DOGS (series)

“Lupus est homo homini, non homo, quom qualis sit non novit.”
“Man is no man, but a wolf, to a stranger,”

Asinaria, Titus Maccius Plautus

The video-art series DOGS deals with issues of relational miscommunication and the effect of technology on the human condition in general. The title DOGS refers to our animal instincts and emotions that, when suppressed, tend to erupt in an uncontrolled fashion. This again often results in violence, hatred and misanthropy / misogyny. The series tries to uncover what should remain hidden – those things we better not say or show…

“Doves (DOGS XII)” deals with an estranged couple, either one part of it, unable to go on yet at the same time unable to leave. The romantic notion of everlasting faith and loyalty symbolized by the doves has become an unbearable annoyance.

Doves also relates to a very peculiar setting that is the Berliner Hinterhof (Berlin backyard) which can be a challenge of its own. Finally it is, like the other videos in the series a meditation on the human condition, the complexity of human interaction and the desire to overcome solitude – a desire so often left unfulfilled. Finally it is a nod to Prince obviously and one of his favourite songs of mine “When Doves Cry”. The music to this video was contributed by KAISAR:

“Death of a cousin and other (slightly less morbid) pieces”

KAISAR are Klaus Killisch: guitar, Richard Sylvarnes: textures, Enkidu rankX: synthetics

Tomcat (DOGS XI)” uses declassified military footage of a dogfight that took place in 1989 over the Mediterranean Sea. It depicts the latest 6 min or so of an encounter between two F-14 Tomcats of the USS John F. Kennedy and two MiG-23 Floggers of Libya. The so called second Gulf of Sidra incident occurred on January 4, the Libyan pilots were both seen to successfully eject and parachute into the sea, but the Libyan Air Force was unable to recover them.

cats (DOGS X)” deals with the symbolic dimension of the cat and the dog. These two animals have one of the highest density of association when it comes to gender and sexuality in particular, to the human in general. They can symbolize what we want, long and yearn for as well as the things we despise. Also they are those type of tamed animal that owes its very existence to its human counterpart, we have had a parallel evolution and it is yet open to discussion who tamed whom. Isn’t this also a very common question among couples?
Also: something with cats! Let us say this is my comment on the phenomenon ‘felis catus interrete’; such an ubiquitous neophyte.

Roxy (DOGS IX)” is based on a performance by Roxy Raye. The soundtrack was contributed by MK_ultra and can be found on the album “mono étude en dix parties”. It is the ninth film of a series specially dealing in relational miscommunication called DOGS.

inside/outside (DOGS VIII)” deals with the effects modern means of transport have alternated our perception of the idea of inside and outside both literally and metaphysically. The moving cabin of the Berlin street car becomes a cosy home in the storm though is rapidly navigates and cruses though the anonymity of the city. It is the eighth film of a series called DOGS (part I-VII can be found here) dealing with issues of relational miscommunication and the effect of technology on the human condition in general.

Brache (DOGS VII)”  was shot on a piece of waste land in Berlin. It deals with the barrenness and emptiness of a relationship based only on sensual recreation and enjoyment of lust/sex alone. A relationship that consist only in the search for pleasure and enjoyment fast becomes a fruitless terrain with deep hidden secrets and many psychological graveyards and sink holes.

mirror, mirror (DOGS VI)” was shot in a shopping mall in Berlin using analogue distortion techniques. It deals with the emptiness of out consumerist societies within their luxurious pleasure domes. When all human social interaction is tainted by greed and hunger for goods we loose our orientation and in the end our humanity.

border-traffic part ii (DOGS V)”  was shot on the border of Germany and Poland near Szczecin on a (pretty cold) road lined by prostitutes. It examines the customer side of previously discussed low-end prostitution. The customers that live in perfect little houses, living perfectly normal lives. How is a functional human being with (supposedly) developed social skills able to degrade another human being without suffering a severe case of bad conscience.

border-traffic” (DOGS IV) was shot on the border of Germany and Poland near Szczecin on a (pretty cold) road lined by prostitutes. It deals with the emotional coldness of prostitution on the street/ground level. Though not condemnable in itself (to my mind at least) this form of sexual services are devoid of anything the act should be about.

„Corvus corone cornix“ (DOGS III) supposes an imaginary setting in which a group of people isolate and exclude an individual once part of their peer group by means of an answering machine. A direct confrontation is thereby cowardly avoided.

Whose side are you on? (DOGS II)” supposes a couple having sex, deeply disliking each other. Both have grown tired of their respective attitudes towards their relationship and deeply distrust one another. But subsequently, they fail in telling the other about their feelings and needs and stay frozen in a state of hate and disgust.
The film sample is taken from Larry Cohen 1972 Blaxploitation milestone Black Caesar starring Fred Williamson and Gloria Hendry. I filmed it off a monitor, then re-treated it in PureData [pd] and GEM.
The Song Whose side are you on? by MK_ultra is featuring Yola Icho as her and Enkidu rankX as him.

“Her Dog (DOGS I)” deals with mistrust in a relationship and how people use surrogate animal partners to overcome their solitude. Is was captured from an interactive installation realized by use of PureData [pd].