Sasha Litvintseva and Beny Wagner

Working collaboratively since 2017, Sasha Litvintseva and Beny Wagner made films, texts and lectures that focus on the moving image as a tool for the active production of new worlds. Their practice has been driven by questions about the thresholds between the body and its surroundings, knowledge regimes and power, modes of organizing and perceiving the natural world. Below you may find process materials behind A Demonstration.

A Demonstration is a monster film with no monsters. Inspired by the existence of taxonomies of monsters at the heart of Early Modern European science, the film explores and reinterprets a way of seeing the natural world that is almost impossible to imagine from today’s vantage point. Early Modern naturalists were guided by a logic in which scientific truths were discovered through visual analogy. The word ‘monster’ comes from the latin ‘monstrare’, meaning to show, to reveal, to demonstrate. “A Demonstration” picks up on these themes in a poetic exploration of the boundaries of sight and the metamorphosis of form.

2020 | 25 min

in residency
October 15 – 25
Artist talk
October 17 — 1pm PDT
In the two months leading up to the filming trip we were busy working on a live audio visual set in collaboration with the musician Claude Speeed for the main stage of Berlin Atonal Festival. This was a really exciting way for us to work, without any of the requirements of meaning making. Our only task was to respond to the music and make a video that was as physically engaging and dynamic as possible. This opened up ways of experimenting that we would have never considered otherwise and which, because this was happening in the run up to our own film, had enormous influence on the decisions we made on how to film, edit, etc. In the process of this project we developed a physical synergy in the working process. Sometimes one of us had their hand on the mouse, while the other made commands on the keyboard in unison. Our nervous systems became fused with the audio visual material and with each other to produce a greater unified whole.
"Monster as Medium: Experiments in Perception in Early Modern Science and Film" by Sasha Litvintseva and Beny Wagner
A Demonstration's storyboard
While A Demonstration is almost entirely filmed by us, we have an ongoing relationship to working with found footage and our own thoughts around images are always in conversation with things we find. These are videos that are in some way (often very obscurely) related to the expanded research process and associations we formed around the film.
James Williamson: The Big Swallow (1901)
Segundo de Chomón - Métamorphoses (1912)
Associative Agnosia
Robotic Surgery - Peeling a Grape
Visible Human Overview
Quinn's Live Hypnobirth
Blooming Flowers Time Lapse for Relaxation
Angelo Badalamenti explains how he wrote Laura Palmer's Theme
Lady Gaga Thanks All Her Little Monsters on Facebook
3D Medieval Bologna
Book – All Thoughts Fly: Monster, Taxonomy, Film – Sasha Litvintseva & Beny Wagner