other FORMATs

At the borders... Performance... Freedom...


-CHEPALOTHORAX | Tobias Herzog, Janis Lionel Huber

-Operation Jane Walk | Robin Klengel, Leonhard Müller

-5x5x5: To Come, To Stay, To Leave | Short Programme

-Dismissed | Short Programme



Live-Performance | Tobias Herzog (music), Janis Lionel Huber (video)

After the live-performance in Winterthur, Tobias Herzog explains to me how he was inspired by Heinz von Foerster’s system theory. Even if one cannot immediately see the connection between the father of Second-order cybernetics and the sound track that Herzog has created, Herzog’s discourse on partition and connection and his dialogic procedure with the computing machine seem quite coherent with the evolving patterns I heard for 40 minutes. All is electronically composed starting from the notes of a cello, and the same mixture of analogue and digital we find in Janis Lionel Huber’s flux of images, that are live performed on 9 screens. The basis of the highly elaborated images on the screen are nothing but realist moving images of nature: water, forest, clouds. The interplay of reality and abstraction is at the core of the immersive experience, but the immersion itself is never completely accomplished. The installation of 9 screens builds a concave shape that creates the three-dimensional effect. The depth accompanies the immersive experience, but a part of the projection also stresses the presence of the screens as objects, thereby breaking the cinematic suspension of disbelief. Analogue/digital, real/abstract, immersive/object-like: CEPHALOTHORAX aims to make mind (cephalos: head) and body (thorax) conflate but through the play of partition and connection of those dichotomies.


See an excerpt of the performance

Photos ©Eduard Meltzer/ IKFTW

Robin Klengel & Leonhard Müllner: «Operation Jane Walk»


The subtitle could have been «Saving Private Johannes». Yes, Johannes Binotto, who took part in this very interesting format – a performance proposing an architecture and urbanistic guided tour of New York through a video-game. For the two Austrian performers seemed to have but one urgency: to follow their prepared schedule of quasi-professorial speech running after the predetermined tempo of a video-game of which no one could understand the necessity. The format would have been really interesting, if only some room for real performance could have been left to the participants. Binotto’s trying to instil some intriguing content and desperately asking for a slower pace happened to be unheard requests for meaning. The duo has pedantically followed the self-imposed rules in order to deliver a storage of platitudes on Le Corbusier and Robert Moses, both depicted as geniuses of evil. Using new formats is nice, but one should exploit their possibilities.


Photos ©Eduard Meltzer/ IKFTW

5x5x5: To Come, To Stay, To Leave

In situ production project

Five filmmakers from different African countries came to Winterthur for five months to realise – in collaboration with the Filmhochschule Luzern – five short films, and to get the warm applause of definitely more than 125 people. The self-mirroring of Winterthur through the eyes of Africa entertains and puzzles at the same time. A celebration of the – more or less difficult – meeting of people, an occasion to discover another face of urban Switzerland.


Photos ©Eduard Meltzer/ IKFTW


Midnight session. «Dismissed»: a hard-to-defend concept: would the filmmakers collected in this “the best of the losers” be happy to be part of this screening? I don’t know, but for me it has been the occasion to discover at least two gems that I would put very high in my personal ranking of shorts this year. Both are animations and both have the commonality of playing with meanings but fundamentally focusing on pure narrative freedom and speculative fantasy. Priit Tender’s Orpheus (EST 2019 | 13’) is a masterwork that one could see infinite times and always find new ideas and suggestion. Together with Auden Lincoln-Vogel’s equally unbridled Zorg 2 (EST 2019 | 21’42’’) it has given to me the opportunity to discover their common master, the Estonian Priit Pärn. Michaela Olsen’s Under Covers (USA 2018 | 7’23’’) is a convincing puppet animation that goes throughout all the layers of society and irreverently balances humour and perversion through the innocent aesthetic of children toys. Both sinister and liberating, under the witnessing eyes of a silent moon. After so many films that “want to say” something, a fresh air where meaninglessness joyfully plays with the meaningfulness – which has of course a 100% political value. Definitely not to be dismissed.