June 25, 6.30 pm
Robert Schabus


2008, 29 Min., XDCamHD auf DVD pal, 16/9
Camera, editing, interviews: Robert Schabus
Music: Herwig Zamernik
with: Markus Käfer und Eduard Langusch, Alexander Kuttnig, Heinz Buchacher, Mariza Dominkovic, Thomas Kornmüller und Karl Gugerel, Erich Mietler.
Commisioned by: Lakeside Science & Technology Park GmbH

in cooperation with Schlagabtausch | scambio di colpi | hip za hipom, UNIKUM, Klagenfurt

In «Betrieb» (Operations) Robert Schabus takes a closer look at an area of the working world that is usually hidden beneath the slick surfaces of corporate identity with all its linguistic, pictorial and graphical rhetoric. He portrays the protagonists who provide the material support for a new world of immaterial labor, without which the latter would not be able to function—or at least not in the inviting, clean and safe environment is advertised as the essential criterion of a business location. Gardeners, postal workers and garbage collectors, rooftop-garden cultivators, cleaning women and guards talk in «Betrieb» about the details of their duties, their careers, the pros and cons of their working conditions and their personal satisfaction with their job. Schabus presents these reflections against the backdrop of the picturesque, almost cozy ambience created by lush foliage and ambitious architecture, with lingering shots taken during the loveliest season of the year. The foregrounding of the aesthetic surface contrasts with the ponderings of the workers on what kind of labor is actually taking place behind these facades, in the corporate offices, and what kind of benefits the difficult-tograsp IT industry might possibly bring to society. Obviously we are looking here at a world, a microcosm, that is to the highest degree organized according to the work at hand, although this impression is sometimes shaken by what we discover in the course of the interviews. When we for instance find out that the gardener studied at the Technical University and worked for years as a database systems developer, the film hints at the real-life dilemmas and career transitions taking place between these apparently so distinct working worlds.

Robert Schabus, born 1971, is a filmmaker and camera operator. He works in the field of broadcasting internationally and on documentaries and projects in the field of art and culture. He lives in Geiersdorf/Carinthia. Films (Selection): «Hotel Obir. Portrait eines Hotels» (2008); «Tankstelle Zum Ausbau der S37» (2008); «Game Over. Ein Film über die stillgelegte Bärenbatterie in Feistritz im Rosental» (2006); «How can you call it Heimat. Dokumentation zum Identitätsbegriff ‹Heimat› von Kärntner Auswanderern» (2006); «Ich war am Eismeer. Kärntner Ansichten zum Judentum» (1998)