"tx-transform" (2000) is an interactive installation by Martin Reinhart and Virgil Widrich.


Martin Reinhart and Virgil Widrich: tx-transformation

The 'tx-transformator' that is shown for the first time at DEAF 2000 in Rotterdam is an interactive installation in a way similar to a photo booth. Consisting of a camera and a computer, the visitors can produce 'space cut' films almost in realtime. Different shooting angles and speed of the automatic cameras pan can be chosen and the results of these self-made transformations can be seen immediately on a monitor.

tx-transform is a new film technique which transposes the time axis (t) and the space axis (x) in film. Normally, each individual frame depicts the entire space but only a moment in time. This is reversed in tx-transformed films: Each frame shows the entire period of time but only a tiny portion of the space.

A simple way to understand tx-transformation is to imagine a flipbook containing a sequence of pictures. When rapidly riffled with the tip of the thumb, an illusion of motion is produced. Like a reel of film, this toy contains all the spatial aspects of motion and can be understood as an 'information block'. Normally, this block is riffled from front to back along the time axis to create the illusion of a moving image. tx-transform riffles through this 'information block' in quite a different way by cutting through the space axis instead of the time axis. These 'space cuts' through the 'information block' produce a series of astounding visual effects: houses start to move, heads grow out of themselves, moving trains become shorter and shorter as their speed increases, and much more.

By movement in space, the objects of a set change their respective positions. But, through relations, the whole is transformed or changes qualitatively. We can say of duration itself or of time, that it is the whole of the relations.
Gilles Deleuze, The Movement-Image

Film involves the relationship between time and space and can be understood as a linear system of order, which assigns a certain spatial or visual configuration to a certain point in time. In everyday life, time is normally understood as a linear dimension of an unequivocal quantity. This view of reality corresponds to the progression of time in film. A strip of film has a beginning and an end; the direction is determined by the direction in which it runs through the projector, and the relative duration of the projected events can be calculated on the basis of the length of the film material and the speed at which it moves through the projector. What we perceive as time is for the film a spatial dimension, which expands in a certain direction.

With tx-transform, objects depicted in a film are no longer defined as images of something that exists concretely; they become conditions in time. The digital realization of this technique in no way influences film's special character as a fundamental model of order and perception.


Concept and idea: Virgil Widrich, Martin Reinhart
Software: Georg Dorffner
Hardware: Georg Hirzinger, Martin Reinhart


Quotes by the artists

Wir sind die ersten die die vierte dimension filmisch abbilden konnen.

Es [tx-transform] war eine reaktion auf Peter Kubelas These 'der film findet zwischen den kadern statt'. Im gegensatz dazu dachte ich, es muss doch moglich sein, Film ohne Einzelbilder herzustellen.
OONachrichten, 20 April 1999

Wir haben in den film mehr ideeen hineingesteckt, als man in funf Minuten verarbeiten kann - es kann also schon etwas langer dauern, bis man das Potential von tx-transform erkannt hat.
Die Presse 9. Marz 1999

Ist tx transform ein videoeffekt?

Widrich: "Nein, tx-transform funktioniert volkommen unabhangig von der Auflosung und von gangigen Formaten. Was immer man in tx-transform hineingibt, kommt auch wieder heraus. Schwarz-Weiss bleibt schwarz-weiss, farbe bleibe farbe, cinemascope bleibt cinemascope. Es werden nur Raum und Zeit vertauscht. Keine information geht verloren. (media biz 12/98)

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