Think:Film – the International Experimental Cinema Congress 2012 took place at the Akademie der Künste in Hanseatenweg, Berlin from October 10th to 14th 2012. The congress was organized by Arsenal – Institute for Film and Video Art in collaboration with the Film Institute at the Berlin University of the Arts.
Following a period of diversification of experimental forms of artistic production, new ways of thinking about film and the types of thought that it is capable of achieving or can be used to create have become necessary.
The ability to break down and translate image and sound into digital codes represents a fundamental shift in film making practice and has led to massive changes with regards to production technology. The concentration and processing of different time-based art forms within computers has let loose a wealth of new synesthetic opportunities, examples of many of which were anticipated by certain advanced film forms. Practices that used to be the strict reserve of the experimental, avant-garde and underground film genres have been seized upon thanks to these new technologies, placed in new commercial contexts and popularized. In this way, the economic history of the "avant-garde" has become of relevance above and beyond its cultural impetus. The position of artistic authorship and curatorial and production activity within this new distribution landscape needs to be reflected upon in new ways.
The central goal of the Think:Film Congress was to make a philosophical reassessment of the special position enjoyed by film and the cinematic image in artistic and intellectual practice and to redetermine what this position might be. What direct influence does the cinematic image have on current thought and how can film itself become a way of thinking? The congress was not concerned primarily with film genres, but seeked instead to pose fundamental questions: What is thought in connection with cinematic images and what are these images in connection with thought? Which types of images trigger which types of thought, which are capable of eradicating which types of thought? Which types of images can become an integral part of which types of thought? Which cinematic images are in circulation and which kind of thinking does this point to?
Fifteen panels have each discussed a selected topic intended to emerge in response to a brief film program. The original papers presented by the various invited speakers have been directly followed by general discussion.
Khalid Abdalla, Thom Andersen, Ronald Balczuweit, Madeleine Bernstorff, Christa Blümlinger, Arianna Borrelli, Pip Chodorov, Christoph Dreher, Madhusree Dutta, Tamer El-Said, Heinz Emigholz, John Erdman, Azin Feizabadi, Anselm Franke, Peggy Gale, John Greyson, Ed Halter, Nanna Heidenreich, Birgit Hein, Shai Heredia, Max Jorge Hinderer Cruz, Henriette Huldisch, Brent Klinkum, Gertrud Koch, Birgit Kohler, Stephen Kovats, David Marc, Laura Marks, Angela Melitopoulos, Thomas Morsch, Olga Moskatova, Wendelien van Oldenborgh, Winfried Pauleit, Laurence Rickels, Marc Ries, Stefan Ripplinger, Constanze Ruhm, Susanne Sachsse,Frieder Schlaich, Stefanie Schulte Strathaus, Marc Siegel, Michael Snow, Lisa Steele, Juan Suárez, Ela Troyano, Lioudmilla Voropai, Dorothee Wenner, Nicole Wolf, Klaus Wyborny, Ala Younis, Siegfried Zielinski and Mike Zryd.