The Personal Equation: Measurement, Moving Image, Body and Environment
With Ute Holl, Sasha Litvintseva & Beny Wagner and Mihnea Mircan
Location: Het Huis Main Stage
The metric revolution, which forged the standard metre and kilogram still in use today, emerged from the centre of the French Revolution. A universal system of measurement – equally applicable to anyone, regardless of social position – was considered a precondition for the implementation of egalitarian principles. The original metre was calculated as one ten millionth of the distance from the North Pole to the equator. A few decades after the official metre had been cast in platinum, a different measurement emerged that calculated the length of time it took the human brain to register a stimulus to the optic nerve. The interval, measured as one tenth of a second, was called ‘the personal equation’. Early cinematic technologies emerged from the study of the personal equation: the discovery that when a sequence of ten or more images is played within a period of a second, the human brain is tricked into perceiving a single continuous motion.
This discussion takes its starting point from Constant (2022), a film by Sasha Litvintseva and Beny Wagner that is part of the festival exhibition at the IMPAKT [Centre for Media Culture]. Together with film theorist Ute Holl and curator Mihnea Mircan, the two filmmakers trace the many connections that exist between cinematic technologies and technologies of measurement, and discern what is at stake for social and political agency in a world defined by ever-more refined, pervasive and obscure systems of measurement.
What else is on Saturday?
See the Day timetable to visit the other programmes with your Festival Pass (5-days) or Day Pass (1-day). With the passes you can also visit the festival exhibition The Curse of Smooth Operations at the IMPAKT [Centre for Media Culture] and Steenweg 26.
Sasha Litvintseva and Beny Wagner― Artist
Sasha Litvintseva (United Kingdom/Russia) and Beny Wagner (Germany/United States) are artists, filmmakers, researchers and writers. They are the 2022 EMAP resident artists at the IMPAKT [Centre for Media Culture]. They have been working collaboratively in moving image, installation, text and lectures since 2018. Focusing on moving image as a tool for the active production of new worlds, their practice has been driven by questions around the thresholds between the body and its surroundings, knowledge regimes and power, and modes of organizing and perceiving the natural world. Their collaborative work has been presented globally, including at the Berlinale, International Film Festival Rotterdam, CPH:DOX, Courtisane, Indie Lisboa, and Guanajuato film festivals, CAC Vilnius, Los Angeles Filmforum, Museum of the Moving Image, Transmediale, Sonic Acts, Berlin Atonal and IMPAKT, as well as at the Moscow Young Art biennale, the Wroclaw Media Art biennale and the Baltic Triennial, and on the Criterion Channel. Beny Wagner is a former researcher at Jan van Eyck Academy Maastricht (2015-16) and current PhD candidate at the Archaeologies of Media and Technology Research Group at Winchester School of Art. He was a lecturer at Gerrit Rietveld Academy, Amsterdam, from 2017 to 2021. Sasha Litvintseva is a lecturer in film at Queen Mary University of London. She holds a PhD in Media, Communications and Cultural Studies from Goldsmiths, University of London.