Gustav Deutsch

Expanded cinema performance, 100 film loops (color, no sound) for 100 Super-8 microviewers

Austria 1995


Image above: Photo by Hans Labler


For his Taschenkino, developed especially for the Centenary of Cinema, Deutsch distributed one hundred Super-8 microviewers among the audience, consisting of one hundred people sitting in a dark movie theater, each with a black eye patch over one eye, and each holding up to the other a small plastic viewer. The silence of the room was only interrupted by the clicks of fingers on the viewer buttons and the sound of a gong when it was time to pass the viewer on. Each viewer contained a 30-second continuous loop, which dealt with various aspects of repetition.

Taschenkino harks back to early motion picture devices, such as the kinetoscope, which was, like Deutsch’s microviewers, designed for individual viewing; or like the zoetrope and the mutoscope, in which the viewer her/himself must physically interact with the viewing device so that the user’s body becomes part of the machine’s functioning. Wanda Strauven calls this the “player mode” of moving images (as opposed to the later “viewer mode”) (Strauven 2011). (Ju.Ju.Li.)


Gustav Deutsch, born in 1952 in Vienna, Austria; lives in Vienna.



Wilbirg Brainin-Donnenberg and Michael Loebenstein (eds.), Gustav Deutsch (Vienna: Synema, 2009).

Wanda Strauven, “The Observer’s Dilemma. To Touch or Not to Touch,” in Media Archaeology. Approaches, Applications, and Implications, eds. Erkki Huhtamo and Jussi Parikka (Berkeley, Los Angeles, London: University of California Press, 2011), pp. 148–163.

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