|Title||Art as Energy, Art as Power: Józef Robakowski from the Workshop of Film Form to Video Performance and Energy Recordings|
Józef Robakowski is a prolific experimental artist who has worked across multiple media including experimental photography, film and video, video installation, video performance, experimental television, artistic documentation, curating and other activities from the 1960s to the present. Thanks to recent publications like The Struggle for Form (2014), the Polish Workshop of Film Form he co-founded with Wojciech Bruszewski, Paweł Kwiek, Antoni Mikołajczyk, Ryszard Waśko and others has become better known internationally, but it is still necessary to underline Robakowski’s distinctive contribution to this collective project. Moreover his creative activity has extended well beyond this and has as much to do with the creative use of video, which he pioneered in Poland from the 1980s, in a creative trajectory that calls into question stable distinctions between film, television and video as both technologies and apparatus’s. While his video work continues some of the formalist medium specific concerns of the Workshop of Film Form, its evolution via video performances points to dimensions beyond any mere medium specific formalism. Typically Robakowski’s work is seen as divided between a formalist expanded cinema practice, and a more personal experimental film and later video practice, a distinction Robakowski himself has formulated. However across all his work there is an attention to the relations between energy and technical images, that gives both these aspects of his work consistency. This article will present several examples of Robakowski’s works including three which provide keys to understanding his approach to film, video and art in general: “Idę” (“I’m Going”, 1973) “Sztuka to potęga” (“Art is Power”, 1985) and “Manifest energetyczny!” (“The Energy Manifesto” 2003). These works, as well as several of Robakowski’s artistic statements articulate an approach to artistic practice that is non-illusionary and bio-technical-energetic, drawing on and extending the legacies of avant-garde precursors like Dziga Vertov, who similarly argued for film as a dynamic and energetic rather than an illusionary fiction-based art-form.
|Experimental Film and Video|
|Journal||Apparatus: Film, Media and Digital Cultures of Central and Eastern Europe|
|Publisher||DiGZ. Digitalen Zugang zu Wissen demokratisch gestalten e. V. in cooperation with ZeM|
|License||CC BY 4.0|