The CalArts Pool Fisheye Snapshot

Kerstin L. Hovland (Film/Video 12)

Kerstin L. Hovland is lead for the Electronic Countermeasures’ video design team for Foo Fighters and Shawn Mendes’ performances at the MTV Video Music Awards 2021. The night led off with Hovland’s dancing ethereal gradients of color filling the stage and air for Shawn Mendes’ performance of “Summer of Love.” Moving on to close out the show with a medley by Foo Fighters, who took home the first MTV US Global Icon Award, Hovland and creative partner Emery C. Martin (Experimental Animation 06) were tasked with translating the energy of a Foo Fighters concert and the band’s 26-year history into broadcast history. Starting off the medley with Foo Fighters’ classic “Learn to Fly,” they created a series of video feedback shots utilizing the stage’s LED floor and overhead spider cam. Switching gears for the new single “Shame Shame,” they turned the floor into mounds of dirt with fingers, actually Hovland’s own shot by Martin, extending and clawing out from underneath the band’s risers with fog sweeping across this eerie unsettling landscape. Closing out the medley with a grid of every Foo Fighters music video and broadcast performance for “Everlong,” Hovland showcased the long history of the band. In typical fashion, everything was brought back to the live experience of a Foo Fighters show with the band logo—which was animated by longtime collaborator Meejin Hong (Experimental Animation 12) and closed out every show of the 2021 tour that Hovland and Martin designed—projected onto the MTV Moon Man’s flag.