before the space of the square: video studies 2010
rosa luxemburg story
berlin rosa-luxemburg-platz.

Late afternoon at a playground. There is not a child in sight. It could be anywhere, really. The air is tepid and the mood is tense. We are under pressure and about to explode. We will be sent flying and someday, somewhere we will hit the ground. We will find this video material preserved on some hard drive which has withstood the crisis and wonder where and when we could otherwise have landed. reviewing frozen moments. We will feel ourselves transported to that time and place and we will cringe.

Now trying to re-imagine ourselves in that scene. Slipping out of time to recall what might have possibly been true then, we want to create a certain appearance of truth in the present.

For the moment, we have decided that it does not matter what the truth about this footage is, and that it is completely irrelevant if the story we tell you has nothing to do with the story we filmed. This story we tell you might be true anyway, even if it is most certainly a lie.

elementary studies in probability cut: summer 2010

(video is silent)

before the space of a square: study in probability #1: still from rosa luxemburg story, berlin 2010
sweets at the fair
berlin holiday market at schlossplatz. 2007/2010
before the space of a square: still from SWEETS AT THE FAIR 2007/2010, a paradig-matic film

When the wind blows cold, and the clock strikes 8pm on a weekday, long before the holiday spirit has gotten inside people, you can go to the holiday market at Alexanderplatz and you will be almost alone. You can ride by every evening on your bike, you can look at all the lights and you can hear the noise and smell the sugar and the fat cooking, but the place is empty and you're sure it's all a waste.

So you go inside, because there is also something grimly surreal about this desolate field of blinking lights and plastic. It's an eerie mechanical representation of contentment, persisting in the absence of an audience. Walking around in it, you feel oddly touched. Now you're approaching the exit, thinking about how you could represent this feeling you have, when you see a man working at a stand and there are no people there either, it's empty like everything else. That man is so bored, he's leaning against a post with a microphone in his hand. He's chanting in a monotone voice "don't miss out, don't miss out, don't miss out." Everything you are thinking is written in his body and projected in his voice, so you take out your mobile phone and make a video of him.

But your mobile phone makes bad videos, and now you're obsessed with coming back and filming him again. But, however, the holiday season is really going and there are more people.
You want your video so bad you can taste it. You're desperate.
before the space of a square: still from SWEETS AT THE FAIR 2007/10, a paradig-matic filmYou start filming other stands, other bored workers and streams of people moving by you stuffing food into their mouths. These people who have invaded your scene.

preliminary cut & voice-over: spring 2008, titles 2010
before the space of a square: still from FANS 2008
berlin alexanderplatz. summer 2008

It is nighttime. The streets are dark. From the 11th floor overlooking Alexanderplatz in Berlin, we can see bodies and German flags moving across an intersection, over the brightly lit square, waiting at the tram station. tugging at the strings of national symbols They appear to be celebrating a victory, but we can perceive a deep weariness in their bodies. Their fanfare glistens like beads of sweat on the surface of their skin, but it doesn't penetrate into their blood and bones. We can see it fluttering in the wind with their flags, taking flight and dissipating with the dust and dirt of the street.

cinematic cut: january 2010 / advanced artistic cut (below): october 2010 (video is silent)

overviewbefore the space of a squarein the space of a squarepostscript: presence ___ start