Submerged! A Trip to the Unconscious

On December 12th Z-Bar in Berlin Mitte hosted in its small cinema the screening of Submerged! a project curated by Leo Kuelbs and Karl Erickson.

Submerged! is a combination of seven short videos (each is about five minutes long) created by thirteen artists and musicians.

The videos are inspired by three short stories (“Sumberged!”, “The Floater” and “Roger’s Dream”) written by co-curator Leo Kuelbs and published in the early 2000s.

The stories have different subjects: “Submerged!” is about a small town submerged by a giant wave, “The Floater” describes the random thoughts of a man who starts floating on a river bank and “Roger’s Dream” is about the dream of a lazy middle-aged man falling asleep while eating junk food and watching the TV.

What joins the stories together is their dream-like themes and narration style.

Kuelbs, with the help of artist Karl Erickson, decided to give new life to the written words and conceived the audiovisual project, involving visual artists and musicians from around the world.

The chosen thirteen artists took on the challenge of producing seven videos (two versions for “The Floater” and “Roger’s Dream” and three for “Submerged!”) inspired by the stories.

The result is a mixture between experimental cinema and video art.

Moving from traditional animation to motion graphics and from digital film to 3D animation, the works are markedly different from one another, even those that are based on the same story.

The images depict surreal adventures that sometimes start as dreams and end up as disturbing nightmares or trippy experiences through what could be described as an attempt to show our subconscious.

As the title suggests the viewer becomes submerged by the huge amount of visuals and sounds.

Kuelbs said he has always been interested in the essence of dreams and the project reflects on the idea and conceptual understanding that we have of them, trying to give body and shape to these intangible things.

We are invited, as viewers, to dig with our ears and our eyes through the layers of subconscious that the artists explore.

The experience is as fascinating and surreal as it promises to be, regarding a world whose exploration is never-ending.

The participating artists are: Nicole Antebi and Laura Ortman (Dream Propulsion), Sam Marlow and Alon Cohen (Submerged), Danielle de Picciotto and Alexander Hacke (Submerged), Shir Lieberman, Fabio Fonda and Jonathan Phelps (The Floater), Kitzinger Gábor and Alex Hamadey (The Floater), United VJs (Mishap) and Jim Ellis (Roger’s Dream)

All of the contents of Submerged!, from the stories to the videos are available online.

By Valentina Bronzini

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