Elke Marhöfer

Film (Chaos)

Göteborg: Paletten, 2012

While we do not know what film chaos really is, we can dream and invent it as an aesthetic figure. How can we allow a zone of indistinctness and contradictions, a zone of dependence to operate on our bodies without feeling entirely lost? Is it important to be fully carried away, or is it enough to permit small portions of film chaos to take effect? Similar to a sip of water that can have the same impact on the body as a high-dose drug. But why should chaos be more productive than order in the first place? Conceptual boundaries, coherent themes and topics, continuity, and a narrative all help to ward off film chaos. Film chaos is viscosity that is too long, or too short for time. Film chaos causes us to constantly loose our train of thoughts. But where to stop, if the dramatic unit of traditional film time is no longer applicable and the potential meaning rests within the jumpy course of fragmentation, as much as in the individual scenes? In what arbitrary moment should a filmic experience be interrupted, according to which criteria should any sequence be shortened or later cut out during the editing, if the entire intensity of an experience is based on an absence of dramaturgy? Topicality, a montage structure, or the limitation to a certain space ought to save us from film chaos. A film about what?− A film about Senegal. − But what in Senegal? (Trinh T. Minh-ha)

Film chaos doesn’t offer topics; it is a constant diffusing and rediffusing, a dipping into the existing chaos. There will always be references, compositions and forms that enable one to look and to listen. All that matters is to take away opinions: The struggle with chaos is only the instrument of a more profound struggle against opinion, for the misfortune of people comes from opinion. Science turns against opinion, which lends to it a religious taste for unity or unification. (Gille Deleuze, Felix Guattari) Film chaos is an agitation against the disciplining of film, a deliberate cruelty of the film material against both the filmmaker and the viewer, and at the same time a proposition of the possible.

Within film chaos the material uses the filmmaker, as much as the filmmaker uses the material. It functions like a plant [that] contemplates by contracting the elements from which it originates − light, carbon, and the salts − and it fills itself with colors and odors that in each case qualify its variety, its composition: it is sensation in itself. Film chaos is a negotiation of the sensation of the self with the help of various materials and their ghosts − light, darkness, colors, sounds, shadows, silver halide crystals, silicon, zeroes and ones from different points in time. What was found is placed outside its proper field of practice and mingled within a corequisite multiplicity. Chaos is beautiful if you look at all of its components as equally necessary. (Édouard Glissant)Like in a polyvocal space where languages are used without identification and utterances are detached from the body. Fragments, sequences, blocs, no series. Segments and movements, which dissolve again. Oral sequences, rhythmic sequences without subordination or unification, for intensity to enter. Intensity as an active exteriority. An introjection of exteriority, many kinds of exteriorities.

Film chaos operates in a space where one obsession infringes on another and exceeds it, thereby dipping into even more chaotic moments. A space where the imaginary is not sheer ornament or subordinated otherwise, but a real source. In the end, nothing falls into place of a higher unity. The grammatical order that aims at a final solution can not take hold.

To become molecular

The absolute movement. Everything is clear now, but it is not the clarity of the microscope, more the clarity of a microperception, of the water and the air we breathe in. Everything seams fluent with holes and scratches, amorphous clouds, oceanic chaos, reflections and streams of lines. I think now I have understood everything, and I even have a mission − to become molecular, to be where everything starts to speak with everything else, so that an ever expanding pervasiveness is growing, where we have stories without authors and differential coalitions, where no interiority remains and we intimately involve in things, plants and animals.