MI DI WORM no. 10 (Director Barbara Peikert)

The one-minute experimental film “MI DI WORM No. 10” was created by visual artist Barbara Peikert from Switzerland. She has used different visual effects and techniques such as frame-to-frame animation and stop motion. The film is a combination of abstract pictures and sounds of different frequencies.

In terms of structure, the film consists of three frames. Each frame is based on the same image, but visual effects change the original appearance. Moreover, there is a kind of drama here. Image flickering, color shades, and sound effects have a changing rhythm. The rhythmic alternation of frames and darkening creates a metaphor of being and nothing in the viewer’s mind.

Because of the short duration, this film can be viewed many times in relatively little time. And at the same time, the viewer’s perception may be different after the new viewing.

The genre of video art has already existed fifty years ago. And if we remember the avant-garde of the 20s of the last century, we can say that films like this existed even a hundred years ago. For example, we can recall the film «Le retour a la raison” (1923) by Man Ray. Stan Brakhage made his films in a similar aesthetic.

When video artists make films in the video art genre, they must understand that there is always a danger of simply repeating what has already been done for a long time. In this sense, video art is no easier than the classical cinema. On the contrary, video art largely restricts the author to a meager set of tools. Of course, production has become more affordable. If earlier video art was shot on film or video, now visual artists use digital media. There are also wide possibilities for animation techniques. However, the very specificity of video art drives the artist into the scopes which limit their choice of tools.

Cinema is, as we know, an illusion, and we see not something real in a dark hall on a white screen, but only a light projection of one of the digital copies. Nevertheless, the viewer for an hour and a half perceives this bizarre projection as something real, experiencing emotions and experiences. It will be real laughter or real tears. But in fact, the viewer is looking at a white wall. Thus, the traditional movie exists outside of the viewer.

So, video art is not a movie in the traditional sense of the word. There is no story, no drama, and no characters. We see an abstract image that can be associated with anything. Someone will see worms, someone will see the outline of a person, and someone will be satisfied with the contemplation of abstraction. In any case, this work presupposes the presence of an audience.

The viewer is the possibility of endless interpretations of video art. These interpretations can have anything form: from rejection to inspiration. To some extent, the film of Barbara Peikert is an attempt to hypnotize the viewer. The lack of predictable reactions to such a work allows the film, like a virus, to multiply into an infinite number of copies and to penetrate the consciousness. This is the goal of the real artist. The picture should make the viewer see something hidden and to learn something new about the reality.