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Lev Manovich «Soft Cinema» | Exhibition «Future Cinema», ZKM
Lev Manovich, «Soft Cinema», 2002
Exhibition «Future Cinema», ZKM, 2003 | Photograph: Andreas Kratky | © Lev Manovich

Lev Manovich «Soft Cinema» | Exhibition «Future Cinema», ZKMLev Manovich «Soft Cinema» | Exhibition «Future Cinema», ZKMLev Manovich «Soft Cinema» | Mission to EarthLev Manovich «Soft Cinema» | Mission to EarthLev Manovich «Soft Cinema» | play video
Karlsruhe | Germany | computer-generated projection, installation, dimensions variable | Concept: Lev Manovich with Andreas Kratky, ZKM | Music: DJ Spooky | Participants: Christine Bokelmann, Anne Pascual, Marcus Hauer, Ruth M. Lorenz. maaskant Berlin, Jason Danziger, Andreas Angelidakis, Ted Apel, Gloria Sutton, Francesca Ferguson, Rachel Stevens

 Lev Manovich
«Soft Cinema»

How to represent the subjective experience of a person living in a global information society? If daily interaction with volumes of data and numerous messages is part of our new »data-subjectivity« how can we visualize this subjectivity in new ways using new media‹ without resorting to already familiar and »normalized« modernist techniques of montage, surrealism, absurd?
Soft[ware] Cinema investigates a few approaches towards answering these questions. The fictional stories which come from a collection entitled GUI [Global User Interface] are presented as a series of short movies. While the voice over narrating the stories was edited before hand. everything else is constructed by software in real time, including what appears on the screen, where, and in which sequence. The decisions are based partly on a system of rules, and are partly random. In other words, Soft Cinema can be thought of as a semi-automatic VJ [Video Jockey] or more precisely, a FJ [Film Jockey].
Using Graphical User Interface, financial TV programs and Mondrian as the templates, Soft Cinema breaks the screen into a number of frames. The video which appear within these frames selected from a large database. Each video clip in the database follows Dogma 95 rules: it was shot in continuous takes without edits using a hand-held camera. Most of the clips have been recorded by the author while in Berlin, Tokyo, Moscow, San Paolo and other locations between 1999 and 2002; a few clips are simulated [i.e. a still image was animated to look like a video shot on location].