Anja Dornieden and Juan David González Monroy are filmmakers based in Berlin. They work together under the moniker OJOBOCA. Together they practice Horrorism, a simulated method of inner and outer transformation. They have presented their films and performances in a wide variety of venues and festivals worldwide, among them the Vienna Film Museum, HKW, Künstverein München, Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, International Film Festival Rotterdam, Berlin FIlm Festival, Visions du Réel, RIDM, Ann Arbor Film Festival and Edinburgh International Film Festival. Since 2010 they are members of the artist-run film lab in LaborBerlin.
Screening of filmprogram / 16mm analogue projection
A Ghostly reality fuses with history or mythology inside the viewer. The images are temporary artefacts, symbols of an ever-recurring dystopia of the self.
1) The HandEye (Bone Ghosts)
3) The Masked Monkeys
Performances / 16mm / live / sound
In the evening the cinematic black box is transformed into a hypnotic horrorism machine where voices, sounds and flickering images from distinct realities will lead us into a simulated transformation.
1) Now I want to Laugh
2) New Museum of Mankind
THE HANDEYE (Bone Ghosts)
In early 20th century Vienna Robert Musil invited Sigmund Freud to partake in, what he called, “a very special séance”. Seated at the table Musil revealed that they were going to summon the ghost of Frans Anton Mesmer, discoverer of animal magnetism and forefather of hypnosis. Musil told Freud about a series of dreams he had which involved a talking flea. Musil, who had secretly become a follower of the imaginationist school of animal magnetism wanted to question Mesmer as to the meaning of these dreams, in which said flea foretold of impending catastrophes all over Europe. It is said that Mesmer obligingly appeared and spoke in a repetitive and oblique manner. Mesmer’s words were transcribed by Freud in several scraps of paper and hidden separately in a series of objects that, owing to the vicissitudes of history, would end up in the collections of three Viennese museums. Legend has it that he who could piece together the text would find instructions for the assembly of a film.
We visited these museums and, unable to break away the objects from their glass prisons, have made an attempt to reconstruct the film, hoping that the magnetic force inside the objects would transfer to the film’s silver halide crystals, therefore allowing us to make sense of the single written testimony left over from the séance. In her diary, as the lone entry for that date, Eugenie Schwarzwald, the only other known participant, wrote: “A distinguished flea hypnotizes the ghost of a distinguished man.”
This project was part of the LABORBERLIN contribution to the INTO THE CITY Program during the Wiener Festwochen. The film was hand developed at the Filmkoop Wien.
In 1984, for three weeks in May, what appeared to be a giant cloud shrouded the small town of Hüllen-Hüllen in darkness. Before the end of the month the cloud had dispersed and life seemed to return to normal. One month later, however, the town was hastily abandoned and its residents were nowhere to be found. They left most of their belongings behind in such a way as to make one think they would return at any moment.
The search that followed led investigators to a cave on the outskirts of town. Inside the cave a number of homemade contraptions were discovered. Connected by a variety of mirrors and fitted with a wide array of lenses, they were found to form a large projection device. Even though at first sight it appeared to be either unfinished or broken, it was eventually determined to be in working order. When it was turned on it projected a series of images over every surface of the cave. Initially the source of the images could not be established, yet upon further examination it was found that the images were engraved directly on the lenses of the machine.
Along with the machine a sheet of paper covered in handwritten text was also found. It was titled “Cloud Shadow”. Beyond the uncertain clues provided by the images and the text, no verifiable explanation for the disappearance of the town’s residents has ever been given. For the sake of preservation the engraved images were transferred onto 35mm slide film. Copies of the text and images were made and archived together. We have been lucky enough to obtain one of these sets. For the benefit of those interested in examining this strange occurrence, we’ve put them together as a narrated slideshow.
The Masked Monkeys
The masked arts of Indonesia are thousands of years old. They are commonly referred to as wayang topeng (wayang: shadow or puppet; topeng: mask). It is believed that wayang topeng originated from tribal death rites, where masked dancers were considered the interpreters of the gods.
In the lowest rungs of Javanese society a unique manifestation of these masked traditions can be found. Its practitioners are performers, but they are not merely entertainers. Their aim is not simply to amuse. Their ambition is to be respected, to be honored, to be successful. They have embarked on a path they know will lead to a higher state, to an honorable and noble position.
2015, 16mm, 30 min, black & white, sound.
Now I want to Laugh
This is a simulation of a prototype for a “feeling machine” envisioned by Dr. D. Forme in 1917. This simulation is based on a short description and diagram found in the doctor’s notebooks. The description focuses on only one section of the machine. Brief mentions of the other sections were included but no detailed information was discovered. The machine was never built, yet according to the description its purpose was “to replace the faulty mechanism of human emotion”.
New Museum of Mankind
In the museum a world of possibilities presents itself to the open and focused mind. An immense number of scenes can be created to appease even the wildest of imaginations.
This is not to suggest that museum making is easy, far from it, it has its own problems. Ideas must be considered, sets must be built and altered to suit exactly the requirements of the scene, props must be hired or bought, the correct angles for lighting and for a particular concept must be worked out and so on.
Most people would admit that in their particular line of work problems can arise and this is so very true of museum making, sometimes to the point that the problems never seem to end.
The first and most irritating is that of replicas that won’t cooperate. No matter how well trained or expensive, it seems that if they’re going to let you down, they will do so at the worst possible time. Among replicas, the main difficulty is deceptiveness. Their clever design has made their true objectives esoteric and capricious. When left to their own devices they will assume false appearances and enact unruly and bizarre scenes. Their deceitfulness is such that it can prove very difficult to convince yourself that you do not in fact inhabit the reality manufactured by their artificial minds.
However, if your museum’s scenes are to be successfully and truthfully enacted, your true state must be persistently maintained. In order to do so, at every moment of encounter, your emotions must be carefully monitored.
With the help of the Traumatoscope the following test will guide you through the most common scenarios you will encounter and give you the tools you will need to persevere in your mission to create a new museum of mankind.