Atelier Egbert Mittelstädt

Walking on thin Ice

Urban Horizon


Rymätyltä Kuuliselle



Walking on thin Ice




video, photography, installation and CineChamber modul

....a process happens which ignores the primary constants of the image, while highlighting specific moments from the film. Adjusting the rate at which this occurs determines how the imagery is pulled and pushed from shape to shape in a continual flux of deformation and reformation. So buses, cars and folk on foot, get pulled across the screen in fat wodges of fluid form, sliding across the screen before being recomposed into other patterns, shapes and forms. Mittelstädt, who for many years has been working in photography rather than original medium of video, describes this as cine-graphical, where space has been excised leaving one to conjure with the temporality of moving pictures. The results are dream-like, turning the everyday into a world beside the one we already inhabit; the visual complement to myriad soundscapes of ambient and electronica.


(from Fourth Door Review 8, Oliver Lowenstein, UK, 2009)



Urban Horizon



video, CineChamber Modul and VR video




Performances with Biosphere

2007 - present


single screen projection - CineChamber performances

Although none of the pieces were especially created to support the music, or Jenssen’s compositions created for the displays, there is a surprising synergy between the work of both artists as they confront the idea of still/motion in a variety of ways. Jenssen’s work can appear monolithic and repetitive for the non-initiated, but rapidly, layers appear that animate the musical structure in totally unique ways. Equally, Mittelstädt’s images often combine still elements within moving forms, challenging the brain to cope in a rational way with distorted reality. At one point for instance, shots of cars driving up and down a busy street are suddenly caught up on a still conveyor-belt-style frozen image from one side of the screen to the other then become animated again, at times vanishing into nothing and reappearing at another point on the screen.


The human brain cannot cope well with so much conflicting information and the work becomes totally hallucinogenic, the music adding another layer of trance to the experience. Lost, one is left with no choice but surrender to the combined assault of visuals and sound for the entire set. The only real concession to Biosphere’s natural open-space settings came as he performed an extended version of The Things I Tell You from Substrata, accompanied by a film shot on a small speedboat. As the camera continuously goes round, the moving image, in the middle of the screen, freezes on each side and just washes away. And this is very much the impression left by the experience. A still life caught in motion somewhere between reality and sur-reality, a mind-blowing moment with no real references to normality…


(The Milkfactory, 04/2006,

Rymätyltä Kuuliselle


2005 - 2008


video, photography and installation

This is one of the leitmotiv in Mittelstädt‘s work the incessant movement that seemingly dominates our daily lives, a kinetic angst, a spatial frenzy that works its way within things and people, to the point where ambient spaces and bodies flare up and lose their connotations.


To construct his worlds the artist uses complex state-of-the-art technologies, but on doser inspection these are all rooted in the mechanics - or at least the imagined mechanics – of the past: the round shot camera, which allows a circular view of static surroundings using computer-controlled movingfilm; the slitscan camera to create effects of fragmentation and time-slips; slide projectors, rotary projectors and translucent screens for installations.


The result on Video is total explosion of the phenomenal world around us. Places slowly become abstract, liquefied non-places. Bodies dematerialise the skeletal structures that carry their weight, becoming reduced to soft matter that can be contorted into any kind of shape. Simultaneously, the categories of space and time disintegrate and the vision of the mechanical eye prevails, in terms of representative and interpretative potential, over human sight.


(cut-outs from: The breath of a Century and the blowing of the Future... Video work by Egbert Mittelstadt by Elena Marcheschi)





photography, videos and installation

Die Serie „Unfolding“ ist die Suche nach einer “umfassenden”, fotografischen Darstellung des Menschen. Im Gegensatz zu herkömmlichen fotografischen und auch filmischen Mitteln, bei denen die Darstellung einem zeitlichen Raster unterliegt (bei der Fotografie die Momente des Auslösens - beim Film 24 Bilder in der Sekunde) wird bei „Unfolding” die zeitliche Kontinuität einer Aufnahme genutzt. “Unfolding” versucht so eine Lücke zwischen Fotografie und Film zu schließen.


Die Kamera erfaßte die Bewegungen des Modells und speicherte sie wie eine Scannerabtastung auf das Filmmaterial. Das Modell, welches sich bei einer Belichtung einer bestimmten Choreographie folgt, wird im Verlauf einerAufnahme von allen Seiten fotografisch erfaßt. Bei den Aufnahmen erfolgt, bedingt durch die Aufnahmetechnik (Slitscan-Fotografie), eine Umkehrung der Schärfezeichnung. Alle Momente ohne Bewegung erzeugen Unschärfe, erst die Bewegungen erzeugen scharfe, allerdings verzerrte Bildteile.


Das Video besteht aus einer Kombination der fotografischen Bilder und einer parallel aufgezeichneten Videoaufnahme. Diese Anordnung der Bildmaterialien liefert soetwas wie die Entstehungsgeschichte des fotografischen Bildes. Das Model beschreibt durch seine Bewegungen das Bild.






videos, panoramic photography and CineChamber modul


Mittelstadt chooses symbolic locations and situations to develop his discourse on the gaze, on time and space: places which imply not only the concept of physical transit (streets, crossroads,...) but a mental passage, too. In Elsewhere (1999) the notion of linear time is unhinged by the spatial construction of a dialogue. A static panoramic view of the interior of a Tokyo subway car is intersected with glimpses of real life, gestures both tiny and large, authentic physical shifts that belong, depart and die from the instantaneous photographic representation of what is before our eyes: people reading, resting or justlooking back at us.


The subway is a place of encounter, confrontation, transit: the passenger is ready to be transported, but also to change status on entering the train, ready to alight and live an other part of the self, but also to sit still and wait as everything outside moves. Mittelstädt captures the essence of that time of waiting: he analyses motionless time, a fixed frame awash with bluish tones that recall the lustre of ice (as befits a still, „frozen“ image), while everything that takes life and moves is given its real colours and proper dimension. Photograph and moving image are placed together in a mutually enriching dialectic, enhancing each other with their respective meanings and expectations.


Elsewhere arouses conflicting responses of nostalgia and amazement in the viewer. In the immobility lurks a desire for life and peace, the looks at the camera are often quizzical. The rest seems wrapped with an aura of solemnity and detachment, but becomes real life again as and when we see the landscape slide by out-side the window, or a woman smile, or a man with a red pullover slumping down on the floor out of exhaustion. Despite the reassuring effect of the fixed dimension, the amazement returns because everything that is set in motion - and thus brought into play -unleashes a whole range of possibilities: will something change? Who or what will remain? What future? What development?


(from “The breath of a Century and the blowing of the Future...” Video work by Egbert Mittelstadt  - by Elena Marcheschi)



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