities to reach a lot of people. Another important thing was the involvement of the common man as his art projects became more a social collective than his own subjective interpretations.
In addition we watched the documentary "Spark: A Burning Man Story" about Burning Man. The reason we choose to watch this documentary was that Burning Man is the largest interactive festival in the world and is now happening in five different continents. We found that some of the principals of the the Burning Man was similar to the concept of LAND-SHAPE. Therefore we saw a connection between the two festivals which contributed to further inspiration.

Furthermore we launched a survey in both danish and english on Facebook in order to understand if the public is aware of land art concept and if they would engage in this event. We found out that only 13% of the participants knows about land art. We saw this as a challenge because we see it as a fundamental knowledge people need in order to secure the festivals future.

After collecting our data we concluded that in order to reassure the festival, the organization needs to have a strong concept that will create meaning for artists in order for them to produce their work, to have an active participation of the public and to inspire stakeholders to invest in this festival.

During our meeting with our agent we presented our data collection and we suggested that they could strengthen their concept by exploring the issues concerning natural and cultural heritage in North Jutland area, such as contraction of the coastline, deforestation, flooding, viking history and so on. We believe that a strong concept will create meaningful content which will motivate everyone to naturally come again. But as another group has the case concerning the concept of the festival we decided to move our focus to communicating LAND-SHAPE with the goal of actively involve the public. The organization´s feedback in what regards our proposals was very positive.

Week 2: Video sketching

We began our second week by defining a project manager who had the responsibility to clarify our plan and make sure our deadlines were met. We decided to use the scrum method to plan the the second week of the workshop. Here we brainstormed and made several ideas for possible content. We discussed and analyzed the relevance of each idea for our case. We selected four ideas to videosketch and discareded the rest. We choose to divide the ideas between the members of the group to make the process more productive, but we catched up regularly to make sure that the group agreed on the different ideas for videosketches. To visualise the ideas to each other we made storyboards. The final videosketches can be seen on the tab ”Video Sketches”.

Picture of the storyboard to the film "...."

Picture of the storyboard to the film with Herbert discovering the festival. The storyboard was made with post-it's so it was easy to replace frames, if wanted.

We also used green screen for one of our video sketches:

Week 3: Concept development

We started the third week with a meeting and the purpose was to present the four video-sketches to our agent, in order to select one and develop it.
The second meeting generated new ideas and suggestions that were given to us by the member of Land-Shape to elaborate the final concept.
We debated this event and we decided to pursue one of the favourite videos presented in the last meeting and develop it with the new suggestions.
Once more, we used the stop motion technique and we constructed our final concept based in the idea of attracting the locals with pop-up events, to introduce them the Land-art concept with a pre-festival happening.

Images from the week:




Video sketch 1:

What is the name of your sketch?
Herbert joins the festival pop-up event

What is the design problem depicted?
The problem was to involve the locals and move the festival into the city space. The idea was that an artist would bring tools for making a land art piece in a so-called pop-up event, and start to make it. This should make the locals voluntarily join him and make the art piece together in collaboration.
Also by bringing the festival into the city, it should create more focus on the actual festival. These pop-up events could be held at any moment, anywhere all year around, and by this maybe get the festival “under the skin” of the locals, making it a tradition. Also by copying the idea onto other cities around North Jutland, the festival would then be promoted on a larger scale.

What is the narrative or message in the sketch?
The message in the sketch is to make the locals accepting this new festival that is brought into their town. It should also show them that everybody can be creative, by letting them all join these pop-up events and make the art together. Together is a key word in this context, as the locals and organizers together could make this festival a great success.

Which techniques did your apply?
Before the sketch was made, a brainstorm was performed. The topic field for this was “take it to the city” and “how can we involve the locals”. The idea of pop-up events was presented, and the storyboard for the sketch was alive.
For the sketch itself the technique of stop-motion was used to tell the story. The stop-motion was done with pen and paper, making drawings of the surroundings and the protagonist. The movie was then edited in Premiere Pro.

A video about Herbert who attends a land-shape festival pop-up event.

Video sketch 2:

What is the name of your sketch?
Sketch nr. 2 “Herbert discovers the LAND-SHAPE festival”

What is the design problem depicted
According to our surveys, a majority of the participants were not aware of the concept of Land-art. In an attempt of solving this problem, we designed this sketch based on an experience from an uninformed user.
In our point of view, if the user does not understand Land-art he won´t understand the value of this kind of art. We consider this a relevant problem because if a person doesn´t know the meaning of the festival, for sure he/she won't be engaged to go or participate.
We imagined this sketch as a real scenario, in a sense that when a person has doubts about a subject, nowadays he/ she is most likely to go home and google it.
Additionally, our purpose is to not only to inform the user but to provide him/her a guided experience to feel the connection with the natural landscape of this region and consequently the works of art interacting with the natural surroundings and get involved, retaining its relevance for the future.

What is the narrative or message in the sketch?
Using our own experience and data collection we designed a sketch based in a real situation. Our design fiction is when Herbert is being drawn inside the computer to suddenly be in the Land-shape festival, in order to experience a virtual trip. We want to sketch a real moment of the festival through the simulated tour. After this experience, the character “comes back to reality”, conscious of the contents of this festival and he is very much interested to participate in it, so he buys a ticket.

Which techniques did your apply?
In this video sketch we used the stop motion technique and the sand play box to create the locus amenus of the festival. We considered that the sand box would make a good contrast between the black and white draws and a colorful and playful scenario. This reflects our perception of the final product that we are about to produce for the Land-shape festival team. We imagine it to be fun and appealing.

A video about Herbert who discovers the Land-shape festival

Video sketch 3:

What is the name of your sketch?
A day in Hanstholm, sketch 3.

What is the design problem depicted?
We found out through the meeting with Land-Shape festival, that one of the issue was to present the festival to the locals of Hanstholm in a way that would engage them. Furthermore we discovered through our quantitative survey that only 13% is aware of the art form 'Land art'. This leads to the problem which in short can be described as to make the locals of Hanstholm aware of land art which should make them aware of the Land-Shape festival and hopefully engage them to support and participate in the actual festival when it launches in 2015.

What is the narrative or message in the sketch?
Our idea to make a possible solution to the problem is to have unannounced 'pop-up events', to make the locals aware of the concept of land art and the Land-Shape festival. The sketch illustrates a normal day in Hanstholm where our protagonist endures his everyday. The user illustrated in the sketch is therefore a typical local person in Hanstholm. The protagonist is on his way to work and has a mundane monolog with himself to illustrate his everyday. One day on his way home from work he encounters a horde of people fascinated by a land art piece, which appeals the protagonist as he did not expect a land art piece in Hanstholm. This is the important part in the videosketch, as the protagonist is changed, surprised and transformed (a bad translation of the experience theory forvandre, forundre og forvandler) and therefore got an experience with land art which possible leads to awareness of the festival.

Which techniques did your apply?
The sketch is mainly made as a puppet theater with the puppets and buildings made of cardboard. To control the puppets we made use of some taped together spaghetti (whole grain), and the scenography was more or less made up on site. To add a little extra finesse we made use of green screen to give the setting a little more dept to the environment. Hanstholm is a city with a harbor and we tried to support this by adding a recording of the harbor of Aalborg on the green screen. Furthermore the land art piece in the sketch is a real bonsai tree which should support the importance of the art piece.

A video about a man's everyday in Hanstholm, when suddenly a pop-up event appears.

Video sketch 4:

What is the name of your sketch?
Søren & Mette – Land art.

What is the design problem depicted?
The problem was to get the locals involved in the land-shape festival, therefor we thought that we would make the local school produce and learn about land-art. One of the problems was that people didn’t know land art and we wanted to show what it is – Therefore we spread the word together with children from the city by them plating a maze of willow. By planting willow, we give something to the locals playground, so they will get something out of the work they have been doing. When the willow isn’t removed, people will always remember the land-shape festival.

What is the narrative or message in the sketch?
The users are the children from the local school working with the willow – We wanted to show the possibility of the work between the local children and the land-shape festival. Using the local children might not be the only solution, but the children thinks it’s funny to learn by doing.
It is very important to show during the video, that the children think its funny to do, and to use afterwards.

Which techniques did your apply?
First of all we did a brainstorm considering which topics we wanted to develop. We got the topic: Bring together the locals and make them aware of land-art. We brainstormed and decided to bring all the locals together through their children and the art could make. After the brainstorm we sketched a storyboard and decided what we wanted to show during our stop-motion movie. We started to sketch our stop motion movie on the computer and ended up with this movie.

A video about Mette and Søren having land-art as their thematic week at school.

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