VIP - VideoChannel Interview Project

Schrefler, Klaus

Klaus Schrefler
Austrian media artist


Interview: 10 questions

1. Tell me something about your life and the educational background
Well, my answers about life and educational background may be related, at least in metaphors. I studied biology, ecology to be exact. Biology is the science of life and ecology is the science about balance of nature. Concerning arts I am self-taught. My expression is transformed by the evolution of inspirations. My art deals exactly with the same topics – life and balance.

2. When, how and why started you filming?
It is hard to fix a certain point of time. I started with photography and used my slide projector to fade in single photos which I mounted into series by using a video camera – stop motion filming with low frame rates. Later I used digital techniques to create animation. As I was quite experienced in Photoshop I built staples of images and animated them with the stop-motion technique. At the same time I started to cooperate with 3D animators to realize my visions of art: animation – bringing images to life… thus it was possible to evolve more complex content: Extending my creative possibilities by movement.

3. What kind of subjects have your films?
Just as I mentioned before – it is just about life, balance and connection. My first exhibition called “…of light and darkness” was about the small curtain between living and dead matter. It is the overall topic as it is organic and vivid. Everything in nature moves in kind of circles and nobody is able to escape. If we stop to sleep for a longer time we die. If our heartbeat stops it is all over within a short period of time.
In my art I express my philosophical approach to duality – a phenomenon that we all experience, both, in everyday life as well as in our own opinion-forming. I think that we all have tendencies towards one side and forget to balance things out. It definitely needs both sides to stay alive; it is like a rhythm, just like a heart-beat, breathing or day and night.

4. How do you develop your films, do you follow certain principles, styles etc?
Not really! My life shows me when there is time for creation and when there is time for relaxation. Once I am inspired for a project I get a kind of an enthusiastic focus, the idea evolves, grows and finally it is transformed into an art work, that may be presented to the public. The times in between projects are the most challenging, as I have to be patient, I do not want to push myself forward for any kind of career with a false impression. ……………………….. I trust that life will come up with a certain challenge and a new avenue to explore. Spending more time out in nature is of essence and a main ingredient for me to connect. I explore the mountains by free climbing; while my body is under extreme tension, my brain is reduced to the essence of controlling the situation and I am able to completely relax and free my mind, which opens me for vision.

5. Tell me something about the technical equipment you use.
The last years we used Maya for animation, sometimes Rhino. As I change the art genres to fit my inspirations I just use whatever is necessary and feels right. When I do not have the skills required, I use the opportunity to learn new techniques or I alternatively cooperate with others whom do have the know-how.

6. What are the chances of the digital video technologies for creating art using “moving images” generally, and for you personally?
Primarily it is the chance to create surreal animated content. Film is often used for narrative content, but as everything is constantly evolving artist must take film to another level also. My art works are made to release the brain, wake up sleepy cells reconnect to our essence of being and discover what is with a new dimension and flare. It is essential for me to use the power of images, moving images, to take people on a journey through other levels, worlds and visions. With most animation available today you find classic narrative content. This does not offer too much experimental space or growth in terms of content.

7. How do you finance your films?
In my past I often started on my own. I have not produced any art on purely attaining money, but in the long run I have been blessed with all my projects, collecting governmental funding, regional, public and professional companies support. I hold trust in the fact if it´s meant to be, the circumstances will follow.

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?

I love to work in a team. It has got many advantages whilst working on bigger projects – it offers better capacities, skills, ideas and solutions. Disadvantages may occur with long-term projects. Some members may start to lose sight and enthusiasm. The importance of staying centred during these periods is essential. Once starting such a project I have a strong vision and my determination shines through with my belief. I find great pleasure in my own space as well and working alone is not a problem for me, although the bigger projects attract me more.

9. Who or what has a lasting influence on your film/video making?
Nature! Especially the rhythms of nature influenced me – the chronological order that sometimes is misunderstood as chaos. There is no real chaos in nature, every chaotic “seeming!” structure or process follows a higher principle. This is part of rhythm itself. I have find out that I, like every living thing, am nourished by the fascinating rhythms of life. The more I learn to trust, the more everything turns out to be in balance. I really love that experience. More than likely it probably has always been that way. My knowledge and understanding is becoming stronger the older I get which transcends into awareness. Faith in nature serves as a guide.

10. What are your future plans or dreams as a film/video maker?
Future – I think the longer I live and thus make art, the more my art grows to an interconnected artistic synthesis. No one can be too sure of the future; however, I am confident to keep on this adventurous path. My next dream is to create an interactive art piece on the rhythms of the human body. This is the same principle like with nature, just as I mentioned before – maybe there is no science that is capable of revealing the whole significance. To me it turns out that with trust life becomes self-strengthening. Empowered one can take the next dare. Thank you for your interest!

Can works of yours viewed online besides on the CologneOFF platform? Where?
List some links & resources