Das feine Zirpen einer Dunkelziffer |

by Vera Sebert

Austria, 2023, 10 min
Like a single film frame, insects flash for the fraction of a second, only to immediately withdraw from the field of vision again, so that a closer look is only possible when aided by technical devices. While the sluggish human gaze lags behind their virtual images and humans are tempted to find something meaningful between the seen and the unseen, the depicted escape from the blind spot of reality. In the intoxication of media consumption, the absence of insects remains unnoticed - here in front of the cinema screen, they can neither be quanti fied nor located. In between flickering body fragments, the film shows undefinable voids.

Where there is nothing to beseen, the artificial sound of a chirp inhabits the empty image space - wrapped in the technoid imitation of fading insect voices, we sit in the cinema that, which traditionally presents insects as monstrous alien beings: giant killer insects, human-insect hybrids or alien swarm intelligences with dubious intentions commonly populate the imaginations of a life form that, on top of it all, threatens the economic viability of our agricultural landscape. Those projections of human fears are cancelled out by the ever-changing alternation between too much and too little challenge for the eye. Paradoxically, there is nothing to see - rather, the visuality here makes use of an auditorial structure that turns seeing and the seen back onto itself. What is to be seen when familiar filters of vision and the narratives associated with them are absent?