Distinctive handwriting, a striking creative drive, historic achievements or a totally new perspective: we pay tribute to ambassadors of the short filmic form, who have left their mark on the international short film scene, either recently or over many years, with detailed solo programmes or film series.

Peter Konlechner played a crucial part for short films in Austria, organising the first InternationaleKurzfilmwoche 52 years ago. Together with the Austrian Filmmuseum we will try to pay tribute to Konlechner’s pioneering work, summarising the quality of that film exhibition of yesteryear in two programmes.

The second spotlight, on the other hand, is not dedicated to a person, but takes a look behind the facades of digital film and media art. In two film programmes Robert Seidel, VIS artist in residence 2012, unites two international artists with an aesthetic-conceptual approach to digital tools and outlines his own highly praised work in a master class.

Penetrating Surfaces

Apparitions in digital space

The processes and metaphors of digital image editing were developed by the military in the 1950’s. Over the course of half a century they have become a fixture of almost all human processes of work and creation: it has become impossible to isolate computers, smart phones, digital cameras and the idea of constant improvement from society. Unlike traditional arts and cultural techniques that analyse the respective tool’s influence on the end result, there is rarely any artistic deliberation on the inherent aesthetic possibilities and materials within the field of digital image processing.

In two programmes and a master class, Penetrating Surfaces is on the lookout for the „spirit in the machine“. In a commercial context this spirit usually goes about its work silently, arising errors aresystemically unwanted. The international artists who have come together here, however, take their tool, the algorithmic mystery of the “black box”, into direct account and challenge it in an aestheticsense. Examples for such ways of working can be found in the virtual dismantlement of the real atelier of Takeshi Murata and Billy Grant (USA), or in Yves Netzhammer’s (Switzerland) frantic encyclopaedias that carry out universal observations of society with surgical precision. Saskia Olde Wolbers (Netherlands), on the other hand, works with allegedly sterile, computer-graphic-like spaces, which, however, are analogically created and fictionally charged.

Thus new pictorial worlds evolve from the dialogue between art-historical positions and movements, which alternate between unexpected artefacts and artificial beauty. The surface of what commercial software strives for – photo realism calculated in real time – is penetrated. And reality shimmers through the layers of its mathematical fragmentation.

Curated by Robert Seidel

A cooperation with Österreichisches Filmmuseum

© Österreichisches Filmmuseum

"Because nobody else will do it"

Peter Konlechner and the Internationale Kurzfilmwoche 1962 „Why us? [...] The answer is provokingly simple: because nobody else will do it!”, Peter Konlechner explains his pioneering achievement in 1962: his “Internationale Kurzfilmwoche” in Vienna made many artists and movements of the short film scene known to Austrian audiences for the first time. It was also the meeting ground for Konlechner and Peter Kubelka, who were to found the Österreichisches Filmmuseum soon afterwards.

As a tribute to this antecedent of the Filmmuseum, two programmes of selected works summarise the astonishing quality and diversity of the Kurzfilmwoche 1962. Another goal was to bring back rarelyscreened works, with Agnès Vardas great early work L’opéra mouffe as an exception and direct connection to the Filmmuseum’s main programming policies. A cross section of a period between awakening and confinement as a sense of life, starting with Arthur Lipsetts dynamic Oscar-nominated collage about the chaos that is urban living, Nice, Very Nice: sensual city walks on the eve of the end of existence (with Varda and in Peter Pewas’ sage miniature), in between a life drawn in fast motion by “Signor Rossi” creator Bruno Bozzetto; the social turmoil of Denmark’s becoming a welfare state and of “Il boom” in Italy, documented by master directors Henning Carlsen and Ermanno Olmi; animated attempted escapes by the anarchist Vlado Kristl and the ground-breaking duo Borowczyk/Lenica; cosmopolitical contrasts in Jean-Daniel Pollet’s exquisite dance-club tragicomedy Gala and the comic juxtaposition of humans and animals in Bert Haanstra’s Zoo; finally the merging of a house’s erection and demolition in Louis van Gansteren’s maelstrom of time through which we are driven by the story of two generations.

Curated by Christoph Huber

A cooperation with Österreichisches Filmmuseum