Öræfi by Kristjan Torr

There have been eruptions and there will be eruptions.
— Bergur Einarsson


In 1362 this volcano erupted explosively, devouring every settlement within reach. Post-event the zone became known as Öræfi. 

Last October, during our visit to this place we sensed a sudden subterranean shift take form below us. Strong tremors were arising from the depth beneath the summit crater. A seismic jolt rang in our skulls. A foretaste of the devastation that will follow across the zone when the young volcano awakens with a tantrum spitting death into the sky, unleashing unimaginable horror upon the human epoch. #anthropocene


So, we headed south to interview Bergur Einarsson, an expert in the field of megafloods and wilderness emergency response.

Convinced that the volcano is showing signs of reawakening; he detailed a sequence of awful events awaiting the settlement.

Bergur Einarsson certified  Wilderness First Responder WFR

Bergur Einarsson certified Wilderness First Responder WFR


† The word öræfi is used to denote wilderness, desolation and a place without a harbor. The word is probably composed of the prefix ör- which is mainly used in a negative or implied harsh meaning, and hóf (moderation, fit, something appropriate, suitable). Adding the negative prefix -ör the true meaning assumes the form of "something obscene, irrational, insane place".

R+D by Kristjan Torr

I've spent the month jumping between data sets surveying micro/macroscopic imagery for my film.


There's an abundance of material available so my only trouble is picking the right pictures, and the resolution tends to be a little low, especially in the motion pictures. But we can wrote a short code to create a semblance of an enhancement. 

The most rapturous collection I've discovered depict the mitochondria, organelles that generate energy for the cell. Portraying the outer membrane, I find the long grooves of the mitochondrial surface mesmerizing. They are captured via electronic microscopy, so, unfortunately, they are fixed in time.

So, we have to figure out a way of extracting information from black and white pixels and convert them to points in three-dimensional space.

DNA by Kristjan Torr

It's startling to know something so strange and inappreciable, forms the total biotic mass that covers the Earth. That's why I am going to go insane filming these alien structures. 

Photo 51

Photo 51

The molecule and its operators are extremely obscure and after outlining some concepts on paper, and I think the sequences have to be animated. 

So I reached out, to a colleague with whom I've collaborated in the past. Currently halfway between production houses, Svava Jóhannsdóttir is an artist, engineer, and a technical director. I admire her work and asked her if she was wanted to collaborate. 

Stochastic Process by Svava Jóhannsdóttir 2016

Together for the next couple of weeks, we will draw up maps for these alien territories. I look forward to documenting the process.

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