AND/department of schizogeographic studies/industrianpilz

 


Caspar David Friedrich
Noon
c. 1822


Füchs GmbH
13:42:23
June 20, 1999

IPILZ \ pilzfilm \ pilzcontainer
Emerging in the wake of West Germany's absorption of a decaying East German state, the industrial zone at Brück/Linthe bears witness to certain post-unification organizational strategies currently being deployed in the conversion of the East’s agricultural sector. Set within a landscape absent from the postwar suburban development common to the west, the site - composed of West German industries employing robotic technologies to manufacture materials for the construction industry - sits in stark contrast to an existing agricultural region where on average 1 in 5 are unemployed.

At the same time, in the forests surrounding the vast glacial basin upon which the industrial zone is built, one finds an avid local population interested in the hunting and gathering of wild mushrooms. In the days following a period of heavy rain, the forest is saturated with mycophiles each seeking out specific locations and conditions known to be favorable to fungal growth.

 

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The project begins with the examination of the current situation at the Brück/Linthe industrial zone through the lens of mycology - a branch of botany dealing with fungi. Proceeding through a practice incorporating modes of description specific to film and architecture, it attempts to map the resonances and disjunctions that emerge in the course of a mycological analysis of industrial environments. Here, mycology is introduced as a device to torque a by now overly familiar opposition between a benign and creative nature and a ruthless culture. As capitalism's claims to absolute naturalness gain rhetorical momentum, the mycological lens allows models of 'the natural' both as the agentless conversion of decaying matter and as a parasitic, potentially toxic, and deeply site specific process - one whose odd position in the economy of matter does not allow easy romantic identifications...
 
(Like mushrooms after the rain...
ipilz \ PILZFILM \ pilzcontainer

 

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Industrian Pilz
39 mins, digital video, 2003

Splicing original investigative footage shot in the industrial zone with archival film clips, interviews of local residents, scenes of cultural globalization from popular media, and samplings from the music and musings of pioneering myco-aesthete, John Cage, the pilzfilm explores the flotsam and jetsam drifting in the wake of West Germany's absorption of a decaying East German state.

cast
[in order of appearance]

Caspar David Friedrich
John Cage
Walther Ruttman
Carolin Tabel
Clare Miflin
Charles McIlvaine
Foreigner
Ute Mahling
Gilles Deleuze
Bertrand Ivanoff
Kraftwerk
Regine Engel
Dr. Motto
Judy Garland
Rammstein
Google

crew

NARRATION
Clare Miflin
Mark Shepard
Bertrand Ivanoff

INTERVIEWS
Carolin Tabel

CAMERA
Mark Shepard

TRANSLATIONS
Dan Amarel
Claudia Dias
Bertrand Ivanoff
Erwin Redl
Sabine Schenk

THE COMMITTEE
Dan Amarel
Erwin Redl
Lytle Shaw
Mark Shepard
Carlos Tejada

project support:

THE NEW YORK STATE
COUNCIL ON THE ARTS

THE EXPERIMENTAL
TELEVISON CENTER

USIS BERLIN
AMERIKA HAUS

MINISTERIUM FÜR WIRTSCHAFT, MITTLESTAND,
KULTUR UND TECHNOLOGIE
DIE LANDES BRANDENBURG

KULTURAMT DES LANDKRIEISES
POTSDAM-MITTELMARK

THE BRITISH COUNCIL, BERLIN

CZECH MINISTRY OF CULTURE

TRUST FOR MUTUAL UNDERSTANDING

PRO HELVETIA OST-WEST

OPEN SOCIETY FUND

THE CENTER FOR METAMEDIA
Plasy, Czech republic

ipilz \ pilzfilm \ PILZCONTAINER
 
 

The intervention is conceived as a form of Verpflanzen (grafting), investigating the recircuting of networks of industrial production and distribution. It begins with the placement of a standard industrial shipping container within the open landscape of the glacial basin, at a point where the Deutchesbundesbahn tracks serving the Industriegebiet are interrupted by one of the many canals cut by the Dutch in the 14th century for the irrigation of the surrounding farmland. On axis with this canal is an opening in a line of trees revealing the Autobahn A9 in the distance.

 
 

Within the shipping container, a series of cathode ray tubes display digital video clips of cyclic robotic production processes at work within the industrial zone. The CRTs are stripped from their housing - their wiring and electronics exposed - and oriented face-up from the floor, as sculptural objects drawing upon a simple metaphor between the form of a cathode ray tube and that of a mushroom. Through the deployment of a microwave traffic sensor, the rate of the passing traffic on the Autobahn is funneled down the canal to the shipping container where a programmable microprocessor translates the rate of traffic to the frame-rate for the video playback. As the rate of traffic increases or decreases, so does the rate of the robotic machinery's repetitive movements that the CRTs display.

 

Accompanying this modulated dance is a live audio feed from a shotgun microphone situated adjacent to the traffic sensor by the Autobahn. The sound of passing cars -amplified through the natural resonance of the shipping container - reverberates across the open meadow within which the container is situated.

 

The Pilzcontainer was on view as part of the ‘Areale99’ festival, held on the grounds of the industrial zone from June 25th - July 11, 1999. Special thanks to Susken Rosenthal and Benoit Maubrey of Kunstpflug e.V.

Funding for the development of the Pilzcontainer was provided by the Experimental Television Center through a Finishing Funds award, a program sponsored by the New York State Council on the Arts. Funding for the deployment of the Pilzcontainer was provided by the USIS/Amerika Haus, Berlin.

Thanks to Carlos Tejada, Achim Goebel, Jeff Shepard, Dylan Mackay, and Nathan Pooley for the generous contribution of their technical expertise, without which the realization of the Pilzcontainer would not have been possible.