Materia Obscura – The Transmutational Chemograms of Jürgen Reble

Materia Obscura - Jürgen RebelMateria Obscura – Jürgen Reble

Jürgen Reble Materia Obscura and Instabile Materie films utilized the process of chemical degradation of celluloid to create rich textural morphologies that act as visual insights into the films own materiality. Instabile Materie was created by exposing 16 mm film strips to crystallizing salts and other corrosive materials, the resulting lattices and patchwork aggregations appear to record, as if using a scanning electron microscope, the chemical and molecular structure of the salts themselves. The ‘chemograms’ stills created from Instabile Materie were later digitized and used to create the more recent high definition Materia Obscura. The speed of the frame sequences were further slowed down enabling the analysis of new kinds of transitions and transformations, pertaining to the geological as well as the alchemical. Materia Obscura was shown accompanied by a multi-channel soundtrack by Thomas Koner at this years Sonic Acts Festival. Footage can be found here

Jürgen is no stranger to the techniques of the manual processing of film footage using mechanical, chemical and even biological influences. From 1979-1989 he was a member of the artist collective

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