VIP - VideoChannel Interview Project

Rettich, Harald

Harald Rettich
aka rettnoise
German media artist



Interview:10 questions

1. Tell me something about your life and the educational background
born 1965 in Southern Germany
I have a musical background, have been a guitar player in rock – blues bands since the age of 15.When I started studying jazz guitar, at the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst in Stuttgart, Germany, I soon was attracted by classical music theory and especially modern avant-garde compositions. I ended up with diplomas in all three fields, studying with Helmut Lachenmann amongst others.

2. When, how and why started you filming?
After finishing university, spending some time in the electronic studio I came to the conclusion that the abstract electronic noise I create would highly benefit from a visual layer. Though I knew nobody who could do this I decided to try it on my own. Now I am very glad about this decision because directing my attention to visual art opened up my life and thinking completely. When somebody is creating art there is no difference whether he/ her is doing music, drawing, filming, whatever, it is all the same intuitive process.

3. What kind of subjects have your films?
Subjects vary, depending on the occasion. Sometimes there is a given theme, like in your cologne online film festival but usually I start developing ideas and look for suitable audio and video material. My works always contain a great deal of atmosphere and poetry.

4. How do you develop your films, do you follow certain principles, styles etc?
All my movie clips are based around improvisation with audio and video material, the interaction of video and sound. I always carry my video camera and shoot footage. I spend quite some time looking through my recordings choosing what is worth to be kept as source for improvisation. In my performances I like to improvise with audio and video at the same time but in the studio I prefer to improvise the video to pre-recorded audio.
Reduction is one of my main principles, it is too easy to overwhelm the recipient with too much information. Thus my video clips are often based around one or two different audio/video loops only. I use aggressive, distorted and obtrusive sounds forcing you to listen. Thus form and content are of major importance to me. How long does the idea carry ? It is crucial to find the adequate duration for the film.

5. Tell me something about the technical equipment you use.
dv camera, real-time software.

6. What are the chances of new media for the genre film/video in general
and you personally?

New media open up endless possibilities for artists. I am sure in future we will see more art which combines different media in interactive environments.
Visuals will conquer the world! 🙂

7. How do you finance your films?
For my installations and performances or gallery exhibitions there is always some kind of budget. Some enthusiasts buy my DVDs, and the rest will be financed by myself.

8. Do you work individually as a video artist/film maker or do you work in a team?
if you have experience in both, what is the difference, what do you prefer?
Most of the time I work individually. When doing live performances I try to collaborate with musicians doing improvised music.
I like both, sometimes it is great to work in a team because of the exchange of ideas

9. Who or what has a lasting influence on your film/video making?
I perceive and absorb the world around me, try to broaden my interests and stay awake.

nauman, bruce; yes/no, clown torture series, video-installation, 1987, courtesy zwirner and wirth

10. What are your future plans or dreams as a film/video maker?
I want to put my name on the map of video artists, participate in video film festivals, with my video clips and live performances. I would like my work to be presented by some more galleries and collaborate with other artists from various art forms.
Right now I am preparing an installation for the art night 2009 in Kreuzlingen – Switzerland followed by a performance entirely based on water loops, which is a project for the Culture Region Stuttgart – Germany.

Can works of yours viewed online besides on VideoChannel? Where?
Please visit