Part film screening, part art installation and part urban exploration – Empire Drive-In is possibly the world’s first no-drive drive-in movie theater. Artists Jeff Stark and Todd Chandler have created a fantastic cinematic experience using junked cars and salvaged materials. Here is a brief description from the project’s website: »Empire Drive-In is a full-scale theater made out of wrecked cars and a 40-foot screen constructed of salvaged wood. Audiences climb in and out of cars rescued from the junkyard to watch films projected on the big screen. Low-power radio transmits stereo audio directly to each car«. The project was first commissioned for the 2010 01SJ Biennial in San Jose, California and since then repeated at different locations.
For the first time, in the context of the LICHTER Filmfestival, LICHTER Streetview will take place on March 22nd and 23rd. The idea behind it is to animate the Roßmarkt in the center of Frankfurt with plenty of different projections. There will be projections onto buildings, do-it-yourself cinema, video performances, installations and workshops with international artists. LICHTER Streetview is the attempt to establish a permanent festival, true to the maxim, »out of the cinema and into the city.« The following artists will take part:
»The divisions between the producer and consumers, makers and users of designed products and processes appear to be vanishing« (Tom Holert). The transnational, Berlin based, network »on/off« invites artists from around the world to deal with the urban space. Their works and projects show the undeveloped potential of the city and question its reinterpretation and (re-)appropriation. The performative installation »Kopfkino«, which already caused a stir at the Istanbul Biennale, uses the simplest of materials and resources such as a car battery, a beamer and a shopping cart. The result is a mobile projection unit that allows the images of residents and passersby to be projected onto the streets and houses of the city. Thus, the moving image itself becomes mobile and mediates between the scale of the city and of its people.
With a live instrument for projection art, the Viennese art collective Tagtool traces a very special universe of moving images. Using the Tagtool, a scene is designed, changed over time and expanded to turn the night on a facade into a canvas. Added to this is an iPad that complements the performance in the public space. The pedestrians have the opportunity to switch between animation and painting. Through the open session, together with the player of the Tagtoolers, individual artistic visual moments are created.
!Mediengruppe Bitnik: Surveillance Chess
In their work »Surveillance Chess«, !Mediengruppe Bitnik deals with the surveillance of public space. To this end they use a jammer in order to hack into surveillance systems and to manipulate their image production. Instead of the transmitted real-time surveillance images the security personnel will be presented with a friendly invitation: How about a game of chess? “Surveillance Chess“ transforms the monitor in the control room into a video game console and invites the – otherwise invisible and apathetic – guards of the urban playing fields to join the game themselves. Thus, the hierarchies of surveillance are reorganized and reinterpreted as a »friendly takeover«.
Nika Radic: 3 Windows
The native of Zagreb and Berlin-based artist Nika Radic, approaches her work not without irony. She explores the blurring boundaries between public and private, between intimacy and voyeurism. Several years ago, the 3-channel installation »3 Windows« captured the urban space in Berlin and provided onlookers with the ambivalent pleasure of observing strangers behind their curtains. A situation which could be seen as a reference to Alfred Hitchcock’s 1954 classic, »Rear Window«. Radic’s video works leave the safe context of galleries and exhibition spaces, to conquer the facades of the town and on them, to tell the stories of their protagonists.
Random City Intervention
Under the title, »Random Revolution« LICHTER 2012 presented for the first time a reel of short films, which was developed jointly with members of the OCCUPY:FRANKFURT video team. With »Random City Intervention« we are continuing this program, this time together with the curators of FIESER hacktivism and LIBERATION MOVIES. »Random City Intervention« snatches short films from their context and takes them to cinematic non-places: to public spaces. Online turns into offline, film into a clip, the short film into a public backdrop. Thereby, this intervention questions to whom the cities belong, what animates them – and what suffocates them.
Benjamin Gaulon: 2.4 Ghz
Benjamin Gaulon, also known under the name of Recyclism, is an artist, researcher and lecturer in art and design at the National College in Dublin. For the project »2.4 Ghz«, Gaulon taps with surprisingly little technical input into wireless security cameras and makes these recordings, using small monitors, publicly visible. In various European cities, he collects pictures of places and sites where camera signals can be received. Afterwards these images are shown on monitors, which in turn are placed in public spaces. Gaulon’s work reveals the omnipresence of surveillance systems and systems of control. Essential part of the project is the »2.4 Ghz workshop« in which participants actively seek out signals in their city and record the surveillance footage. Later, these recordings are edited into a film.
NODE: An Strahlen
During NODE13 Florian Egermann (MESO) and Thomas Eichhorn (NODE) premiered the project »An Strahlen«, which shall now be continued in the context of LICHTER Streetview. In it, neither facades nor screens serve as projection surfaces but the pedestrians themselves will take on this function. A video loop can only be perceived as a beam at first but can be transformed into a moving image as soon as the audience follows the invitation and turns itself into the screen.
»We had the idea of staging Mitternachtskino in Frankfurt in 2011, because we are missing a place here where experimental films can be seen and shown, and we also do not know of a meeting point where film buffs can meet and exchange themselves.« Sophie Hunger is the initiator of the Mitternachtskino. Since cinema means more to her than watching movies solitarily, and because she wants to enable each and everyone who is interested to access it, the midnight movie takes place in an easy to reach public place and is free of charge. For this, she does not require more than one screen and a projector.
Livingdome is a mobile, organic dome. The form is based on the geometry of the icosahedron, a body of 20 equilateral triangles and is one of the five platonic solids by W. Bauersfeld and B. Fuller. The construction consists entirely of renewable materials: wood, leather and hemp. The wooden poles are assembled into various shapes with leather connections, thus forming a stable dome-shaped building. By covering the scaffolding with a tarp, a versatile, safe space is created inside. Once set up, the Livingdome offers space for events and experiences of different nature. Both, the erection and the dismantling can be seen and experienced as a participatory event, as all the participants come to relate to each other not only communicatively but also materially and visibly. The mobile structure of the dome is variable – literally transparent – and with this transparency, it does not manipulate, but provides impulses for individual concerns.
Simon Schäfer: Gazillion Gazebo
Simon Shepherd, aka »der Warst«, is a sculptor, musician, video artist and circuit bender. For LICHTER Streetview, the Londoner-of-choice returns to Germany to present his work Gazillion Gazebo. An audio-visual live performance that is inspired by the over-stimulation of the urban living environment. An ordinary garden pavilion, filled with various projections and a jumbled laboratory of modified video and music equipment, is transformed into an immersive spatial experience as well as a pulsating public sculpture.
Pascal Davíd Breitenbach & Timotheus Kartmann: Art and Revolution
»Art and Revolution -The International Situationists between the poles of separate sequences, audio tracks and characters,« is the concept of the undefined group from Frankfurt, which emerges through spontaneous ideas. The artists move in a context of open-air raves, city intervention, soup kitchen and party praxis theory. In this context, together with musicians. they have created an open-air silent movie cinema for the streets. For LICHTER Streetview, they show four films that are accompanied by a live musician. The projections start either simultaneously or are staggered, but range within a spectrum. French philosophers, situationists, Gilles Deleuze or Algerian documentaries – all films are shown in their original language and blend into a multi-layered sound clash, excluding absolute understanding…
LICHTER Streetview 3/22 to 3/23/2013 from 8 p.m. to midnight at Roßmarkt – a public space in the center of Frankfurt/Germany