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39 FRAMES (2006)


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39 FRAMES is a simulated-reality, time-based public mixed-media event unfolding over a 13-day period as a sequence of 39 city-wide events, actions, and occurrences (“Frames”) spreading over a multitude of locations in the city of Salzburg (Austria) and creating a dialog between the public and a wide range of media and infrastructure, including the city’s architecture, public transportation, newspapers, billboards, and extensive use of the new media, mobile communication devices, video, cable television and the Internet.
The project engages its spectators, on two possible levels. A spectator might simply witness an unexpected scene (for example, a group of men in suits chasing a well-dressed blonde through a subway car) and seek to find out more, guided by their curiosity. However, alongside such accidental witnesses, each Frame can be viewed by those who intentionally visit a chosen location at a given time by retrieving information online. The 39 website tracks and schedules all the Frames on daily basis, acting as the project’s centralized communication hub/database. Each Frame constitutes a link in a hyper-textual narrative that creates the plot of 39 FRAMES and reveals a clue that the viewers can track on the web. Some Frames may require spectators to make phone calls, track content placed in a newspaper, receive videotaped material to watch at home, etc. As the event unfolds, many viewers in the first category migrate, and become a part of a community of “players”.
This particular project is inspired by the mind and the latter-day oeuvre of Alfred Hitchcock and investigating Hitchcock’s phenomenology by dissecting his obsessions: the dynamics of mysterious events, the architecture of fear, and protagonists who become unwilling victims to inexplicable twists of faith.
The nature of this project implies the creation of a community of spectators, and the interactive nature of the project aims to impart each viewer with an active role: within the cinematographic structure of the event, each spectator acts as a participant -- not as a passive onlooker, but rather as a protagonist. Since the Frames are envisioned as public events and occurrences, whoever chooses to become involved as a spectator in 39 FRAMES has the ability to do so. The participation is therefore absolutely democratic – without a selection process and without admission charges.
The concept of the project was developed by Ivan Talijancic as part of his 2004/2005 fellowship at the Akademie Schloss Solitude (Stuttgart, Germany), and was further researched and workshopped at the Schmiede Performance Lab in Salzburg, Austria in the summer of 2005. The project was subsequently commissioned by SommerSzene festival in Salzburg, where it was first presented in July 2006.


conceived/directed by | Ivan Talijancic
performers | Erika Latta, Lilli Bayer, Walter Steinacher, Rudiger Wassibauer and 20 extras
video | Tobias Hammerle
production manager | Marlies Pucher

co-production | Szene Salzburg / SommerSzene festival (Salzburg, Austria)


  June 2005: Schmiede 05 Performance Lab (Salzburg, Austria), pilot
July 2006: SommerSzene festival (Salzburg, Austria), premiere