Robert Seidel

HYSTERESIS, Germany 2021, 1-Kanal-Video, 2.35:1, 5.1 Sound, 5:05min

Film: Robert Seidel, Music: Oval (Markus Popp), Performer: Tsuki, Title Design: Bureau Now, 5.1 Mix: David Kamp, Support: Miriam Eichner, Carolin Israel, Falk Müller, Paul Seidel, Funding: German Federal Film Board

In tech companies, universities and artist studios, machines work through and learn the history of mankind. Copyright dissolves; distinctions between original, imitation or inferior reproduction erode. No origin, no responsibility, no clear bias – just a primordial soup that can be transformed into any form without questioning knowledge systems and hierarchies. In this silent, but radical restructuring of entire industries, the artist becomes a template of a future that is digitally assembled from a myriad of fragments of the past.

In the experimental film Hysteresis, Seidel’s analogue drawings and digital processing merge with the performance of queer dancer Tsuki, whose movements improvise between Ballet, Butoh and Berlin club culture. In a fusion process, her image is recorded, fed back through Seidel’s devices and then projected onto her body. In a final step, the sessions are edited and dissolved by machine-learning strategies into a constant flow of pulsating images and folded spatial configurations. The resulting Muybridgean silhouettes, baroque textures and bursting painterly structures fluctuate between the second and third dimensions, unfolding free-floating gestures that unhinge the laws of nature. Meanwhile, delicate abrasions of the pictorial frame build bridges into contradictory concatenations of reality. The soundtrack by Oval (Markus Popp) incessantly corrodes this web of concrete associations, threatening to dissolve the remaining fragile points of reference.

At a time when an overriding predictability is forced upon us all, the film celebrates the disruption of pattern recognition and the artistic corruption of results induced by artificial intelligence, specifically machine learning. With Hysteresis Seidel explores new grounds in his experimental practice and collaboration. Unveiling a frenetic, delicate and flamboyant visual language, that speaks to the hysteria and hysteresis in this historical moment. The artist wants to open a discourse about these unique modes of AI creation – with implications beyond the film and other media, to that singularity, where history collapses into a single point in the present.

To the freedom of digital filmmaking beyond (commercial) hyperrealism!

Robert Seidel, born 1977 in Jena (GDR), lives in Berlin

The artist’s projections, installations and experimental films have been shown in numerous international festivals, as well as at galleries and museums such as the Palais des Beaux-Arts Lille, ZKM Karlsruhe, Art Center Nabi Seoul, Young Projects Los Angeles, Museum of Image and Sound São Paulo and MOCA Taipei. His works have been honoured with various prizes, including the KunstFilmBiennale Honorary Award and the Visual Music Award Frankfurt.

In his work Robert Seidel is interested in pushing the boundaries of abstracted beauty through cinematographic approaches, as well as ones drawn from science and technology. By the organic interplay of various structural, spatial and temporal concepts, he creates a continuously evolving complexity. Out of this multifaceted perspective emerges a narrative skeleton, through which viewers connects to the artwork on an evolutionary-derived and phylogenetic-fixated symbolic level.


With the kind support of the State of Berlin – Senate Department for Culture and Europe.

08.04. – 01.05.2022
Tue - Sun: 2 - 7pm
Admission free

2pm - 7pm