Christopher Hales: Kino-Automat Rediscovered

  • ©, Christopher Hales, Kino-Automat Rediscovered

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    Kino-Automat Rediscovered

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Artist Statement:


    Despite being an internationally famous hit after its performance at Expo67 in Canada, the English version of Kino-Automat has, quite literally, not been seen since 1974. Christopher Hates will make a presentation about the context of the film and show several sequences from the footage.

    In 1967 – at the Expo67 in Montreal – the world’s first interactive film system, Kino-Automat ran for 150 performances. Created in Czechoslovakia and directed by Raduz Cincera, it was no coincidence that the democracy of the film the audience ‘votes’ at several moments) reflected the democratic upsurge in Czechoslovakia around that time. The film’s seminal interaction and narrative scheme has been much discussed in the academic literature – despite the fact that it has never been publicly performed since 1974. Interactive cinema was most certainly kick-started by the Kino-Automat, even though it predated the use of digital technology (it was shot on film and shown using synchronised projectors).

    After 30 years in the shadows, during which time most of the makers and actors have sadly died, Christopher Hales has undertaken an in-depth archaeology of this neglected film, and is completing an interactive DVD of the original film, together with a detailed collection of written articles.

    For this ISEA event, Hales will give a factual and very detailed study of Kino-Automat, including plenty of original footage – which has not been seen in a public format since 1974. The talk will therefore bring to an end 30 years of silence.


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