by Timo NOVOTNY
& Nik THOENEN
2003 / Betacam SP / color / sound / 1S / 5' 00
This unpretentiousness of this video's title is equals the simplicity of its underlying structure.
Nik Thoenen, a graphic artist by trade, constructed an installation consisting of fluorescent tubes mounted in a horizontal row
especially for this video, his first. The arrangement of tubes was
then «scanned« with a mounted Super-8 film camera.
The method employed for this
experiment had the following
purpose: When neon lights are switched on, a mixture of inert gases trapped inside the tubes is electrically charged, producing an uneven, uncontrollable flickering. Together, the six stacked fluorescent tubes produce a nervous, polyrhythmic light show which lasts for a few seconds. For a closer look at this esthetic phenomenon, it was filmed at all possible speeds from time lapse to slow motion
and with all available stops. Timo Novotny, a maker of music videos, then copied the resulting Super-8 material with a digital camera at different shutter speeds and manipulated the speed of the footage during the digital postproduction phase. Finally, an atmospherically dense and somewhat eerie soundtrack by Wolfgang Schloegl was added. Dramatically, this joint
project is consummated in a continuous switch from dark to light. Slowly but without hesitation, a disquieting tension builds, and
resolution in the form of a «discharge« never comes.
The physical qualities of neon - this «cool light of the modern« - serve as the starting point for this minimalist work's fascinating
composition of light and sound.
Translation: Steve Wilder
|Digital file on server (PAL)
|4/3 (single screen)