Don’t wait for the cyborg future. It’s here – embedded more deeply in ourselves than any googles or prosthetic.
The words are from 1949 – Max Bense, a Cassandra on technology, talking about “technical existence.” The visuals are part stop motion, part digital effect and glitching edit. And the human actor is glitching, too – their face twitching with electrodes, a la Daito Manabe. (Don’t miss the beautiful, perfect sound score by Juan A. Romero, too.)
But the sum of all these components is something chillingly poetic, a visual etude that imagines something hopeful in a post-apocalyptic now, after the crisis of self that is 20th-Century historical and technological transformation.
Beautifully narrated in German, the visuals are an understated interpretation of the “timetables for trains and electrons.”
What we created took us in…
Thanks to Salzburg-born co-creator Reinhold Bidner for sending this in. The film is coming out of what is a stunningly-vibrant experimental film scene in Austria – making it a doubly-nice accolade that this creation took home a (deserved, I think) top honor.
Reinhold Bidner / Georg Hobmeier (2013)
Audio: Juan A. Romero
Performing: Georg Hobmeier
Format: 16:9 digital
Techniques: Stop-Motion / Pixilation / Animation / Compositing / Elektrodensteuerung / Video
A performative and audiovisual experimental film: currents of electricity and its production were analyzed and introduced into a human host via electrodes. The resulting impulses and physical motions were recorded in the powerplant Wien Simmering. The visual material was then edited and mixed with Max Bense’s text “technical existence” (written in 1949), where the philosopher Bense adresses ethical question concerning mankinds uneasy relationship with machines and technology.
Impulse was awarded with the jury’s price at Vienna Independent Shorts 2013 – Night of the Light Competition.
Wien Energie powerplant Vienna
- gold extra (Equipment)
- Wien Energie (Night of the Light – Production Budget)
- Daniel Fetzner (for introducing us to Bense)
By the way, it’s also worth checking out Bidner’s 2012 music video If we had only tried (by „Sharon and the Stones”). It’s charming and inventive, and shows some of the same techniques as in this film. But it’s also extraordinary how much the technique and maturity has developed in the same time. The earlier film is great fun, and lays a groundwork for the more restrained, subtle creation above.