Michaela Schwentner¹s video to "r4" by the Viennese music trio Radian translates the abstract quality of the music into a single image, reduced but concrete: The shot which shows sets of tracks running in divergent lines from a train station and a train as it departs is transformed into a grainy black-and-white image reminiscent of Super 8 by means of various filters. This scene is compiled to form a new jerky sequence controlled by an invisible digital hand. The reptilian train creeps out of the frame slowly. This evacuation repeats what was captured in the formal reduction at the beginning.
A great deal of what characterizes the musical principle employed by Radian can also be found in Schwentner¹s work method, namely the analog synthesizers she juxtaposes with an altered still image depicting the train, an analog of reality; the accentuation of the crackling high-frequency range, which corresponds to a pale, ghostly black and white in which white predominates; the gently throbbing rhythm which is expressed visually in the image of the train trundling slowly forward and seemingly not making any progress; and in the imminent disintegration of the acoustic contours into distorted white noise, which the video counters with its own visual discharge. At the conclusion, it has finally departed, this Mystery Train of the electronic age. No blues, no rock mythology, no new frontier which could somehow drag it back. What remains is a flickering, unstable afterimage showing that the central figure has left the scene.(Christian Höller)