Stefan Panhans, 2016/2017

Freeroam À Rebours, Mod#I.1

Freeroam À Rebours, Mod#I.1 operates at the overlap of experimental film, music video clip, performance and contemporary dance forms. In collaboration with a choreographer who is investigating in avatar movements since a while, and a team of performers (dancers and actors), the film takes its starting point from forms of insufficiency in the behavior of humanoid avatars in computer games. These "deficiency scenarios" are translated back into real bodies, and re-staged by the performers in existing and staged indoor and outdoor spaces.

Particular focus is on the phenomenon of seemingly "deficient", minor or major displacement activities, anomalies, irregularities, idle runs and repetitions in the behavior and movement patterns of the game characters. If we all actually are more and more trimmed to the highest levels of self-optimization with its flip side of depression and addiction, the unintentional passivation of the figures in the computer game formulates an almost utopian content.

By re-staging and transforming these failure scenarios of avatar aesthetics with human performers, the project exemplifies a kind of practicing insufficiency "from within" and embraces the defects of the algorithmic machine instead of longing for its perfection. Being deeply embedded in the movie's motion choreography, the camera movement is evolved in direct collaboration with the choreography and, alike the editing process, generates references to the aesthetics and motion patterns of action-based computer games.

The clip is accompanied by a digitally composed soundtrack, which together with the editing forms the propulsive, rhythmically structured montage, and partly unfolds in a staged set that is based on two estranged versions of a retail space in a computer game.


Freeroam À Rebours, Mod#I.1
Stefan Panhans
1 channel video, color video, stereo audio