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Neon

DIR: Timo Novotny, Nik Thoenen
2003 / Austria / 5 min

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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. (Norbert Pfaffenbichler)

About

Director Timo Novotny, Nik Thoenen
Screenplay
Dir. of Photography Nik Thoenen
Editing Nik Thoenen
Music
Sound Wolfgang Schloegl
Duration 5 min
Year 2003
Country Austria
Colour Colour
Tags experimental
Production
Distribution
Festivals

2003 Augsburg - Kurzfilmwochenende
2003 ...

2003 Augsburg - Kurzfilmwochenende
2003 Edinburgh - International Film Festival
2003 Hamburg - Int. Kurzfilm-Festival & No Budget
2003 Weimar - back-up festival. new media in film
2003 Wien - Viennale - Int. Filmfestwochen
2004 Buenos Aires Festival Int. de Cine Independiente

Awards


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