Film and Video Screenings



Ashim Ahluwalia:


Fri, 13.30 h: “John & Jane”



Jessica Manstetten (International Short Film Festival Kurzfilmtage Oberhausen):


Fri, 16.30 h: “VOICE I – there will be singing”


Sat, 18.15 h: “VOICE II – sound & silence”



Philippe-Alain Michaud (Centre Georges Pompidou)


Sat, 16.45 h, Fri, 12.00 h: “Orpheus. voice, death, survival”



Sandra Naumann (Transmediale):


Fri, 18.00 h: „Die Stimme aus dem Off“ (‘Voiceover’)“, programme 1


Sat, 12.30 h: „Die Stimme des Mediums“ (‘Voice of the Medium’)“, programme 2



Nadia Schneider (freelance curator):


Sat, 14.30 h: „Wenn des Tages laute Stimmen nicht schweigen“ (‘When the Day‘s Loud Voices Do Not Keep Quiet’)




Lectures



Dave Tompkins (En):


Fri, 20.00 h: ’How to Wreck a Nice Beach’ – The Vocoder from World War II to Hip Hop"



Veit Erlmann (Ge):


Sun, 15.00 h: „The Acoustic Unconscious - Time and Rhythm c.1900“



Brigitte Felderer (Ge):


Sun, 14.00 h: „Die falschen Sprechmaschinen“ (’The Fake Speaking Machines‘)



Friedrich Tietjen (Ge):


Sun, 13.00 h: „Stimmen sehen. Zur Bildlichkeit des Sprechens“ (’Seeing Voices. On The Imagery of the Spoken Word’)



Paul Elliman (En):


Sat, 16.00 h: „Detroit as Refrain. Only the lull I like, the hum of your valved voice“




Performances



Erik Bünger:


Sat, 20.00 h: „The Third Man“




Exhibition



In the framework of the Festival, Schalager presents a small show of work by Mark Wallinger, from the Emanuel Hoffmann Foundation’s collection.







Friday, 28.10.2011






13.30.00 - 15.00 h, Film screening

John and Jane, India, 2005



by Ashim Ahluwalia
Blue Ray, future-east, 83 min (en, german subtitles)



‘John and Jane’ is a hybrid of documentary film and exotic fiction. ‘The film is about six “call agents” employed in a Bombay call centre, whose job involves accepting 1-800 service calls that have been re-routed from the USA. When the night shift is over, the employees return home to sleep under the rising tropical steam of daytime Bombay. “John and Jane” sketches a portrait of a new generation of Indians: people who live at the interface of the real and virtual worlds’ (transmediale festival), and earn their living by renting out their voice. Exploitation of the communicative potential of a human voice, along with its separation from the content and meaning of the message it conveys function at the technical level but nevertheless leave behind cracks and traces in the lives of the young call agents.






15.15 - 16.15 h, Screening (encore presentation sat, 29.10.2011)

When the loud voices of the day do not fall silent



curated by Nadia Schneider Willen

Nadia Schneider Willen (*1971), freelance curator, lives in Zurich; former conservator for modern and contemporary art, inter alia at the Musée d’art et d’histoire in Geneva; former director and curator at Kunsthaus Glarus (2001–2007); worked as assistant curator in the 1990s at the Kombirama project space and Kleines Helmhaus in Zurich; member of the Swiss Federal Art Commission since 2007.



The program whisks us away on an associative trip through a medley of voices. The voice is rarely perceived simply as sound, disassociated from language. Only when we are on the threshold to sleep does it slip for a fleeting moment into the sub-conscious realm, and become an archaic lullaby. In the harsh light of day we encounter the voice in the shape of a despot, who endeavours determinedly to inculcate undisciplined schoolchildren with patriotism. We are caught in the spell of this despotic voice as it recounts tales of youthful, breakneck resistance. We listen, rapt, without comprehension, while it attempts to decipher a song sung in a foreign language, and read dialogues in which it – the absent, inner voice – has a presence so forceful as to make us believe we can hear it…



Filmlist






16.30 – 18.00 h, Screening, programme 1

"there will be singing"



curated and presented by Jessica Manstetten

Jessica Manstetten, film studies lecturer, compiles film programmes, writes and translates; presently lives and works in the Ruhr District for the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen, the Duisburg Film Week and the IFFF Dortmund/Cologne.



More than beauty itself, the mellow voice exerts its charm; it graces the body; it wields authority over the soul.
Johann Gottfried von Herder



The body and voice constitute identity. The volume level, timbre and tone pitch are primarily gender-specific characteristics. Pop culture uses every possible technological means to lend a perfect ‘phonogenic’ voice to its respective star specimens. there will be singing presents works that address the illusory nature of such identity construction, and also break with it. Voices occupy foreign bodies, voices occupy voices; re-enactment from adaption through to reinterpretation takes place, reaching its peak on channels such as YouTube. The voice may likewise serve as a malleable material; it can subvert song, adjure, preach, or serve as a medium of religious or politically motivated ‘Let’s Sing/Speak With One Voice’ ideologies. And where there is a voice, there is also the failure of voice, be this physical or technical. sounds & silence reflects on and parodies paroxysm, outcry and outage.



Filmlist








18.00 – 19.15 h, Screening, programme 1

THE VOICEOVER



curated and presented by Sandra Naumann

Sandra Naumann is a freelance curator and media scientist, based in Berlin.



This programme is devoted to the voiceover phenomenon and hence to the role of sound in constructing cinematic realities as well as to the often unchallenged power of the voice therein. It demonstrates the incongruence of speech and image recordings, of what is said and heard, of what is thought and spoken aloud, be it a revealing commentary on a safari or on a demonstration of state socialism, or an example of the crisis management required at times, in the wake of a wild night out.



Filmlist








19.30 – 20.30 h, Lecture

How to wreck a nice beach



by Dave Tompkins (in Englisch)

There are few people know as much about the vocoder as American journalist Dave Tompkins (who writes inter alia for ‘The Wire’, ‘Vibe’, ‘Wax Poetics’). His book ‘How to Wreck a Nice Beach’ is an exuberantly rich factual history of this device.



Invented by Bell Labs in 1928, the vocoder was used during World War II to guard phones from eavesdroppers. By the time of the Vietnam War, the ‘spectral decomposer’ had been reanimated as a robotic voice for musicians. ‘How To Wreck A Nice Beach’ is about hearing things and speaking things. The title is a homophonic deaf con, with provenance in the Gulag. This is a terminal beach-slap of the history of electronic voices: from Nazi research labs to Stalin gulags, from World Fairs to Hiroshima, from Churchill and JKF to Kubrick, The O.C. and the Rammellzee, artificial larynges and Auto-Tune. Vocoder technology evolved into cell phone compression – we communicate via flawed digital replicas of ourselves every day. Imperfect to be real, we revel in signal corruption.





Saturday, 29.10.2011






13.00 – 14.15 h, Screening, programme 2

THE VOICE OF THE MEDIUM



curated and presented by Sandra Naumann

Sandra Naumann is a freelance curator and media scientist, based in Berlin.



Have you ever heard a celluloid strip hum Rachmaninov? Or heard a printer sing? If not then it is high time you discovered the media’s musical talent and lured forth the spirits of these machines. In the films compiled here, ‘tones {ensue} from the void’. In the early 1930s Rudolf Pfenninger claimed as much for the synthetic sounds he captured thanks to a process by which he transferred undulations//sound-waves directly to a strip of celluloid. Insofar this was not a case of recording music produced in one way or another but of drawing sound from the actual medium itself. And celluloid is not alone in possessing a singular timbre: also office machinery, cathode tubes, video mixers and computers have their own voice.



Filmlist






14.30 – 15.45 h, Screening (encore presentation)

When the loud voices of the day do not fall silent



Curated and presented by Nadia Schneider Willen

Nadia Schneider Willen (*1971), freelance curator, lives in Zurich; former conservator for modern and contemporary art, inter alia at the Musée d’art et d’histoire in Geneva; former director and curator at Kunsthaus Glarus (2001–2007); worked as assistant curator in the 1990s at the Kombirama project space and Kleines Helmhaus in Zurich; member of the Swiss Federal Art Commission since 2007.



The program whisks us away on an associative trip through a medley of voices. The voice is rarely perceived simply as sound, disassociated from language. Only when we are on the threshold to sleep does it slip for a fleeting moment into the sub-conscious realm, and become an archaic lullaby. In the harsh light of day we encounter the voice in the shape of a despot, who endeavours determinedly to inculcate undisciplined schoolchildren with patriotism. We are caught in the spell of this despotic voice as it recounts tales of youthful, breakneck resistance. We listen, rapt, without comprehension, while it attempts to decipher a song sung in a foreign language, and read dialogues in which it – the absent, inner voice – has a presence so forceful as to make us believe we can hear it…



Filmlist






16.00 – 16.30 h, Lecture

Detroit as Refrain


     Only the lull I like, the hum of your valved voice



by Paul Elliman (in Englisch)

Paul Elliman is a London-based designer. His work explores the mutual impact of technology and language in ways that combine research and historical scholarship with a range of resources from typography to the human voice. Elliman’s work has been exhibited at London’s Tate Modern, New York’s New Museum of Contemporary Art, and the Kunsthalle Basel, and is included in collections at the Victoria and Albert Museum (London) and the Anyang Public Art Project (Korea). He has contributed essays to many international journals and magazines as well as catalogs and monographs for other artists. Elliman is also a thesis supervisor for Werkplaats Typografie, a graphic design program in Arnhem, the Netherlands. He was appointed to the Yale faculty in 1997 and is currently senior critic in graphic design.



Detroit as a refrain: the notional voice of a car might be a mechanical engine sound not unconnected to the revving pulse of Detroit’s techno music. Yet the voices we now provide our cars with, allowing those GPS satellite navigation systems to guide and narrate our movements through the city, share a similar connection. In 1975, when Kraftwerk were on the road in the US to promote their record ‘Autobahn’, Florian Schneider made at least two significant electronic voice app purchases. One was a model A ‘Vako Orchestron’, a keyboard instrument that produced a choral effect by amplifying sounds pre-recorded on optical disc. The other was a model VS4 ‘Votrax’ synthesised voice, developed in 1974 by the Detroit based Votrax International. The Votrax would make its way home to Detroit via the Electrifying Mojo Charles Johnson and his influential radio shows on WGPR, which, from 1977–85, featured Kraftwerk among other early European electro and techno music pioneers.






16.45 – 18.00 h, Screening

Orpheus. voice, death, survival



curated and presented by Philipp Alain Michaud / Screening

Philippe Alain Michaud is a curator at the Musée National d’Art Moderne, Centre Pompidou in Paris, where he is in charge of the film collection. He has curated several exhibitions, among others: Le mouvement des images (Centre Pompidou, 2006); Electric Nights (Moscow-Gijon, Spain, 2010–2011); Brancusi photo-films (Centre Pompidou, 2011). Currently he is preparing an exhibition in Rome (Villa Medici), Flying carpets, which will open in May 2012. In this show, he juxtaposes ancient carpets and (mostly experimental) films, in order to shed light on the films’ ornamental dimension. Michaud is the author of Aby Warburg and the images in motion (Zone Books, 2004) and has published extensively on the subject of film.



In the myth, Orpheus sings for the stones and the trees (inanimate nature) to mourn the death of Eurydice. Mourning is not only a way to forget the one who is missing, but also to make him reappear. When the sound used in film does not complement or illustrate the attendant image but aims rather, to evoke a sense of presence, this gives rise to something one might call the film’s orphic dimension.



Filmlist






18.15 – 19.30 h, Screening, Programm 2

sounds & silence



curated and presented by Jessica Manstetten

Jessica Manstetten, film studies lecturer, compiles film programmes, writes and translates; presently lives and works in the Ruhr District for the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen, the Duisburg Film Week and the IFFF Dortmund/Cologne.



Filmlist








20.00 – 21.00 h, Performance

THE THIRD MAN



by Erik Bünger (in Englisch)

Erik Bünger (*1976) is a Swedish artist, composer, musician and writer, resident in Berlin and Stockholm. He works with re-contextualising and remixing media – appropriated from existing music and film – in performances, installations and web projects.



Following his fulminant performance at Shift 2009, Eric Bünger returns! In his latest work, ‘The Third Man’ he engages with the voice, music, memory and dark fears. The artist interprets film classics using voiceover and an urgent tone, and also re-enacts the film action. His voice is in our heads.





Sunday, 30.10.2011






13.00 - 14.00 h, Screening
(encore presentation )

Orpheus. voice, death, survival.



curated by Philipp Alain Michaud / Screening

Philippe Alain Michaud is a curator at the Musée National d’Art Moderne, Centre Pompidou in Paris, where he is in charge of the film collection. He has curated several exhibitions, among others: Le mouvement des images (Centre Pompidou, 2006); Electric Nights (Moscow-Gijon, Spain, 2010–2011); Brancusi photo-films (Centre Pompidou, 2011). Currently he is preparing an exhibition in Rome (Villa Medici), Flying carpets, which will open in May 2012. In this show, he juxtaposes ancient carpets and (mostly experimental) films, in order to shed light on the films’ ornamental dimension. Michaud is the author of Aby Warburg and the images in motion (Zone Books, 2004) and has published extensively on the subject of film.



In the myth, Orpheus sings for the stones and the trees (inanimate nature) to mourn the death of Eurydice. Mourning is not only a way to forget the one who is missing, but also to make him reappear. When the sound used in film does not complement or illustrate the attendant image but aims rather, to evoke a sense of presence, this gives rise to something one might call the film’s orphic dimension.



Filmlist






13.00-14.00 h, Lecture

Stimmen sehen. Zur Bildlichkeit des Sprechens (Seeing Voices. On The Imagery of the Spoken Word)



by Friedrich Tietjen (in German)

Friedrich Tietjen (*1965, D) teaches the history and theory of photography at the Academy of Visual Arts (Leipzig, D). Along with subject areas such as portrait photography, scientific photography and photography as a means of art reproduction, his research and publications in recent years have dealt with topics in the field of commodity culture such as fashion, plastic bags, chewing-gum, cigarettes and recycling.



Vocalizations of the voice are invisible but the performative act itself is not. Thus the voice is not only an acoustic phenomenon but subject also to regimes of visibility. It is made visible by allegories and graphic signs; auditoriums are constructed in a way such that everybody can also see the performers; and it is no accident that the analysand under psychoanalysis cannot see the analyst speaking. So, what links the voice and the gaze, language and the image, the act of being- heard with that of being-seen? And what may happen if these links are broken?






14.00-15.00 h, Lecture

Die falschen Sprechmaschinen (Fake Talking Machines)



by Brigitte Felderer (in German)

Brigitte Felderer, curator, teaches at the University of Applied Arts Vienna. Her exhibition projects focus on themes within the field of cultural history and technology and have been shown internationally. Exhibitions (i. a.): Museum of the Underworld/Museum der Unterwelten, OK Linz, Linz 2008; Zauberkünste, Cultural Capital Linz, 2009; Ha Zwei Ooo, Zoom Children’s Museum Vienna, 2010; The Digital Uncanny (working title), Edith-Ruß-Haus für Medienkunst, Oldenburg (work in progress), 2012. Recent books: B. Felderer/E. Strouhal (eds.): Rare Künste. Eine Kultur- und Mediengeschichte der Zauberkunst, Springer: Wien, New York 2007; G. Bast/B. Felderer (eds.): ART and NOW. Über die Zukunft künstlerischer Produktivitätstrategien, Springer: Wien, New York 2010.



In the 1780s, the Viennese civil servant Wolfgang von Kempelen undertook an extensive European tour with his talking machine. He was persistently taken to task for the fact that his machine’s voice was a mere effect, and he personally not a skilled engineer but a clever ventriloquist. The pioneering phonetician was exposed to stiff competition moreover: the voices of ‘invisible girls’ and the ‘Delphi Oracle’ held the audience under their spell. And it is these voices, which today’s lecture will address.






15.00 – 16.00 h, Lecture

The Acoustic Unconscious - Time and Rhythm c.1900



by Veit Erlmann (in Englisch)

Veit Erlmann is the Endowed Chair of Music History at the University of Texas in Austin, where he teaches as an ethnomusicologist, musicologist, anthropologist and cultural historian. His previous affiliations include the University of Natal in Durban, in the African Studies Institute at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, at the University of Chicago and the Free University in Berlin, Germany. He is the winner of numerous prizes, including the Alan P. Merriam award for the best English monograph in ethnomusicology, the Arnold Rubin Outstanding Publication Award of the Arts Council of the African Studies Association and, most recently, the Mercator Prize of the German Research Foundation DFG. He has published widely on music and popular culture in South Africa, including African Stars. Studies in Black South African Performance; Nightsong. Performance, Power and Practice in South Africa; and Music, Modernity and the Global Imagination. South Africa and the West. His most recent publication is Reason and Resonance. A History of Modern Aurality (Zone Books, 2010). He is currently working on a book on music and intellectual property law in South Africa, which will be published by Duke University Press.



The roots of the musical avant-garde of the early twentieth century are often held to lie in the emancipation of dissonance from the straitjacket of functional harmony. But time and rhythm were equally important parameters in shaping modernist cultural discourse and musical aesthetics. Rhythmic fragmentation, small-scale musical forms and an infatuation with the moment were the hallmarks of a process that began in the 1880s and continued into the 1920s. At the heart of this broad shift in the perception of time was the discovery of the ‘acoustic unconscious’, of a realm of sound, both unheard and unknown. This shift threatened to undermine the unity and stability of the listening subject, provoking nostalgic projects aimed at restoring rhythmic periodicity as well as more radical agendas exploiting the transformative potential of temporal rupture and the ‘split second’.






16.30 – 18.00 h, Film screening (encore presentation)

John and Jane, India, 2005



by Ashim Ahluwalia
Blue Ray, future-east, 83 min (en, german subtitles)



‘John and Jane’ is a hybrid of documentary film and exotic fiction. ‘The film is about six “call agents” employed in a Bombay call centre, whose job involves accepting 1-800 service calls that have been re-routed from the USA. When the night shift is over, the employees return home to sleep under the rising tropical steam of daytime Bombay. “John and Jane” sketches a portrait of a new generation of Indians: people who live at the interface of the real and virtual worlds’ (transmediale festival), and earn their living by renting out their voice. Exploitation of the communicative potential of a human voice, along with its separation from the content and meaning of the message it conveys function at the technical level but nevertheless leave behind cracks and traces in the lives of the young call agents.