|SHOW & TELL on oct 24th:
Rainer Kohlberger at Anthology Film Archive
Though Austrian-bred, Berlin-based artist Rainer Kohlberger has been active only for the past decade, his work is so assured, perceptually challenging, and visually overwhelming that he´s become one of the leading lights of the new generation of experimental moving-image artists. Working, for the most part, in an abstract, graphically complex idiom that calls to mind filmmakers such as John & James Whitney, Paul Sharits, Tony Conrad, and Lillian Schwartz, Kohlberger’s practice is based on algorithmically generated graphics, and takes the form of films, videos, live performances, installations, and mobile apps. The films and videos featured here transform the screen into a vertiginously dynamic field of motion, shifting luminosity, phantom depth effects, and other perceptual transformations that animate and activate the mind in truly radical ways. The centerpiece of this program (for which Anthology has acquired its first 21st-century 3D system!) is Kohlberger´s brand-new work, MORE THAN EVERYTHING, a masterpiece that utilizes 3D technology not simply to create the illusion of depth but to completely recalibrate the relationship between the image on the screen and the viewer´s mental processes – it´s a film in which simply shifting one´s eyes to a different section of the frame results in dizzying transformations of the perceived image. Each of Kohlberger´s films represent similarly uncharted adventures in perception.
“Visually my film and installation works can be understood as pure light, created by algorithms out of "nothing." Broadly speaking, quantum field theory tells us that all material is vibrating and the differentiation between light and material is in flux. In cinemas today, almost all signs of the old understanding that the materiality of 35mm film stands for is gone. But there are still 24 images per second that touch us like a ghost. Although purely digital, [films such as] not even nothing can be free of ghosts [are] quite materialistic in the sense that our brains are altered by stroboscopic effects, therefore every spectator is completing the film individually in between the senses and their brain. […] In an historical context, my work is bound to drone music, a centuries old cultural technique of sustaining sounds for very long periods and providing an idea of the infinite. A music that has always been there, and will go on forever.” –Rainer Kohlberger