not even nothing can be free of ghosts

Rainer Kohlberger, 2016
11min

Rainer Kohlberger┬┤s audio-visual compositions are always fierce attacks on the human system of perception. His algorithmic works have little in common with conventional film and video. The artist refrains entirely from all types of representativeness and referentiality, neither camera- nor computer-generated motifs surface in his works. Another indication of departure from the classical motion picture medium is the fact that he works with a higher frame rate than usual; in the present case, thirty images per second. Kohlberger uses the possibilities that the present, digital projection technology offers in a radical way. However, what binds him in terms of intellectual history with the avant-garde movements of the twentieth century is the constant search for point zero, as well as the pleasure in technical and aesthetic experimentation.

No motion pictures meet the retina, but instead, impulses and waves of pure light. The extreme light-dark intervals incessantly vary, climaxing in a black-and-white stroboscope storm. Abstract “ghost beings” become manifest in digital “nirvana.” The intentional overload of the human perception apparatus leads, moreover, to visual impressions that appear exclusively in the literal “eye of the beholder.” These “ghosts” appear from “nothing” and are “nothing”; they are mere hallucinations evoked by the imperfect human-biological data processing system. The purely synthetic sound surfaces in interaction with the pulsating curve and line forms lead to a meditative rapture of sorts.

Kohlberger┬┤s audiovisual experiments provide the audience with powerful physical and metaphysical experiences, which go far beyond the usual ones in the cinema. Image surface and image space meld into one (consciousness-)state, in which categories such as real and unreal, material and immaterial, and 2D and 3D appear obsolete.
(Norbert Pfaffenbichler, Translation: Lisa Rosenblatt)

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