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The Ubuweb Experimental Video Project
Colin Marshall

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20. Igor and Gleb Aleinikov's Metastasen (1984)
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I've been stuck on Metastasen for a while, totally unsure how to approach it. I've finally come to settle on "something to project onto the wall during your most outrˇ parties." Really, how else can one get a foothold on such an accretion of found imagery? You've got bug-covered mules, cars and military processions in negative, bodies in the street, kids in school uniform saluting, aerobicize class, karate matches and an oddly Nick Bergian (though somewhat more realistic) sheep-beheading sequence. Much of it's taken from television by actually aiming a film camera at a TV screen and some of it's on damaged film, creating what academics might call a "distancing" effect.

Ultimately, I suppose this comes to one of those exercises in decontextualization and juxtaposition, and it turns out to work surprisingly well when viewed that way. The image and sound have nothing to do with each other at the beginning and drift farther and farther apart as the minutes pass. Not that any visuals could to justice to the mˇlange of tinny, beepy quasi-reggae beats topped with Planet-X operatic vocalizing and slowed-down, sped-up, reversed and turntable-scratched stern Russian speech. The dissonance grows nightmarish. Again, throwing a dissonant nightmare party? Here's your ambiance.



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