Milorad Krstic, the Silver Bear Award winner animation film director
of the 45th Berlin Film Festival is finishing an interactive CD-ROM, available
in September 1998. The work of art, bearing the title 20th Century Simultaneous
Games is the first part of a trilogy presenting our century through multimedia
means. The co-author is Radmila Roczkov.
This CD-ROM is edited (written, painted, filmed, played in music) subjectively, with humor and artistic sensitivity, about our just finishing century, with the means of the just beginning 21st century. Art, education, remembrance or the exploitation of the technical possibilities of the information society? All of these at the same time.
The essence of the CD-ROM, called "mouse film" by the authors, is playing games. The spiritual and visual tissue of the work, based on digital technique, most certainly a new genre, is formed by real and imaginary layers behind the figures and objects of the scenes.
The Theme of the "Mouse Film" is
sex and death, but no need to be in despair, this world is full of delight,
the essence of the game is the laugh, after all how could we speak about
these serious questions but with humor. The form of the game is interaction,
while its scene is history and art. More closely the Europe of the twenties,
upset and devastated by World war I, revolutions and ideologies, depicted
with absurd humor, and lashed by the provocative actions of avant-garde
art, dadaism, futurism, constructivism
The CD, however, is much more than a story with a moral, as the main role, besides that of humor, is played by fiction, artistic inventiveness, which is woven inseparably into the historic facts. In this fabric, real events appear quasi absurd, while those made up often seem absulutely credible. The main point, however is - wich is also the essence of the CD-ROM as a medium - that the events of the decade are shown simultaneously, like snapshots of a past era.
The simultaneous flow of events is a dadaist invention. Everything happens at the same time - a decade on one CD, in a half an hour, or as long as our patience holds. "While Mr. Schulze is reading, the Balkan train crosses the train at Nis, and a pig is groaning in Nuttke butcher's cellar" - this is the motto, which is from Huelsenbeck's dadaist manifesto, underlining that the CD-ROM itself is a provocation in the style and spirit of Dada. The subtitle refers to the genre of the game: "mouse film", that is a film, in which we move forward by clicks of the mouse.
How do we play with a "mouse film"? It's all simple. Just click,
click bravely. "Click on my body to continue", Nancy Sprite invites
the player right at the beginning, and from here on we are free to decide
which way to proceed.
We are in a room where a gentleman - supposedly Mr. Schulze, known from the Dadaist manifesto - is reading the almanach of the events of the twenties. On the table there is a phone, beside it a radio, behind it a door and a window. The five objects mark five alternative routes. If we click on the ten cities on the cover of the almanac, we can get reports about ten events from the epoch: about the death of the last alchemist, the founding of the first feminist organization, Piscator's adaptation, breaking out a great storm, about the kiss of the sphinx, night life in Chicago, the first karate school and the first cosmetic surgery, and about the abolition of the use of condoms in the US Navy. We see satirical scenes, as if they were cut from a sanguineous Eastern European film comedy.
Amidst the great excitement, the tired user can take a nap at different escape points: he can view a punk clip, or meditate by the sounds of music, and more than that, there are pictures of nostalgia. But the real dessert is still to see: we can make a journey around the world with Magnus Hirschfeld, german sexual researcher, to get a picture about the sexual habits of the beginning of the century.
Owing to the modern development of telecommunication and information technology in the 20th century, we may witness the evolution of a new social formation. Digital audio and video recording, computers, installed in our home and connected with the world wide web, open a window onto a new world. The units of this world are data, texts, drawings, paintings, photos, films, pieces of music, personal messages or even forums. We may be present everywhere, and we may possess a universal quantity of data. What is this "brave new world" good for? For correspondence, teleworking, telebanking, teleshopping, information, teletherapy - and we could go on to mention a vast number of examples. Developments are rapidly integrated into our everydays, and the question is inevitable: what is this good for, for us personally? 20th Century Simultaneous Games gives an interesting and illuminating artistic answer to all this.
The author pair brings about a new meeting of historic experience and
individual thinking, problem solving and evaluation. The part presented
now is the first, independent part of a trilogy. The complete adaptation
is a subjective, artistic, historic panorama of the just passing 20th century.
The spectator is a director as well. It is the mouse that helps form the
turning points of the stories (units of history). The meeting of technique,
history, image, sound, text and spectator. The basis of this meeting is
The art CD-ROM by Milorad Krstic and Radmila Roczkov, at the same time, is a real digital game, in its appearance and in its spirit as well. The multimedia representation (by animation, comics elements, music, sound effects) of Krstic's characteristic visual world, based on his grotesque graphics, embarrassing and brilliantly executed, is forged with the bizarre stories, scenes following each other by the principle of free association - still interchangeably.
The effectuation of the "mouse film" is coordinated by the
Roczkov Studio. The studio is the spiritual heir of the Roczkov Gallery,
which was one of the first private galleries in Budapest, opened in 1990.
The aim of the creators is the preparation, by the millennium, of a trilogy presenting the whole 20th century. The work under preparation is a retrospective and a recall. As if we were holding in our hands the great novels born in the beginning of the century, presenting the century. An encyclopedic panorama in multimedia.
It is for the finishing of this work of art that the creators are looking for further supporters. Firms, foundations and private individuals for whom the building of the information society is so to say a daily task.