Ondas 2015 Sebastian Wiedemann
Ondas, 2015, Sebastian Wiedemann

By Nikola Gocić. Originally published in Film Panic Magazine, issue 7, December 2018


Sebastian Wiedemann’s small, yet intriguing oeuvre poses itself as a sort of challenge which begins to grow in strength once you are faced with his elaborate reflections on cinema. A poet, filmmaker and philosopher who has been exposed to visual arts since his earliest childhood, this São Paulo-based creative is also a critic who deems film or, generally speaking, art to be “a state of sensation” rather than a form of communication, although he does not entirely rule out the latter possibility.

Riding the continuous waves of life across the desert-like spaces emerging from our willingness to leap into the cosmic abyss and decompose ourselves into light, so to say, he has so far proven to be a versatile director, ready to explore further and try out new techniques and approaches in spiritualizing materiality and vice versa. With nature as the setting / centerpiece of the majority of his (short) offerings, he flows with the water – a recurring leitmotif – into the silent, animistic worlds where humans serve just as “passages for the energetic fluxes”.

Shying away from psychologization, Wiedemann utilizes the movements of the body as metaphors for various actions to reach the soul (his own, the viewer’s and primordial one), which is particularly noticeable in his “dance films”, such as Derrames, Just Flow, Try to Move and être-chat, all unique in terms of the kinetic power they emanate. Blurring the lines between documentary and fiction, abstract and tangible, he assumes the position of a music composer who attempts to transpose the rhythms of his surroundings into the cinematic melodies and become one with them.

From his first experiment, Pulso (2008), characterized by raw poetry and exploration of “discontinuity inside continuity”, through the ethereal, dreamlike mystery (for the lack of a better term) that is Zugang (2011), and all the way to his latest opus, the Brakhage-esque “fantasy” Ondas (2017), one cannot always trace the footsteps of his artistic evolution. And the sense of disorientation he provides you with reflects his desire to be eternally in the “walking state”, regardless of the beginning (which none of us holds the memory of) and the end (which signifies death).

Although he claims that he is not a painter, the imagery he conjures often comes with a painterly quality, with his handmade works and the aforementioned Zugang being great examples. In Xapirimuu and vidas-vestem-ruídos como fazer de figuraça todo mundo (both made in 2016), he even flirts with stop-motion and “real-time collage” animation, all to a great effect, and along the lines of his philosophy of achieving materiality by different means, in these two cases, through the direct contact with the objects to be animated.

Transforming material reality, Wiedemann inspires us to scratch deeper than the surface and look not for the meaning, but for the impulse…


Derrames 2011 Sebastian Wiedemann
Derrames, 2011, Sebastian Wiedemann

NG: Firstly, can you tell me who or what awoke your interest in film? Why film and not some other form of artistic communication?

SEBASTIAN: As I usually tell people and like to remind them, my very early childhood was spent in a painting atelier with my parents. So colors, texture, gesture, tonalities, were first for me. Perhaps that is the reason why I love Brakhage’s work. The stain before the writing or speech. I’m not sure about the idea that cine­ma or even any kind of art is a form of communication. For me, art is a state of sensation, of expression that goes beyond signification, that makes it possible to continue energetic fluxes. In any case, if we are speaking about communication it must be a more-than-human communication, it must be a cosmic communication. For me, cinema wasn’t a choice that left behind other kinds of artistic practices. Cinema for me is a medium for mutual inclusions. That’s why I synthesize my practice by saying: “I make cinema because I´m not a painter. I make cinema as a compo­ser would do.” What I perceived very quickly in my childhood and in that atelier, was that painting only happens when rhythms are unfolded. Painting already includes music! Paul Klee understood very well this condition of the pictorial matter. But, what does it mean to unfold rhythms? I invented a possible ans­wer, by the means of cinema. Montage and the inherent movement quality of the film are a possible path to achieve this aim. Finally no more than putting matter in movement, or as I said, to make it possible to continue… to make it possible to continue energetic fluxes. That is the question that brought me to cinema. How to continue…? How to make it possible to continue…? Finally, how to be a channel for life to continue? And if we stop to think well, in the end, life is no more than the variations of rhythms, of colors, textures, gestures, tonalities.

NG: Which are your favorite (read: most inspiring) films and who amongst the filmmakers had the greatest influence on your career?

SEBASTIAN: If the world ends and I can only save a film, it would be Man With A Movie Camera by Dziga Vertov. But if I am allowed to save more films, I would include Stalker by Andrei Tarkovsky and Dog Star Man by Stan Brakhage. The list could continue but let’s stop here. Leaving this hypothetical situation behind, I love two kinds of filmmakers that, for me, reach in different ways a cinema where what matters is the metamorphosis of matter, understood in its radical materiality or spirituality. This metamorphosis is what makes it possible to continue the energetic fluxes and rhythms. Going beyond the poor morality of our times that defends dichotomies, for me what is important is to believe, to have faith in this world, in its materiality but, contrary to what is usually believed, matter can also be spiri­tualized. And here I understand spirit as qi, prana, asé or mana (Chinese, Indian, Yoruba, Polynesian culture respectively), as vital energy. Yes, I’m talking about an animistic cinema. For me, Vertov, Tarkovsky, and Brakhage, among others, make an animistic cinema. In one hand we have filmmakers like Tarkovsky, Bresson, Béla Tarr and Weerasethakul, where spirituality is more explicit. And on the other hand, we have Brakhage, but also Pelechian, Švankmajer and many others, where materiality is very notable. Materiality of the film itself with the painting, materiality of montage, materiality of the matter in front of the camera, materiality as haptics, as tactility. As Godard says, we must think with our hands and they let us put our eyes into the matter. It is with our hands that montage can exist and montage is how cinema can think, is how cine­ma can be an animistic thinking matter. But I must add that hands must be independent from our anthropocentric will. This animistic cinema in its two variants goes one step beyond human. It must be a more-than-human gesture. I can’t end this answer without mentioning the work of the Brazi­lian filmmaker Cao Guimarães. For me, he is part of this constellation of filmmakers, and it was very important to me to know his work because he isn’t a legend like the others. His reality and conditions of production are very close to mine. In this sense, the work of young filmmakers like Scott Barley (UK) and Péter Lichter (Hungary), that are contemporaries of mine, is also very important. To know of their existence makes me feel that that community which began with Vertov, Tarkovsky and Brakhage is still alive.

NG: Your earliest works have a kind of raw, documentary-like feel to them. However, in Pulso, one can feel some eerie, even sinister presence, thanks to the uncanny soundscape. Could you elaborate on this film and how it was created?

SEBASTIAN: I agree with you about the raw quality of Pulso. But I do not know if I’ve ever made a fiction or a documentary. My films are just audiovisual compositions where matter fabu­lates new and unexpected connections between unstable components. We can’t say that Stravinsky’s music is fiction or documentary. We must go beyond the poor paradigm of analogy and naturalism in cinema. The ima­ge is just vibrant matter. Having said that, when I think about Pulso, thoughts about the materiality of sound come to my mind. If I’m not wrong, it was in Pulso, where I began to feel the link between my film practice and a compositional practice of music with sounds (and not with notes), that can emerge from an audio-visual medium. I don’t like the idea of a sound design. For me, it is a music composition with sounds in its whole right of plasticity. It goes beyond a conventional conception of soundscape and is closer to a kind of musique concrete. At least it was the intention with Pulso. I must confess that I’m not completely satisfied with the result of the film in its sound dimension. But it contains important sound/compositional ideas for me in a larval and embryonic level, like never to work with synchronic sound, and to create sound as textures and gestures. The main idea of Pulso was to explore discontinuity inside continuity, in other words, variations of fluxes. We have a constant sound, a pulse, a sinusoidal wave, like an Ariadne’s thread, but a whole range of variations and intensities inhabit it. A huge point of intensity is, for example, the presence of the dogs. And, why nature? And here I think of the Daoist wisdom or of the practice of the pre-Socra­tic philosophers, for whom nature, the physis, was the source to be in intimacy with the world, that is, with its materiality. That’s why I don’t work with humans, or to be more precise, with the psychological dimension of humans that takes us away from the world, from its materiality. Psyche and ego, and all the abstractions involved in these two dimensions, put the human in the center and what matters to me is the literality of the world that always is beyond human, that always is a more-than-human dimension. When I work with bodies (and I prefer to say just bodies and not humans), they are a kind of kinetic source, and here in Pulso, when a body appears, it is almost a shadow, an element without hierarchy inside the ecology of images that compose the film. As I like to say, we must disappear so the world can appear. A cinema without subjects or objects, just a cinema of fluxes and mediums.

NG: In both Pulso and Sin, as well as in some of your following films, nature acts as a setting or rather, a centerpiece. What does nature mean to you, what draws you toward it? Also, what does a spherical structure of Sin represent (as a non-Spanish speaker I could not understand the man’s monologue)?

SEBASTIAN: Let’s experiment with another way to answer. Why nature? The human-centered landscape doesn’t let us listen to the world, the more-than-human world. We must cultivate silence, something that contemporary societies have almost forgotten. Silence, a condition to be in intimacy with the materiality of the world. An intimacy that can be understood as contemplation and devotion. Indeed Pulso, Sin, and Derrames are a sort of trilogy, where I try to open a listening to the rhythms of the world. By actually listening to nature, we understand that there is not such a distinction between culture and nature. All is about making life continue by other means. And life is impermanence, movement, infinite transition, that is why fragility is so constitutive. Why nature? Because nature reminds us of what is really important, like understanding our fractal dimension in the cosmos. The presence of insects in the film deals with this point. What we do, like a sphere, is as fragile as a bee in the water. Nature understands what Nietzsche calls amor fati. To be able to open such listening we must cultivate detachment. The sphere makes life continue by other means, it is a collectivity of branches in an unexpected confluence and synergy, but as everything, we must let it go. We can’t contain the world or even create a world, a human one inside the world, like a human sphere different from the nature sphere. There is only a common sphere of life where life conditions change at every moment, where everything is transitory and we must be passages. Especially in this film, there is a dialogue with literature and poetry, as I said cinema is a medium of mutual inclusion. Sin receives this name because of the short story/poem by Beckett, Lessness (literally into Spanish Sin), which in turn was inspired by the music of John Cage. Here a connection with my reference to silence. And for some, Lessness is something like the fragments written by a pre-Socratic philosopher. Another connection. Beckett is a major inspiration to me and his work makes me feel that we are nothing more than ruin and remnants, that we must exhaust ourselves into the world. A sort of destructive plasticity, as the French philosopher Catherine Malabou says. In other words, we must be in a constant action of disappearing so the world can rise. The same that the antique Chinese painters (a good reference in this sense is the short story by Marguerite Yourcenar, How Wang-Fo was saved), as well as the Haiku writers, like Basho, did. Here lies the second connection with poetry in the film. What you hear in the film being whispered is a poem that I wrote and which translates as:

It takes more than looking,
To look, to touch,
It takes touching, entering.

Letting yourself lose,
The branches are flexible,
The wind opens,
The branches join.

Go on,
Go on without path,
Go on.

In the middle,
Between branches and wind,
A void,
A space.

The tide encloses,
The tide flows,
A space.

Cover yourself,
Go on without shape,
The same surface,
There is free space.

Between branches,
The tide flows
How to continue,
How to go on.

NG: With Ausencia, you step into the abstract domain for the first time, and later, you return to it with the likes of Abismo and Ondas. What triggered the sudden change, considering that both Pulso and Sin are pretty ‘tangible’? Could you talk about your interest in abstract film?

SEBASTIAN: As it is noticeable at this point in the interview, from the very beginning I’m interested in the materiality of the world and there are different ways to achieve this purpose. All the ways, even the abstract ones, are very tangible and at the same time they deal with something that is very intangible. Au­sencia [absence] deals, for example, with the materiality of montage that is intensified by the found footage. In the other hand, there are the handmade films, Abismo [Abyss] and Ondas [Waves]. Both work with materiality in a radical way. And taking into account the constellation of filmmakers that I described at the beginning of this interview, there is not a real difference between these two tendencies, they are modulations of the same aim. Different modes to apprehend and to be in relation to the materiality of the world. But, yes, I must admit that I have a huge propensity to these radical techniques. Here Beckett resonates a lot. To push the language to the limit. To push the film to the limit. Creating handmade or cameraless films for me is like pushing contemplation and devotion to an epidermic level. The experience with films that involve shooting is something more volatile. If the image is vibrant matter, the act of shooting means the atoms are more dispersed, but handmade techniques act like a condensation effect. Literally, you can feel the materiality by touching, by scratching. A direct body-to-body relation with matter. Something more transducing. I love that sensation. And here, by the act of painting on film, montage and composition turn almost into the same thing. That’s why I also love to work with found footage. This is something that I discovered with Ausencia. Perhaps the times that we live in put a lot of obstacles between us and the world by fixing a dogmatic way to perceive, a dogmatic perceptual matrix. The same matrix that began with ­Alberti in the Renaissance and with perspective, which cinema also absorbed. A window to the world that is outside. What I want to defend is an immanent, immediate relation to the world. This is the key reason to insist in materiality. That’s why I also love Pollock, he transformed the window to the world into one more surface among the other surfa­ces of the world by restoring a horizontality, when he lies his practice on the floor. But I also understand that what we must promote is a heterogenesis of modes of perception. Not to change a dogmatic perceptual matrix for another one. That is why I still insist in shooting. I love Pollock but also Turner and Francis Bacon. All three, very different from each other, but all insist in materiality.

Los (De)pendientes 2016 Sebastian Wiedemann
Los (De)pendientes, 2016, Sebastian Wiedemann

NG: You experiment with different formats and employ various techniques, frequently proving your versatility. Which format suits you the most? And how do the different formats inform the film you are making?

SEBASTIAN: A common rule for the heterogeneous spectrum that inhabits my film practice is that it is a solitary process. The time I worked with more people, there were five persons. It has to do with the idea of intimacy at various le­vels that I defend. Each technique also impo­ses a singular time. For me, all the techniques that I use evoke a sort of meditative time. But of course, it is not the same to work frame by frame (by painting and most recently with some animation experimentations) as it is to shoot. What I most love is to be in a kind of “atelier state”, therefore I just shoot what I real­ly need. And even when the project is mostly shooting-based, I don’t do so many takes. The idea of shooting a lot and then choosing doesn’t work for me. Shooting must be a contraction action, at least in my case. It is in the “atelier state” where the film happens, by painting or by editing. In the “atelier state” is also where found footage lives. And as I said before, painting or editing are stages of what I understand as an integrated compositional process. Of course, I love to see my films in a theater, to share them with an audience. But the film ends when the compositional process ends. It means, the film is only alive in the “atelier state”. As you can see, what excites me more is what happens in that “atelier state”. Other stages are also needed but aren’t where I feel more stimulated. Each technique brings unique qualities and possibilities and more and more I’m thinking about the idea of mixed techniques compositions. Xapirimuu and être-chat are good examples. In the first case, I worked with shot material and animation; in the second one, I mixed found footage with shot material. To finish this answer, one interesting fact taught by the practices of handmade film and found footage, is that the shot material must rest, must be first archived and become itself found footage. Only when this happens am I able to work with it and manipulate it.

NG: There are some instances of stop-motion animation in Xapirimuu, and you flirt with ‘real-time’ collage in Vidas-vestem-ruídos. What inspired this use of animation? Who are your favorite animators?

SEBASTIAN: I really want to improve my relation to experimental animation in a near future. We can think that if there is a kind of progression in my film practice, it has to do with the intensification of the presence of the hands. I quote again Godard: “we must think with our hands”. For many people, cameraless and handmade techniques are modes of direct animation, so to arrive at experimental animation was a natural step for me. It is a kind of hunger for materiality, as you can perceive. Stop-motion, 2D animation of things (not of characters) interests me a lot. Especially ani­mation with paper cut-outs, but also with sand and other materials. Animation is also another way to explore the animistic cinema that I defend. As I said before, Švankmajer inspires me a lot but also the Quay Brothers. Both especially in a more conceptual and spiritual sense. But most directly in terms of technique, I enjoy a lot the work of American animator Jodie Mack and what the Spanish animator and curator Elena Duque has called Povera animation. I also appreciate the work of the Canadians Steven Woloshen and Pierre Hebert and of the Colombian animator Carlos Santa.

NG: Time and water play major roles in your oeuvre. What is the relation of black screen ‘intrusions’ to the element of time? And what does water symbolize to you?

SEBASTIAN: I agree with you, water appears in most of my pieces one way or another. Sometimes directly, sometimes evocatively. Water is an insistent image for me. When you ask the water: how to continue? Water already continues, always continues. The point is where to and by which means. Water reminds me that to continue is not a question of permission. Life doesn’t ask if it can continue. In its flux condition, water engages me to invent other variabilities of fluxes. I have the feeling that everything can be possible in the water. There is a short story by Italo Calvino, Blood, Sea, that helps us to understand this. Calvino argues that the blood is a kind of fold of the sea in our bodies. Then, why not to unfold our bodies into the sea, into pure aquatic fluxes. In some way, my cinema works with the fabulation of this possibility. But at the same time, this possibility can only happen in the intervals and interstices. And montage, the very essence of cinema, is about creating intervals and interstices between images. In a very essential level, what is created is always continuity in the discontinuity. Between two images there is always an abyss, even when we work in a naturalistic register. Classic cine­ma works by hiding these abysses. But the black screen ‘intrusions’, as you named them, remind us about this constitutive condition. If we embrace these abysses, it means that we are willing to embrace the true movement and not just a false sense of movement. In the end, the montage happens in our brains, we just create conditions for it to happen, for the duration between the image’s jumps to happen. Time only happens in the in-between of the images, in the intervals. In other words, the black screen ‘intrusions’ make explicit where cinema really happens and where time is born. Here Vertov, Pelechian, and Godard are big allies for me. Perhaps now it’s clearer why I would save Man With A Movie Camera by Dziga Vertov. But the vari­ability of intervals is infinite; there are molecular intervals like the ones of Brakhage, or spiritual ones like the ones of Tarkovsky. And each kind of interval is a kind of chrono­genesis that opens different/singular time and duration dimensions. So as you can see, I love to multiply the kinds of chronogeneses that cinema can create. The point is not to find the best way for the fluxes to continue but to multiply the ways they can continue. Therefore my cinema operates by the multiplication of chronogenesis modes via hete­rogenetic processes. Versatility as you said. Many techniques to arrive at the materiality of the world, to satisfy the hunger for materiality. Each technique is a way of devouring that creates a unique time. Something that is very connected with the ideas of the Brazilian writer and thinker Oswald de Andrade and his ideas about anthropophagy. As he said: “I am only interested in that which is not mine.” or “What is not mine interests me.”

NG: Cancion para Julliette stands out as one of your most melancholic films – it almost feels like a cinematic requiem (though it might be just me lost in translation). Who is this piece dedicated to?

SEBASTIAN: This film is a real irruption in my body of work. It is the one work that I have made for someone. I made the film for my sister. It is a love and reconciliation letter that carries a lot of paradoxes. I left my home in Colombia very early following the call of cinema. At that time my sister was just a little girl and after this moment our relationship has been marked by many absences. Since then I have always lived in another place and country, we lived together just for a short time. The film is a kind of In Search of Lost Time, here I have in mind the Proust novel. But there is no past to recover. And here the black screen ‘intrusions’ work in an interesting way. There are intervals between time and the abyss between images doesn’t call for the past but for a future to come. The intervals create a future duration that inhabits the black screen ‘intrusions’. In search of cinema, I left my sister and only by the means of cinema can I come back to her, even as a presence-absence. This film also reminds me that at the end there is no distinction between life and cinema. That day when I left my home and sister in Colombia, I chose to have a cinematographic life. It means my personal affects also happen in a cinematographic way. Cinema is a way of thinking, of being in the world. Cinema can’t recover time but it can create a time to come. The black screen ‘intrusions’ are the necessary indetermination of that time to come. An open gate that makes it possible to continue.

Abismo 2012 Sebastian Wiedemann
Abismo, 2012, Sebastian Wiedemann

NG: Derrames, Just Flow, Try to Move and être-chat all incorporate choreographed movement, with dance metaphorizing diverse actions, from making love to leaping into the void. How did the collaborations with dancers happen? Do you take dance as a substitute for acting?

SEBASTIAN: During my time at the Film School, it was interesting to know the notion of models by Bresson. But for some reason, I don’t have the ability to work with actors. I always had problems with the debt that cinema has with the 19th century novel and theater. It’s just one way to make cinema, but there are a lot of other ways. As Kiarostami said cinema has more in common with poetry. And as I underlined before, I go further, even a dancer for me is just a body that must give expression to more-than-human forces. One more body among others. Just a kinetic source. Contemporary dance and especially Butoh dance do not have a desire to mean, to signify. That is very important to me. Bodies must be one more flux among others. Meaning and signification are not relevant. What is vital is the transit of energy. And we can’t direct energy. And bodies are no more than energy packa­ges. That’s why when I worked with dan­cers I never directed them. These films were co-creation processes (I named Derrames as a dialogue), where dancers and I were just passages for the energetic fluxes. Just bodies unfolding themselves into the world. Bo­dies as folds of the world. In Derrames [Spills] a body goes towards an entanglement with the environment and être-chat [Being cat] isn’t a film about Butoh, it is a Butoh-film. The body of dancer Gyohei Zaitsu is a spark that unleashes a Butoh-becoming in the other images of the film. When the image of Gyohei Zaitsu interacts with other images, what happens is an invitation for images to dance somewhere between Butoh and the world. I have a very special connection with dance, it was only after having experimented dancing Butoh myself that I began to make handmade films. After all, the first step is to feel our own materiality. There are two incredible ideas by Butoh dancer Min Tanaka that I want to mention to finish this answer: “I do not dance in a place, I dance the place” and “There is only Body Weather, the body is in perpetual transformation, like the weather, in an intense exchange with its environment”.

NG: With regard to Los (De)pendientes, what is your relation to archive footage? And what is it you want to express through it? How does working with archive footage differ from footage you have filmed yourself?

SEBASTIAN: As I said before, shot/filmed material must become found footage before I can work with it. To really see and perceive something in the images I can’t have the sensation that they are my images, that they were created by me. The logic of the creator and his creatu­res must be stopped. To make all footage found footage is to re-establish an otherness into the image. Stop with the idea that I can recognize and know very well what the image can do. It must be a surprise encounter. A quality of strangeness must persist. Therefore, ima­ges must rest after being shot/filmed. So they can forget the apparent life that they have after passing through a human perspective. They must remember an unexpected life that can also create unexpected connections with other images. I have the feeling that behind this attitude there is some distrust of the camera. The camera makes us believe that the image is just in front of us like something that is caught from the other side of the window. But what we have in front is a repre­sentation, a mediation of something that we don’t know what it can be or do. Perhaps when images rest these layers of repre­sentation and mediation begin to disappear. The first life they have is such a human one, so they must die and be reborn in order to gain a more-than-human dimension and quality. At this point layers begin to appear that have no relation with representation or mediation but with immediacy and the materiality of the image itself. Images must be reborn and found footage is another name for the rebirth of images so that they can gain a life of their own, that is no longer the double of the world anchored to representation and mediation, but the genetic material of a world to come, that multiplies worlds by difference and not by analogy. I like to think that to make life continue is to unarchive matter. In that sense, to work with reborn ima­ges, with found footage, is like to play with the instauration of Anarchive-beings. Images as beings that emerge from a process of unarchiving and that at the same time are anarchist, because they do not let themselves dress with a skin/layer of representation and mediation, or in other words, they do not let fix a sense that will control how they can interact with other images. So as you can see, for me found footage doesn’t have a relation to a desire of recovering, reinterpreting or having nostalgia for the past, but it has to do with a desire for rebirth states that open futures, time to come. Following this order of ideas, almost all my films are found foota­ge films. And yes, you can say that Los (De)pendientes has a historical dimension but as the French critic Nicole Brenez said about the film: “considering eternity, it is an ­auratic poem of bold shadows”. The film includes ima­ges of kids but what really matters to me is a childhood state of the image, where event inhabits, where eternity takes place, where what matters are the variations of intensity of the light and shadow. So if I have learned something with found footage, it is that the images do not contain a preset time, there is no past or present in the images, just the potency of a future that can emerge from the images’ in-between. And intervals have more to do with eternity than with history.

NG: Zugang – which is my personal favorite – awakens the sense of mystery and has a slightly mythological, somewhat ‘Orphic’ flavor to it. Could you tell me more about it?

SEBASTIAN: Zugang is a German word that can mean access, pass, gate, entrance. And perhaps the question that moved the process of creation of the film was: What happens in a Zugang, when you aren’t inside or outside but just in the transition, just in the middle, in that very thin threshold, and what happens when we try to dilate and expand this thin threshold. That dilatation is like deforming time and that provokes a sort of anamorphosis in perception. That dilatation opens a hallucinatory and dreamlike perception. The walking body on the screen never finishes entering, it lies in an eternal in-between called Zugang, where no kind of orientation works, not even a lighthouse can help. This attempt to divide the space until it reaches a molecular level brings us not to an extensive space but to an intensive space, where things are not measurable, where scales are very fuzzy. Different scales of light can coexist. The film is like a zoom in into the Zugang that opens a fractal dimension. Many spaces and times can live toge­ther. A kaleidoscopic quality emerges. But at the end, the same question comes back as an insistent refrain. How to continue..? How to make it possible to continue..? Zugang expresses very clearly my concerns about this point and its relation to the modulation of the fluxes. Water also persists and a sort of gaseous state envelops the film. Something remarkable about this film, which also appears in Sin and Derrames, is the action of walking. There is no start point or destiny, just a walking state. What matters is to be in movement, to be in an eternal entering, to arrive is to die. That is why the Zugang must be dilated again and again. The act of unfolding that goes across all my body of work. The lighthouse isn’t a sign of orientation, it just says keep walking. The potency not of being or not to be, but of being and not to be at the same time, of being in an infinite state of becoming, of being in the middle. In the end, that body walking is just one more spark of light among other sparks.

NG: What are you currently working on? And what are your plans for the future? A feature, perhaps?

SEBASTIAN: Each film and project demands its own length. I can’t say from the beginning that it will be a feature or a short film. I must wait and see what the material asks for. Now I’m working on a handmade film and there are two other projects to come. Both based on mixed techniques. But to be honest I prefer not to speak about films that are in delivery/birth process.

I can’t end this interview without saying thank you very much for the inspiring questions that you Nikola have proposed me and that made me think a lot. After all, making cinema is also all that happened in this interview. All the thoughts that inhabit this interview are a kind of cinema by other means.

Find out more about Sebastian Wiedemann’s work at