Wien 17, Schumanngasse

Hans_Scheugl-1967-Wien 17 Schumanngasse


16mm, 2 ¾ min., b/w, silent.

Premiere: January 26th, 1967, Vienna.

A car drive through Schumanngasse from its beginning to its end is filmed in such a way, that the film is exposed from its start exactly at the moment when the car starts at the beginning of the street, and the last meter of film is exposed precisely when the camera at the farthest end of Schumanngasse is still able to catch the street sign there. The drive was filmed in one continuous take, end and beginning of the film are identical with the beginning and the end of the street.

A regular roll of 16mm film has a length of only 30 meter, so if Scheugl wants to film Schumangasse in one take from beginning to end, the drive may last only 2 3/4 minutes, because these 2 3/4 minutes are the equivalent of the 30 meters at a projection speed of 24 frames per second. Scheugl is thus forced to consider the time of the film take and to regulate the speed of the car.

The length of the street and the length of the film roll become identical by an apparently amazing equation: space becomes time, space distance becomes time distance/duration. The length of the street is measured by the length of the drive; it is the speed of the drive though that makes the 30 meters of film equal to the length of the street.

Saying that „the duration of the film is identical with the duration of the drive through Schumanngasse, but the length of the street is not identical with the length of the film roll“ disregards that time and space are reflective, and misunderstands what is demonstrated in Wien 17, Schumanngasse: the relativity of the reality of experience. Our sensual organs provide a daily film, whose rules may be made conscious by this film. We will never know how long this street really is, since rules and structures of reality are only gaugeable by the rules and structures of our image forming calculations, thus never examinable.

Peter Weibel, 1969

Distribution: sixpackfilm (16mm or DCP), Vienna; Light Cone, Paris (16mm).