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  • Witt­gen­stein stop motion


    Joerg Markowitsch

    Ana Vasof's cinematic anecdotes inspire praxeology and incisively question our ways of thinking and acting.

    The short films by the artist Ana Vasof seamingly effort­less­ly compete with Witt­gen­stein’s Phi­lo­so­phi­cal Inves­ti­ga­ti­ons (1953) in the ethno-metho­do­lo­gi­cal inves­ti­ga­ti­on of practices.  Filmic minia­tures, whose ludicrous technical arran­ge­ments force us to think in a similar way to Witt­gen­stein’s anecdotal thought expe­ri­ments and provide examples to explain theories of practice (Nicolini 2012).

    In the 4‑minute film “Down to earth”, something as trivial as putting one’s foot in front of the other trans­forms into a constant restaging of repre­sen­ta­ti­ve small absur­di­ties and provide a staccato of her art. Has anyone ever tried to strap on two pans onto their feet and flip pancakes while walking? And this is only one of about twenty different “gaits” she performs in this video.

    The question “what if?” runs like a thread through the young artist’s work and is thus the starting point for phi­lo­so­phi­cal reflec­tions on practice. What if everyday practice took place as it does in the video, and not as it actually is? And isn’t the ordinary act of walking, seen from a different angle suddenly as absurd?

    In the film ‘Ana­chro­nism’, Vasof sums up the concept. She uses a file to rasp a clamped clock radio down, on which a countdown is running, so that in the end only granules remain. She then fills the granules into an hourglass and thus creates a pre-modern form of time­kee­ping. The ana­chro­nism is defined by the reversal of indus­tri­al pro­duc­tion and han­di­c­raft as well as by the reversal of digital and analogue. One cannot watch the film without smirking about digitalisation.

    Dest­ruc­tion is also the means in “Machine” (2015). The motif is similar: How can something only work through its dest­ruc­tion? The sys­te­ma­tic smashing of porcelain plates, decorated with toothed cogs, as well as a little bit of stop motion technique finally set the cogs in motion. One ine­vi­ta­b­ly feels reminded of Chaplin’s Modern Times (1936).  Like Chaplin, David Mitchell (Jake Gyl­len­haal) is trapped in the feature film Demo­li­ti­on (2015). In the end, he also combats his depres­si­on and alie­na­ti­on with the positive power of dest­ruc­tion and thus gets his life back under control. The hammer’s duality as a symbol for work and dest­ruc­tion. Ana Vasof and Jake Gyl­len­haal know how to put it into film.

    Refe­ren­ces:
    Ana Vasof’s Website, https://annavasof.net/
    Nicolini, Davide (2012). Practice theory, work, and orga­niz­a­ti­on: An intro­duc­tion. Oxford Uni­ver­si­ty Press
    Witt­gen­steins, Ludwig (1953). Phi­lo­so­phi­cal Inves­ti­ga­ti­ons.

    Ana Vasof, Down to Earth, 2014 

    Ana Vasof, Machine, 2015  

    Ana Vasof, Anachronism, 2015  

    Jean-Marc Vallée, Demolition, USA 2015 

    Ana Vasof, Down to Earth, 2014, Filmstill

    Tags

    Witt­gen­stein stop motion

    Joerg Markowitsch

    Ana Vasof's cinematic anecdotes inspire praxeology and incisively question our ways of thinking and acting.

    The short films by the artist Ana Vasof seamingly effort­less­ly compete with Witt­gen­stein’s Phi­lo­so­phi­cal Inves­ti­ga­ti­ons (1953) in the ethno-metho­do­lo­gi­cal inves­ti­ga­ti­on of practices.  Filmic minia­tures, whose ludicrous technical arran­ge­ments force us to think in a similar way to Witt­gen­stein’s anecdotal thought expe­ri­ments and provide examples to explain theories of practice (Nicolini 2012).

    In the 4‑minute film “Down to earth”, something as trivial as putting one’s foot in front of the other trans­forms into a constant restaging of repre­sen­ta­ti­ve small absur­di­ties and provide a staccato of her art. Has anyone ever tried to strap on two pans onto their feet and flip pancakes while walking? And this is only one of about twenty different “gaits” she performs in this video.

    The question “what if?” runs like a thread through the young artist’s work and is thus the starting point for phi­lo­so­phi­cal reflec­tions on practice. What if everyday practice took place as it does in the video, and not as it actually is? And isn’t the ordinary act of walking, seen from a different angle suddenly as absurd?

    In the film ‘Ana­chro­nism’, Vasof sums up the concept. She uses a file to rasp a clamped clock radio down, on which a countdown is running, so that in the end only granules remain. She then fills the granules into an hourglass and thus creates a pre-modern form of time­kee­ping. The ana­chro­nism is defined by the reversal of indus­tri­al pro­duc­tion and han­di­c­raft as well as by the reversal of digital and analogue. One cannot watch the film without smirking about digitalisation.

    Dest­ruc­tion is also the means in “Machine” (2015). The motif is similar: How can something only work through its dest­ruc­tion? The sys­te­ma­tic smashing of porcelain plates, decorated with toothed cogs, as well as a little bit of stop motion technique finally set the cogs in motion. One ine­vi­ta­b­ly feels reminded of Chaplin’s Modern Times (1936).  Like Chaplin, David Mitchell (Jake Gyl­len­haal) is trapped in the feature film Demo­li­ti­on (2015). In the end, he also combats his depres­si­on and alie­na­ti­on with the positive power of dest­ruc­tion and thus gets his life back under control. The hammer’s duality as a symbol for work and dest­ruc­tion. Ana Vasof and Jake Gyl­len­haal know how to put it into film.

    Refe­ren­ces:
    Ana Vasof’s Website, https://annavasof.net/
    Nicolini, Davide (2012). Practice theory, work, and orga­niz­a­ti­on: An intro­duc­tion. Oxford Uni­ver­si­ty Press
    Witt­gen­steins, Ludwig (1953). Phi­lo­so­phi­cal Inves­ti­ga­ti­ons.


    Sorry, you missed your life!

    Sorry, you missed your life!

    Open exploitation can be combatted while subtle forms are not so easily recognizable and harder to fight.

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    About this blog

    By selecting a film or an image, this blog literally illus­tra­tes the vast sphere of work, employ­ment & education in an open collec­tion of academic, artistic and also anecdotal findings.

    About us

    Konrad Wakol­bin­ger makes docu­men­ta­ry films about work and life. Jörg Mar­ko­witsch does research on education and work. They are both based in Vienna. Infor­ma­ti­on on guest authors can be found in their cor­re­spon­ding articles.

    More about

    Inte­res­ted in more? Find recom­men­da­ti­ons on relevant festivals, film collec­tions and lite­ra­tu­re here.

    About this blog

    With picking a film or an image, this blog literally illus­tra­tes the vast sphere of work, employ­ment & education in an open collec­tion of academic, artistic and also anecdotal findings.

    About us

    Konrad Wakol­bin­ger makes docu­men­ta­ry films about work and life. Jörg Mar­ko­witsch does research on education and work. We both work in Vienna. Infor­ma­ti­on on guest authors can be found in their respec­ti­ve articles.

    More about

    Inte­res­ted in more? Find recom­men­da­ti­ons on relevant festivals, film collec­tions and lite­ra­tu­re here.