In Schwechat - Vienna, the paths of light from the functional ÖMV refinery at night offer a seemingly endless array of lights to the observer, as though they were an artistic creation that could serve well as a miniature set full of props for a utopian film.
The reality of this lighting system, when rendered as a visual image, may not be discernable from the fiction that created by the medium video.
The unique arrangement of the refinery’s lighting occupies a to date unacknowledged place in the architecture of modern industrial facilities. The extraordinarily complex nightly neon light scenario on the refinery’s grounds serves as an inspiration for Burkhard Friedrich’s multi-layered, transparent and intertwining electronic and electronically amplified sounds.
Kurt Hörbst’s artistic work starts off with the film of the functional lighting structures seen both from a distance and close up. The transformative analogy or reflection for the staging of these visuals can be found on a musical level.
The projection of the video creates a structural movement for the observer that can be rediscovered in the music, working on one hand with horizontal lines, and on the other with deep dimensional perspectives. From within, the observer receives a view of the image from the exterior and is unable to withstand the luring effect of both the music and image which he is automatically a part of, due to his position.
CITTÀ UTOPICA offers the audience a sojourn in a parallel world whose form we only know from amusement parks and which has its origin in real situations such as the refinery and through the unique tension and relationships arising between reality, the image and the model. On the musical level, Burkhard Friedrich initially seizes upon this mixture of forces with pure electronic means that are then interwoven into the live performance, at times offset, at times occurring far apart from each other in space (“projected”), so that the live performance is indiscernible from the produced music: The music becomes an image of itself, just as the contents of the projections are a model of their reality. The components of projection, production and live events form a utopian world.
excerpt of the video installation.