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By David Finkelstein | November 16, 2008

Thorsten Fleisch’s “Energie!” is made from thousands of images. Fleisch directly exposed individual pieces of photographic paper to high voltage electricity. The individual frames in the film are black and white images, most of which look like a hairy eyeball or sun, sprouting branches of lightning in every direction. Because the images change radically on every frame, often reversing from black-on-white to white-on-black, there is a powerful flicker effect. Fleisch creates a strange realm of high energy electric visual excitement. Jens Thiele’s electronic music, mostly a steadily shifting chord, contrasts nicely with the flickering energy of the images.

Fleisch uses his excellent sense of musicality and development to powerful effect here. The images gradually appear to rotate in two directions, and then to recede or move forward, and the drama inherent in this imagery steadily increases. In “Energie!” Fleisch has invented an artistic process for a simple idea which enables him to create a thrilling journey into the heart of electrical energy.

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