Each year in Osnabrück, Germany, the European Media Arts Festival showcases new and challenging work from around the world. This year’s touring programs, compiled from the recent festival’s line-up, offer the rare opportunity to see current trends and developments in international media art. The eight videos in Deutschlandreise (Traveling Germany) range from documentary views to new narrative approaches and formal experiments, representing the various directions young media-artists are taking. In the second program, Re-mapping Europe, different cultural backgrounds speak through the common language of the moving image. Citing film history as well as video-art, the artists reflect on their individual situations and global problems. Ralf Sausmikat, director of EMAF, will attend and introduce the films.
This program is co-presented with the Goethe Institut Boston. Special thanks to Roy Grundmann.
Directed by Mirko Martin
Germany 2005, video, 7 min.
A loading dock in Southern Spain is the stage for constantly telephoning truck drivers. Despite difficult conditions they show no signs of abandoning communication. The hectic activity at the site is reflected in the rhythm of the video.
Directed by K. Wiesel
Germany 2005, video, 13 min.
What will people do when they are longer needed for work? There is no doubt that this will be the case. You can see it on fully automatic metro systems, like the one in Copenhagen. Text sources in Kvalitetstrafik are excerpts from interviews with Jens Kramer Mikkelsen (former mayor of Copenhagen, now director of Orestad Development Corporation) and Lise Lind (architect at KHRAS Architecture, taking part in planning and building the metro).
Directed by Daniel Burkhardt
Germany 2005, video, 4 min.
Zwirn consists of one single course of motion in a single shot. The recording is to be seen three times simultaneously, with each of the three parts shifted a few seconds in time so that the course of motion communicates with itself.
Knospen wollen explodieren
Directed by P. Schröder
Germany 2005, video, 20 min.
Young girls Kate and Echo live in their own land of make believe. When one of them discovers the real world, their friendship faces a serious challenge.
Directed by Claire Walka
Germany video, 3 min.
An umbrella, a young woman and her shoes get whirled around on a windy afternoon.
Directed by Ute Ströer
Germany 2005, video, 12 min.
This film is an interpretation of Heinrich Hoffmann’s short story “Daumenlutscher." A boy ignores his mother’s strict orders to stop sucking his thumb, and disaster ensues.
Come into my world
Directed by S. Christoffel
Germany 2005, video, 8 min.
“Come into my world. It’s all there…”
Jetzt: Das geistesverwirrte Callgirl und der Freier
Directed by Marc T. Winterhagen
Germany 2005, video, 6 min.
A young, crazy call girl is giving a monologue of absurd philosophical theories on the Present. Her client, getting increasingly annoyed, simply waits for what he has called her for: sex. Their inability to communicate and to change the situation by stopping the dialogue bring them into a time loop. The call girl doesn’t do anything about it because she just doesn’t know that everything recommences again and again. Her client is aware that they are caught in this loop, but the more he tries to get out, the more he is forced back to the beginning, where he starts with “Oh no, not again!”
Optical Sound (Optinen ääni)
Directed by Mika Tanila
Finland 2005, video, 6 min.
Optical Sound has been described by film critics as “an instant classic, a wildly expressionistic, hypnotic masterpiece of abstract cinema.” The film is a haunting mix of beautiful cinematography, dirty security camera footage, and rough animation photocopied straight onto clear film without a camera.
Looking for Alfred
Directed by Johan Grimonprez
Belgium 2005, video, 10 min.
Referring to Hitchcock’s regular cameo appearances in his films, Looking for Alfred deploys a number of Hitchcock look-alikes to conjure up an unexpected narrative from Hitchcock’s history of walk-on parts. This construction of look-alikes and doubles combines Hitchcock’s flair for cinematic suspense with an alluring reminiscence to the surrealism of another great bowler-hat artist: René Magritte.
Directed by Regina Kelaita
Netherlands 2005, video, 2 min.
I was leaning out of the window looking down over the street, when the pavement told me this cock-n-bull story… This is how it went.
Directed by S. Fruhauf
Austria 2005, video, 8 min.
The film as a mirror and, as a further consequence, the phenomenon of identification primarily inherent in feature films, condense to a type of essence of film’s potential. This film reports on cinema and the processes within it. In doing so, it doesn’t reveal any secrets, but instead, attempts to transfer... what we do in the cinema - and what also can be relevant outside of film - into a visually stimulating and captivating event (Fruhauf).
changing room, changing time
Directed by M. Kølbæk-Iversen
Denmark 2005, video, 5 min.
Always at the peak of our lives, we are carrying with us the time that was, always entering the time to come. The now being separate from – but always intertwined with – what it was before and what it’s about to be, turning the future into the past of a continuously ongoing now.
Burning Love II
Directed by Jorunn Myklebust Syversen
Norway 2005, video, 3 min.
A little boy dressed up as a mix of a eunuch and a geisha is singing and playing the accordion with his father. Under a seemingly humoristic surface lie psychological, dark aesthetics that produce a touch of distaste.
Directed by J. King, R. Pedlow
UK 2005, video, 5 min.
Filmed on a caravan park on the English coast at the end of the season, Sea Change reveals a landscape dramatically transformed by light and time, and resonating with the transience of human presence.
10 years in river
Directed by Audrius Kaspervacius
Lithuania 2005, video, 1 min.
For ten summers I traveled down the biggest Lithuanian river. For ten summers the Nemunas River was my home, and the biggest treasure I found there was peace. This film is made of ten blinks. One blink for one year I spent on the river. The soundtrack is based on a traditional Lithuanian folk song. It names all the smaller rivers that flow into the Nemunas.
The 40 Feet Trilogy
Directed by K. Behkalam
2004 UK/Germany, video, 9 min.
The main characters of my works are the portrayed places and spaces themselves. I am interested in their mythological dimension. Their hidden stories and meanings, which I partly research and partly generate by myself. Real places become fictional, thus paradoxically developing new, unique realities and identities. Space itself in my opinion is only comprehensible with all its different temporal layers and possible contexts. In The 40 Feet Trilogy these layers superimpose each other in three phases and create a place, with a variety of meanings and ways of interpretation. The decision to chose the river Avon in Southwest England, just as the city of Bristol begins, was in the beginning merely an aesthetic interest. I was fascinated by the gleaming structures of mud, which were exposed by the daily low tide. Later – during my research and observations, I found out that the tidal difference of the Bristol Channel is one of the highest in the world and that there are many stories and myths that surround this particular place. (Behkalam).
Directed by Mihai Grecu
France 2005, video, 7 min.
Sarin is an essay on the anxiety and loneliness of a metropolis. Portraits of people in closed spaces, mirrors vs. clones; animals and urban wastelands are the elements of this strange journey… A constant fear without origin follows the line between reality and hallucination… The heterogeneous composition of this video-poem was inspired by the random dynamics of dreams.
Directed by G. Apsits
Latvia 2005, video, 3 min.
One day I woke up from my deepest dream…my dream became reality. So, I’m in a strange house. Rooms have no windows, no doors – like in a prison. Not even walls, no ceilings, no floors – like in a field. There is nowhere to run and nowhere to hide… all around is premenstrual silence… just the sky getting closer… anxiousness is closing in on me… my breathing becomes faster, my heart starts beating faster… like somebody trying to kill me from the inside
Directed by Pascal Lievre, Benny Nemorovsky-Ramsey
France/Canada 2005, video, 3 min.
PATRIOTIC revolves around the controversial P.A.T.R.I.O.T Act, which was enacted by the U.S. Congress following the attacks of 9/11. It picks out the passages relating to the security of the U.S.A. and the fight against terror. The result is a sweet ode to the U.S.A for several voices with clear homoerotic undertones, full of bombastic, drastic rhetoric and singing soldiers in imaginary uniforms. The two sing as loudly as they can to Celine Dion’s hit from Titanic, “My Heart Will Go On.” The irony is unmistakable: a perfect war propaganda parody.
America punish criminals
Directed by P. E. Bengtsson
Sweden 2005, video, 4 min.
America punish criminals is a short experiment about the invasion of Iraq and the invasion speech made by George W. Bush. Since we all know what happened in the Abu Ghurayb Prison (and still happens in Guantánamao Bay) in the name of the “War on Terrorism,” this movie makes a quite striking reminder about the true purpose of the Iraq invasion. In my point of view, it had more to do with oil and economics than the rescue of the Iraqi people. This experimental movie only scratches some kind of surface on these subjects, but I still think it’s all right as a ground for discussion. “America faces an enemy who has no regard for conventions of war or rules of morality,” but the question is: who is the enemy?
Wir sind dir true
Directed by Michael Koch
Switzerland 2005, video, 9 min.
On June 4th, I went to Peking University, the place from which the incident originated, and Tiananmen Square, the place where the incident occurred. I took with me a camera and a few simple questions, repeated them to those whom I met, and recorded the whole day’s encounter. People reacted to my questions with blank faces or dodging words, or just shied away. The blood and life sixteen years ago have been forgotten and have faded away, leaving behind helpless silence and blank memory. As it remains taboo in today’s China, people don’t talk about it openly for their own sake, or they are reluctant to recall it, to live in reality. Many young people don’t even know about it, for this topic has been covered up and forbidden for years. Sixteen years have passed. Mother’s hair has turned gray; beloved ones have dried up their tears.