Kin 1 / by Kristjan Torr

4 AM. Reykjavik. Night. At this hour the city is a safe place, most people are asleep. The terrain surrounding the city is calm but alarming. If you were to wander into the void, only specifically trained people are able to retrieve you. Such a group has gathered in the quiet dusk outside Reykjavík, preparing to embark upon an unusual expedition.

 ICELANDERS still 001

ICELANDERS still 001

I used to follow my family into disaster zones. They were volunteers in the Icelandic search and rescue squad. Risking their lives on a regular basis, recovering cast away bodies, out there in the harsh arctic landscape. My grandfather took care of me. Our minds were similar and he showed me how to look away, deep into nature. Revealing strange worlds inhabited by unseen beings beyond space and time.

I've spent my entire life trying to get back to that place. 

Following the financial crisis I had an incomplete film on my hands and found myself filing for bankruptcy. I started to distance myself from filmmaking. Drifted from one place to another working as a hired hand for some food to eat and a hole to put my head down at night. But I always kept a small camera, filming Icelanders suffering the consequences of the 2008 collapse.

By chance in 2014, I returned to the Icelandic Search and Rescue squad filming their exercises.  I had no idea what I was aiming for when I received a strange request in the mail. A letter signed by Dr. Kari Stefansson was sent on behalf of deCODE Genetics, asking for a scan of my brain for their inquiry into the workings, and more precisely the dysfunction of the human brain.

 ICELANDERS still 002

ICELANDERS still 002

Coincidentally the letter stated they were going to employ the Icelandic search and rescue squad to collect data from the entire population. Creating a genetic map providing insight into our origins, the emergence of consciousness, and a promise to end human suffering.

4 AM. Reykjavik. Night. Camera is speeding and volunteers in the Icelandic Search and Rescue squad are ready. At dawn, they will enter the city. Their mission; collecting data on human nature from all Icelanders.

 ICELANDERS still 003

ICELANDERS still 003

To be continued