Happy New Five Year Plan (IV)

As part of the re-structuring of our activities over the next five years, we’ll be discussing the question: what could a socialist cinema potentially be, and do, and mean? We’re looking for definitions and visions and plans for action, we’re aiming to better ourselves, and we’re asking you all for help to do this.

We’ve asked writers and thinkers to supply us with food for thought, to get the ball rolling. Meaning there will be some commissioned texts, which attempt to answer or go beyond the questions we’re posing. Coming shortly, right here on the blog, is an article by Frida Sandström (writer, producer, artist, and more), called Situated Images.

You are cordially invited to join the discussion!

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The Electrification Of Hoja (VI)

The third film of our jubilee screening, Nuclear Voyage by Armin Linke, will also be our very first screening of a 3D film. Visitors to the cinema will be provided with classical paper 3D glasses.

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Nuclear Voyage (c) Armin Linke

Quoting from the website of German video distributors Arsenal:

The video NUCLEAR VOYAGE depicts inactive nuclear power stations and waste sites in a state of eternal coma. Observed in long takes during their radiation- and security-checks, the few people still working there stand in marked contrast to the James Bond-like world of high hopes for the future and faith in technology. Filmed and transmitted in 3-D technology, the video also serves as a comment on the current hype regarding spatial viewing of images, the spectacle of which had already been celebrated as photography’s great promise in the 19th century with the advent of stereoscopy. Its renaissance today comes as a curious conflation of joyous anticipation of things to come with a dash of melancholia. (Text: Klosterfelde)

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Nuclear Voyage (c) Armin Linke

As we’re situated half an hour’s drive from the closed down nuclear power plant Barseback, we find these images especially fascinating. The demolition of Barseback is expected to take up to 15 years to complete. It’s the first ever demolition of a nuclear power plant in Sweden, and therefore there are many variables to sort out – like where to keep the radioactive debris, for example.  There have been plans to construct housing on the soonish-to-be vacant land, once demolition is completed, but these plans have been scrapped for now.

Newsclip and article on the demolition of Barseback >

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Nuclear Voyage (c) Armin Linke

The Electrification Of Hoja (V)

Some resources and links in case you wish to learn more about Russian Cosmism…

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Our reference library has more than doubled its’ number of books since last summer. All the books are available for loaning, if you happen to live in the village of Hoja. One of the new additions is The Russian Cosmists, researched and written by George M. Young.

Meanwhile, on the www:

Marina Simakova writes about contemporary artists influenced by Nikolai Fedorov and his followers, and suggests a couple of explanations for why there’s a growing interest in these ideas: a demand for images and thoughts on the universal; an unresolved relationship to the future; the confluence of anthropocentrism and ecocentrism, or humans as caretakers of the world rather than exploiters…

Link >

Boris Groys writes about Cosmism, and its’ influencing artists and writers throughout the 20:th Century. The text was presented at last year’s Venice biennale. There’s a mention of the opera Victory Over The Sun which has us especially fascinated – a brief quote:

The opera celebrated the extinction of the sun and the descent of cosmos into chaos, symbolized by the black square that Malevich painted for the first time as part of the scenography for the opera.

Link >

The Electrification Of Hoja (IV)

Among the films to be shown in our jubilee screening in August is The Communist Revolution Was Caused By The Sun, by Anton Vidokle.

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The Communist Revolution Was Caused By The Sun (c) Anton Vidokle

This film was screened at the 2016 Berlinale film festival. Quoting from their website:

“…The Communist Revolution Was Caused By The Sun, looks at the poetic dimension of the solar cosmology of Soviet biophysicist Alexander Chizhevsky. Shot in Kazakhstan, where Chizhevsky was imprisoned and later exiled, the film introduces Сhizhevsky’s research into the impact of solar emissions on human sociology, psychology, politics, and economics in the form of wars, revolutions, epidemics, and other upheavals.”

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The Communist Revolution Was Caused By The Sun (c) Anton Vidokle

A version of the script for the film was presented during last year’s Venice Biennale, and can be read here

According to the script, an aero-ionization dish is constructed in a factory in Karaganda, Kazakhstan. Its’ purpose is to give an electrical charge to oxygen atoms, matching or complementing the electrical charge of our red blood cells. These chandeliers were originally designed to be installed on spaceships, where they would benefit the health of cosmonauts. But instead they were hung in the offices of Soviet government officials, to prevent them from growing senile.

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The Communist Revolution Was Caused By The Sun (c) Anton Vidokle

An interview with Anton Vidokle regarding the films in the trilogy can be found here

Quoting from the interview:

Kazakhstan was the site of a very large network of labor camps known as Karlag, similar to the better-known Gulag. It was also the key site of the Soviet space program, with most of the rockets launching from Baikonur and landing in the steppe surrounding Karaganda. Sort of like the American city of Houston, in Texas, the city was both an enormous prison and one of the first spaceports. Architecturally, it is dominated by vast coal mines, most of which are now shut down, as well as enormous cemeteries which evolved a very particular architectural style that I have not seen elsewhere: they look like miniature cities full of manifold mausoleum structures quoting various Islamic traditional styles, albeit all made from cheap, Soviet-era materials. It’s a very unusual place.”

 

 

The Electrification Of Hoja (III)

Among all the local jubilees we could have celebrated this year – Ängelholm 500 years! Sunshine Socialist Cinema 5 years! – we chose the centennial of the Electrification of Hoja. As there’s an abundance of jubilees, we decided to inform ourselves about surplus values, and have added some interesting volumes to our library. All the books in the library can be borrowed home by people living in the village of Hoja, by the way.

There’s a tagline we use to describe the cinema, “Re-distributing a surplus of light from day to night, via solar panel and projector”. Now we’ve found some literary references for it, thanks to our study group. Georges Bataille wrote in his volumes on economy, The Accursed Share, about abundance, surplus, and the discharge of energy, using the sun as an introductory example.

Bataille’s inquiry takes the superabundance of energy, beginning from the outpouring of solar energy or the surpluses produced by life’s basic chemical reactions, as the norm for organisms. In other words, an organism in Bataille’s general economy, unlike the rational actors of classical economy who are motivated by scarcity, normally has an “excess” of energy available to it. This extra energy can be used productively for the organism’s growth or it can be lavishly expended. Bataille insists that an organism’s growth or expansion always runs up against limits and becomes impossible.” – quoted from Wikipedia

Well, yes, more power from the sun hits the Earth in an hour than all of humanity could spend in a year. 430 quintillion Joules, if you want a figure (a quintillion has 18 zeroes).

…the accursed share is that excessive and non-recuperable part of any economy which must either be spent luxuriously and knowingly without gain in the arts, in non-procreative sexuality, in spectacles and sumptuous monuments, or it is obliviously destined to an outrageous and catastrophic outpouring, in the contemporary age most often in war, or in former ages as destructive and ruinous acts of giving or sacrifice, but always in a manner that threatens the prevailing system.” – quoted from Wikipedia

If we accept the limits to growth, and if we can manage a fair re-distribution of wealth and surplus value, what would we then spend our time upon, instead of working towards even more growth? According to Bataille, it’s either destructive war, or non-productive things, including art plus sex plus celebrations of jubilees.