Das Zimmer / The Room (1966)

Johannes Beringer

 

First film, first impressions of West Berlin. A room is seclusion—looking for a room is contact with the city. The Lebanese person in the rented room adopts the position of “foreignness” (standing in for the filmmaker). His radio is also another gateway to the outside. Post-war, old buildings, urban decay and reconstruction.

The film attempts a montage of inner and outer perspectives—mainly with the help of sound from the radio and a piece of music (Herbie Hancock’s “Empyrean Isles”). The movement in the first half comes to a halt approximately at the “golden cut”—and then begins again in a different manner, movement for its own sake, continuing to the blinking, yellow traffic light over the nighttime intersection. (Inspired by the “objectification” in the final sequence of Antonioni’s L’Eclisse.) (J. Beringer)

Film by Johannes Beringer with Skip Norman, Jörg Baldenius, Gerd Conradt – Camera, Assistance; Abdullah Fletani – Actor; Holger Meins – Runner (DFFB, 1966/67, 16mm, B/W, 15 Min. 18 Sec.)

Johannes Beringer belonged to the first cohort of students at Deutsche Film- und Fernsehakademie (dffb) Berlin in 1966. He collaborated with Skip Norman on his two student films Das Zimmer (The Room) and Situationen (Situations). Together with seventeen other students, Beringer was expelled from the film school in November 1968. Since then, he has worked as a writer (for the journal Filmkritik and many other publications), translator, and film programmer in various contexts. In the 1970s and early ’80s, he was editor and sound engineer on many of Harun Farocki’s productions.

[Suggested citation: Johannes Beringer, “Das Zimmer / The Room (1966)” Rosa Mercedes 03/B (April 2021), www.harun-farocki-institut.org/en/2021/04/30/das-zimmer-1966/]

April 2021 — Rosa Mercedes / 03 / B
Interface

On Friday, April 6, 2021, at 8 p.m., Akademie Schloss Solitude will host a Zoom event with former HaFI Residency fellowship holder Shirin Barghnavard about her film “Invisible” (2017). Moderated by Doreen Mende. To register, click here.

April 14th, 2021

The magazine MONOPOL currently features an interview (in German) with Shirin Barghnavard about her film “Invisible,” which she conceived and shot during her HaFI residency in 2017.

April 14th, 2021

via Hyperallergic on the environmental impact of blockchain referring to recent NFT (non-fungible token) art sales: “This is not the first time the art world has come under scrutiny for being on the wrong side of the climate conversation. Artists and activists have protested everything from the carbon footprint of physical art fairs to the fossil fuel money funding major museums. But some say the energy consumption of cryptocurrencies is particularly egregious, and research shows it’s relatively easily quantifiable. A study by Cambridge University, for instance, estimates that bitcoin uses more electricity per year than the entire nation of Argentina. (Ethereum mining consumes a quarter to half of what Bitcoin mining does, but one transaction uses more power than an average US household in a day, according to the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.)”

 

Nicholas Mirzoeff on “Artificial vision, white space and racial surveillance capitalism”: “Based as it is on ‘epidermalization’ (the assertion of absolute difference based on relative differences in skin color), AI’s racial surveillance deploys an all-too-familiar racialized way of seeing operating at plan-etary scale. It is the plantation future we are now living in. All such operations take place in and via the new imagined white space of technology known as the cloud. In reality, a very material arrangement of servers and cables, the cloud is both an engine of high-return low-employment capitalism and one of the prime drivers of carbon emissions.”

 

Sara Ahmed on the performativity of disgust (from The Cultural Politics of Emotion, 2004): “To name something as disgusting is to transfer the stickiness of the word ‘disgust’ to an object, which henceforth becomes generated as the very thing that is spoken. The relationship between the stickiness of the sign and the stickiness of the object is crucial to the performativity of disgust as well as the apparent resistance of disgust reactions to ‘newness’ in terms of the generation of different kinds of objects. The object that is generated as a disgusting (bad) object through the speech act comes to stick. It becomes sticky and acquires a fetish quality, which then engenders its own effects.”

November 7th, 2020
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