lebensraum / lifespace - spectacle of noise
2004, 72:00 minutes, colour
The subject of Istvan Kantor's first feature length video work is today's conquest for living territory, the struggle for life space as a necessity for survival. Mixing autobiographical reality with fiction, Kantor takes us to Capital City, a hyper-orwellian organization ruled by the control freak apparatus of Rentagon. The "robotarian" population is under constant surveillance by the RST (Robotic Surveillance Transmission). Kantor appears in the role of an outcast "yogaborg" and camera addict, living in the Lower East End, in a cold basement studio of an old warehouse building soon to be demolished. He is associated with TRS (Transmission Research Society), a group of collaborators exploring sex, science and technology and constantly transmitting webcast messages in support of Kantor's hopeless insurrection. Hypnotized by a heat blower Kantor tells his story through tuning into technosphere and capturing fragments of images.
The term "lebensraum" (living space) was once used in nazi propaganda to justify invasion and war. Here in Kantor's work it serves as a critical metaphor in relation to the greedy gentrification of living space in the city. Kantor's work is impelled by a burning desire to confront the deadening forces that dominate today's technological system of control. He asks for social revolution, rebellion, and supports a revolutionary vision, even if it's hopeless, instead of abandoning it out of despair. The reality of the changing cityscape, the architecture of old warehouses, construction sites and newly built condominiums, add a powerful, kinetic background to Kantor's utopian dream of social revolution.
Kantor's characteristic videography of kinetic camera action, seizure performance, computer animation, robotic machine-sex and loop machine editing achieves here a far greater impact than hi previous short works. His taste for information overload is complemented by an acute sense of timing, his obsessive artistic vision is pushed to extremes, fearlessly exploring high contrast mutating colours, hyper-mediatic texture and repetitious movements, linked by rhythmic waves of sound and pulsating frames of images, involving about 20 thousand rendered effects. Ad nauseum.
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