Peter Kubelka (1934- )

Mosaik im vertrauen (1954-55), 16 minutes

Adebar (1956-57), 69 seconds

Schwechater (1957-58), 1 minute

Arnulf Rainer (1958-60), 6.5 minutes

Unsere Afrikareise (1961-66), 12.5 minutes

Pause! (1975-77), 12.5 minutes

Denkmal fur die Alte Welt (Monument for the

Old World), in progress

Fred Camper on Arnulf Rainer:

This film has only two kinds of images: frames that are solid white, and frames that are solid black. Similarly, there are only two kinds of sound: continuous white noise, and silence. It is thus a film composed of the primary elements of cinema: light and darkness, sound and silence, and in this sense is the most general of films.

It is not, however, a strictly didactic work whose sole purpose is the demonstration of its content. The sound and image editing that occurs has all the complexity of Kubelka’s other films. Varying but repeated flicker patterns inform both: at times, light alternates with darkness (or sound with silence) very rapidly, a flicker effect being caused by the rapid alternation; at other times, there are long section of darkness, or of sound. Further, the sound and image do not mimic each other strictly; at some times, both flicker rapidly, while at others, rapid alternation in one may be accompanied by less rapid alternation, or no alternation at all, in the other: solid black image accompanied by rapidly pulsating sound, for instance.

Kubelka has made a film whose images are so general, so universal, that rather than being without meaning they can sustain and even suggest themselves, a variety of possible meanings. The unpredictability of the film, especially on initial viewings, and the particular unpredictability of the film, especially relations, which constantly shift, has encouraged me to think of one possible analogy for this film: that of thunder and lightning. Lightning does flicker rapidly; it is a surprising interruption; the thunder that accompanies it is "out of sync"–and is out of sync by varying and unpredictable degrees, depending on how far away the event is. Kubelka’s film, when projected with the image bright and the sound loud, has some of the massive, primal force, the raw, primitive power, of an event in nature.