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April 30, 2007


SLIDE MOVIE - DIAFILMPROJEKTOR, a new installation by Gebhard Sengmueller, will be presented at the European Media Art Festival Osnabrueck :: April 25 - May 20, 2007.

Black cube installation: A film sequence (35mm motion picture, 24 frames/sec.) is cut up and the individual frames are mounted as slides. They're then distributed among 24 slide projectors that are all focused on the same screen (the exact same point). Via electronic control of the projectors, these individual images are then reassembled-in an extremely cumbersome way-into a chronological sequence. The formula - one projector per frame - thus gives rise to something that at least rudimentarily (and inevitably very inaccurately, due to the lack of precision of the mechanical devices) suggests a motion picture. The film soundtrack emerges as a byproduct - the mechanical clattering of the projectors changing slides.

[...] Slide Movie, the most recent of Sengmueller's apparatuses, is located not only in the field of media archeology, though, but also in the field of media theory. With the infernal noise produced by twenty-four slide projectors changing pictures, the "film projector" is liberated from the sound-proof projection room and opened up. With the inside out, we find ourselves no longer in the audience space, but in the middle of the projector. The film, whose content is conventionally the focal point, moves into the background. What becomes visible, as though under a magnifying glass, is the medium, the illusion, the way still images are turned into moving pictures. In the terms of cognitive psychology, from which Heideggerian phenomenology also draws, this can be understood as a displacement of "figure" and "ground". The figure is that, to which attention is directed; the ground is everything that first makes the figure possible, but which is omitted by perception, so that we can concentrate on the figure. The ground of the figure "film" is the cinema, the box office cashier selling tickets, the darkened projection room, the muted projector, the electrical currents that provide the projector with energy, and so forth. All of this must be present, in order for us to see the film. At the same time, however, we must also fade it out, so that we can concentrate on the content of the film, the "figure". Although - or perhaps specifically because - they are faded out, all these things have a much more lasting influence on our culture than any single film, which often disappears again after a few weeks, only to be replaced by the next film. [...] (Felix Stalder)

Gebhard Sengmueller is an artist working in the field of media technology, currently based in Vienna, Austria. Since 1992, he has been developing projects and installations focussing on the history of electronic media, creating alternative ordering systems for media content and constructing autogenerative networks. His work has been shown extensively in Europe and the US, among others at Ars Electronica Linz, the Venice Biennale, ICA London, Postmasters Gallery NYC. His main project for the last few years has been VinylVideo, a fake piece of media archeology.

Posted by jo at April 30, 2007 10:41 AM