Patrick Fontana / Pierre-Yves Fave / Aelters

Grenze / Lectures of the Capital by Karl Marx // Video Performance

“there "Your capacity" to be put in images "words found a form and a space which enable him to appear in all its power.
I imagine that a multitude of singular forms are possible starting from the elements thus assembled.
I do not know if thus Eisenstein would have put out of film the Capital, but you undoubtedly found a manner strong and tempting to carry out its dream“
- Jacques Rancière, professor of philosophy. 

Things themselves, we do not know anything, but we are on the other hand very sensitive to their position., Ossip Mandelstam, Entretien sur Dante.

Grenze video performance according Capital by Karl Marx.

For fifteen years I choosed to work from excerpts, to remove pieces from debates or conferences. My thoughts become drawings. I trie to work to these concepts and speeches with my own tools, as a plastician, while seeking to give them a visual translation. I take notes, not written but drawn. I had already experimented this particular kind of research during seminars with various emeritus professors : Jacques Rancière (visual arts), Giorgio Agamben (philosophy), Toni Negri (immaterial work). All these experiments are leading me to work on GRENZE’s project.


Grenze is a project born from the work on some concepts taken from Karl Marx’s Das Kapital. The text, called «units of artificial development», are broken up and separated, to be then put in relation withs forms representing their visual transposition. The animation deriving from this, represents, on the executive plane, an attempts at visualizing the transformation of capital and opens a range of questions as how today’s capital catches ours lives, our subjectivities.

In GRENZE, the principal question thus goes on the movement, the circulation of capital and its transformations. It places progressively series of metamorphic movements. It articulates with it. It gives it a visual translation. Our look, our waiting, time respond together to this construction of an infernal mecanism which holds everything.

The film doubles, overlaps to put in crisis its duration. It is achieved in a synthesis of time between past present and future.

In the Capital, Karl Marx often uses these words : forms, movement, mecanism, divisions, new circumstances, organic limits, transformation, revolution. When he talks about the worker, he describes him as an imperfect agent in the production of a continuous movement.

In GRENZE, Capital is showed as a cube in a perpetual reconstruction. The commodities are showed as a larva and the workers are showed as triangles. All the forms and their components change permanently.

In Grenze we sought to be graphically coherent with what the capital is : a whole of report/ratio of forces acting on our environment and us.

1 - A concept of report/ratio of flow, tensions, balances. For that we used the dynamic animation of objects, dynamics being opposed in animation with the concept of "key image". It is the type of animation which one rather finds in the simulation or mechanics software .... I.e. the entered data are a "starting state" of solids or fluids and forces which act on them . the computer produces an animation based on the physical properties of the matter, on the collisions between opposite elements. If we know the starting point of animation, its end is unknown for us before calculation, as our lives are.

2 concept of feedback - If the capital is based on the concept of growth, balance is born from the "return" ,when the acting element becomes that on which one acts. The money, the value, the goods or the workman : none are "master" of the cycle created by this economic model.

To translate that, we use various systems which reinject the output signal in an input socket, that produced "the wind", left video Larsen .the "re-filming" of a TV screen is a variation of the same concept. The image doubles and "whirls around itself"

The majority of the sequences of Grenze are also the fruit of translations or multiple interpretations. As we work a passage of the text becomes a drawing then 3d then re-drawing then sound and animation, for example. Each one of these stages gives us adifferent reading from the original text ,and allow us to illustrate without closing the possibility of multiple interpretations.

Voices reply to these visual fragments. There has been already a work with different voices, including those of the trainees of AERI, a non-profit organization which works on social integration, in the Paris area and a community of artists.

This specific work of sound has the same importance than the figures. All the forms are resonant bodies with specific sounds. Wind sets in the centre of the images as a spreader, revealing the resonant images. Resonances, interferences, and vibrations are particularly worked. A dialogue takes place between all the sounds.

AELTERS is the composer of the music and all the resonant bodies. He is an electronic composer, he has a solo career on the European scene.

Two videos projectors diffuse two videos: on the screen of left, the ARTIFICIALS DEVELOPMENT UNITS and on the screen of right-hand side written fragments of the Capital, the drawn notes, the animated sequences. Pierre Yves Fave mixes live the ARTIFICIALS DEVELOPMENT UNITS with three other sources of images : what we called the rejects of Grenze which are partly calculated hybrid images, all the ARTIFICIALS DEVELOPMENT UNITS assembled to back and accelerated and thirdly the possibility of shooting the performance on a video screen and to reinject it in the performance. These layers of images form the texture of the performance. A video mixette makes it possible to play with resonances, the interferences and the vibrations of the mixing. As for me, I compose the fragments of the Capital.

Patrick Fontana / Pierre-Yves Fave / Aelters

Our generation’s experience : Capitalism won’t die of natural death //

Patrick Fontana: Director
Aelters: Electronic music:
Pierre-Yves Fave: Graphic designer

After Grenze, video-performance according Karl Marx's Capital, We invite you to discover our new video-performance MOUTH(S)' LECTURE(S) development with Pure data, Gem and reactivision according Gherasim Luca's poetry

Last presentation at Piksel festival, Norway november 2009 all details at