Sebastian Lütgert in conversation with Cornelia Lund.
27 September 2019 panke.gallery Berlin
When films enter the database 0xDB(1) and its underlying software pan.do/ra(2), they become digital objects. As such, they form part of a network of interrelated elements that constitute the archival environment and, at the same time, point beyond it. How does this new environment affect our way of dealing with moving images? How does it affect the films and their aesthetics to be embedded in a digital framework of paratextual elements? And how do the films, in turn, influence this framework? What does it mean when the films are shown in the context of a Pirate Cinema(3) screening? And ultimately: how does this change not only the way we see the films, but also cinema itself? (1) https://0xdb.org (2) https://pan.do/ra (3) https://piratecinema.org
Sebastian Lütgert is an artist, programmer, and writer. He is (together with Jan Gerber) the founder of experimental movie database 0XDB and the software behind it (pan.do/ra). He has co-initiated other initiatives like Pirate Cinema Berlin, Bootlab and texts.com.
Cornelia Lund is an art, film and media theorist and curator living in Berlin. She is the co-director of fluctuating images, a platform for media art and design with a focus on audiovisual artistic production. She has been teaching design theory at various universities.
Sebastian Lütgert & Jan Gerber are two artists and programmers who developed the movie database 0xdb and its underlying software pan.do/ra. The more than 15,000 films in the database are objects that cover films hard to find online. 0xbd is not just a database for films but treats film as a veritable digital object, which allows new ways of dealing with films.
The project offers a number of special features such as the visualization of the timeline, time-based annotations, additional information and interlinking with other objects and information, and allows for in-depth search. The project stands in the tradition of autonomous archives and other critical media practices and has collaborated with artists and political activists worldwide. The software, as well as the movies, are available for free.
0xDB is an experimental – and to some degree imaginary – movie database. It is intended to help us rethink the future of cinema on the Internet, just as it tries to push the boundaries of what we understand as “web applications”. What 0xDB proposes is an entirely new approach to visualizing and navigating moving images, and we hope that it can serve as a point of reference for individuals and institutions who are dealing with large collections of films.
0xDB uses a variety of publicly accessible resources, like search engines and peer-to-peer networks, to automatically collect information about, and actual images and sound from, a steadily growing number of movies. At its core, it provides full text search within subtitled films and instant video previews of search results, while “timelines” – visual fingerprints of moving images – allow for spatial orientation and travel.”