Jan 22, 6 pm
Florian Wüst

Mutual Vision: Industrie und Avantgarde im Film


In the early 20th century, with its unprecedented mass production and division of labour, mechanization became an inevitable fact of modern life. Along with it, new art forms were sought to reflect on a contemporary reality increasingly marked by accelerated progress and mobility, and adhering to scientific reason, social hygiene, and the development of new technologies to master nature and the human body. These new technologies, above all in the fields of electronics and machinery, optical media and communication, architecture and design, greatly inspired early avant-garde cinema as well as the making of industrial films. But the relationship between avant-garde filmmakers, sound artists, engineers, and industrial clients reached much deeper than just sharing a common vision of a better and technically enhanced future: while renowned artists and filmmakers (like Hans Richter, Len Lye or Norman McLaren) were invited to produce advertisements and corporate films, companies and state agencies showed true interest in cinematic experimentation and abstract expression as a means to promote their products as modern, innovative, future oriented.
Especially the first computer films would not have been possible without the financial support and scientific research of university departments or companies such as IBM or Bell. In 1957, Siemens, for instance, established an in-house Studio for Electronic Music under the artistic direction of composer Josef Anton Riedl in which electronically generated sounds were modulated for use in films as well as in concrete music. Against this background Florian Wüst will show and discuss a selection of experimental and corporate films, from the 1920s to the 1970s. The program intends to cast light on the reciprocal processes between industrial invention and artistic experimentation, presenting historical classics as well as films hardly known today. With films by amongst others László Moholy-Nagy, Edgar Reitz and Erik Wernicke.

Florian Wüst, born 1970 in Munich, works as an artist and film curator in Berlin. He studied fine art at Braunschweig University of Art and attended the Master of Arts program at the Piet Zwart Institute for Postgraduate Studies and Research, Willem de Kooning Academy, Hoogschool Rotterdam. His most recent curatorial projects include: la vie moderne/revisitée, centre d’art passerelle, Brest (2008); Self- Confession vs. Exploitation, Impakt Festival, Utrecht (2008); The Poetry of the Sub conscious. Peter Weiss and Avant- Garde Film, Kino Arsenal, Berlin (2007); The Vision Behind. Technical and Social Innovations in Corporate Film since 1950, Austrian Film Museum, Vienna (2007); the city of tomorrow. Contributions to an Archeology of Berlin’s Hansa Quarter, Berlin University of the Arts (2007).
Florian Wüst is author and co-editor of Experience Memory Re-enactment (Frankfurt am Main/Rotterdam 2005).