What the Water Said, nos. 1-3, David Gatten, 1997-1998


Retrograde Technicity in Artistic Photographic and Cinematic Practices

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From March 2016 to February 2019 the Austrian Film Museum will participate in the arts-based research project RESET THE APPARATUS!, headed by Edgar Lissel and positioned within the University of Applied Arts Vienna. It analyses the phenomenon of retrograde technicity through artistic and theoretical approaches to reveal new ways and perspectives of thinking about the cinematic and the photographic.

While generally deemed obsolete and outworn, photographic and cinematic technologies have resurfaced over the last few years in artistic as well as pop cultural contexts. A recurrent theme in these contexts is the "irregular", non-normative way in which film material, cameras, projectors and other cinematic tools are utilized. The return of these obsolete practices makes the potentials of retrograde technologies visible. What is important here is that these instances are not articulated as a refusal of the present or a misty-eyed and nostalgic longing for the past and are instead interested in the critical potentials which can be derived from them. The idea that a medium would have a "natural purpose" and that there is an appropriate way to put its parts into practice or manipulate it are questioned.

In the course of the project, workshops and events will deal with this topic in detail. At the same time the project homepage will develop into an archive of artistic works within that realm.

The project is a cooperation with the University of Applied Arts Vienna and is financed by PEEK (Program for Arts-based Research) and the FWF (Austrian Science Fonds).