DOCU/ART: Recycling

14 March 2017

Olga Birzul, the festival’s program coordinator, tells about the law of energy conservation in the films of DOCU/ART.


According to fundamental natural law, energy cannot appear from nowhere and cannot disappear, it can only transform from one form to another. This law of energy conservation can be applied to everything, including art. In a certain sense, this law logically explains the constant process of regeneration of plots, characters, images, and ideas. Postmodernism finally legitimized this recycling: by melting artistic search into conscious quoting, it has brought to nonsense the role of author in contemporary society. The freedom of creation is now available to all, and the energy does not disappear; however, its secondary usage in the world overfilled with waste requires more and more sorting.



All the three movies of this section, on the one hand, demonstrate incredible potential of this recycling mechanism, and on the other hand, warn that, as Viktor Pelevin would say, the wheel of samsara is creaking, and humankind has increasingly fewer cycles left until final utilization.


While the characters of Swiss movie “Melody of Noise” are incessantly experimenting with the sounds of the surroundings, extracting unique music from water pipes, industrial dumpsites and abandoned factories, the crowd of thousands of heroes in Asian story “China’s Van Goghs” are producing millions of copies for European souvenir shops without ever seeing the originals. Nevertheless, this antithesis has its own inverse linear perspective. By zooming in the background, against which the characters are portrayed, these movies are clearly revealing the reality in which local creative process unfolds.


The third movie, “Homo Sapiens”, expressively reminds about the fragility of human existence on this planet without a single character or even a sound produced by human. To speak completely frankly, nature will win anyway in the infinite cycle of recycling. It will simply transform from one form to another, growing through us with abundant flowers and reviving itself, unless we will learn in the immediate future how to live in harmony with the law of energy conservation.


On the photo “Melody of Noise” by Gitta Gsell

25 – 
April 2022