In 1927 Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford – both great admirers of The Battleship Potemkin – visited the Soviet Union. Here as all over the world, they were acclaimed as stars and their railway carriage decked out in garlands. Director Sergei Komarov approached them with what was apparently a newsreel team and shot a few short scenes, including amongst other things a kiss that Mary Pickford planted on comedy star Igor Ilyinsky.
As a contribution to Gerry Schum's Identifications, Beuys adapted for television the Felt TV action previously staged for a live audience at a Happening festival in Copenhagen in 1966. It was the only Beuys action executed specifically for the camera. It opens with Beuys seated in front of a TV set showing a programme which is invisible because the screen is covered by felt.
Vostell's large-scale happening 9 Nein Décollagen (9 No – Dé-coll/ages) took place on 14 September 1963 in nine different locations in Wuppertal, and was organized by the Galerie Parnass. The audience was ferried by bus from location to location, including a cinema that screened Sun in Your Head while people lay on the floor. The film transfers to the moving image Vostell’s principle of ‘Décollage’.
A depressing fragment without sound. A village is seen, conquered by the Wehrmacht (the German army), and in it, living people. While the intention of this piece of propaganda to discredit the Soviet Union is clearly reflected in the title, one wonders, especially today, what happened to the frightened people after the cameras stopped rolling.
Since George Orwell’s 1984, the relationship between communication technology and surveillance has been discussed intensively. What’s surprising, however, is that already in 1939 the TV was planned as possibly helpful in the investigation of crimes.
The annual marches in Nürnberg were the climaxes of the national socialist culture of self-representation. Through the "aestheticization of politics" (Walter Benjamin) the supposed invincibility of the national socialist movement was demonstrated for both friend and foe. Even in the third reich, Leni Riefenstahl's film Triumph des Willens (Triumph of the Will) was seen as being the most complete incarnation of this idea.
In eleven curated film and video programmes transmediale.11 presents 58 historical and contemporary moving image works from 18 countries. This year's main focus is a reflection on the vital ways in which 20th century cinema – through its editing techniques and new visual culture – contributed to promoting the sense of growing simultaneity, ubiquity and acceleration which the Internet has since increased exponentially.
Additional highlights include a focus on the first live television broadcasts, specials on Lynn Hershman Leeson, a leading pioneer of interactive live media art, Ho Tzu Nyen, the transmediale Award Nominee from Singapore, and the second edition of the Arab Shorts project.
In 1978 the legendary South Korean actress Choi Eun-Hee was kidnapped in Hong Kong by North Korean agents and brought to Pyongyang. Two weeks later her ex-husband, the director Shin Sang-Ok, was abducted to North Korea as well.
The short films shown in this programme address the paradoxes gathering at the margins of communication processes. While such endeavours particularly aim for functional consensus between members of a society they seemingly also engender a whole range of peculiarities. Desync Systems presents five such examples.