A green shape hops on a red background mildly offbeat to a waltzing rhythm rendered by the alternating sounds of an increasingly slurred high-key ping and deeply resonant bass tone as the green color gradually turns turquoise and spreads out in space. Something awakes and stretches itself, the gravitational center of the image shifts from horizontal to vertical. In the next section a mysterious object – not a UFO – enters from the left and pushes across the image at a Star Wars angle. It is a finely chiseled ghost ship that shape shifts into a gorge and back again to the powerful beat of the music. The voyage of the gorge ship is superimposed with vertical stripes. These glitches serve as an allusion to disturbed analog signals and interfere with a circumspect deciphering of what is seen, thereby triggering the imagination. The next sequence returns us to abstraction, circumscribing an inner world conjured by bass notes – the insistent beating of a heart cradled within the ghost ship. It resolves into the slow-motion dance of a phosphorescent fade-out.

The nautical horror Billy Roisz and Dieter Kovacic associate with Surge by schtum (Manu Mayr & Robert Pockfuß) recalls their dark opus THE (2015). Something sinister is happening, something difficult to put into words. It unfolds aesthetically on a sound and image level through an ephemeral sense of dread, a staggering beauty and the extreme over-modulated deployment of contrasting pairs – high/ low, shuttered/ torn open, organic/ two-dimensional. Recommendation: Play it full blast in the darkest room! (Melanie Letschnig)

Translation: Eve Heller

More Texts

Viennale Katalogtext 2019

Störung ist Programm in den Videoarbeiten von Roisz/Kovačič. Eine Farbe wird von der anderen konterkariert, das Bild regelmäßig vom Sound gepeitscht und gnadenlos vorangetrieben, die Abstraktion konkretisiert und munter re-abstrahiert, ja selbst der MPEG-Code ist vor Sabotage nicht sicher. In STYX werden wir durch einen zunächst gemächlich hypnotischen Strom, der in tremolierendes Glissando mündet, gen Unterwelt gezogen; SURGE kracht grauenerregend rhythmisch in Form eines metamorphen Geisterschiffs dem Höllenschlund entgegen und AQUAMARINE, so idyllisch der Titel klingt, vermag Schlagseite Richtung Seekrankheit auszulösen! Wer für seine Sinne einen Hafen sucht in dieser audiovisuellen Reisen, wird umso eher im Inferno landen. (Roman Scheiber)
Orig. Title
5 min
experimental, Animation, music video
Orig. Language
no dialogue
Surge (Image)
Surge (Image)
Surge (Image)
Billy Roisz, Dieter Kovacic
Concept & Realization
Billy Roisz, Dieter Kovacic
Available Formats
Digital File (prores, h264) (Distribution Copy)
DCP 2K flat (Distribution Copy)
Aspect Ratio
Sound Format
Frame Rate
25 fps
Color Format
Festivals (Selection)
Wien - Two Days Animation Festival
Wien - Viennale - Int. Filmfestwochen
Kassel Dokumentarfilm & Videofestival
Hamburg - Internationales Kurzfilmfestival
Stuttgart - Int. Trickfilm-Festival
Nijmegen - Go Short Film Festival
Poznan - Shorts Waves Festival
London Short Film Festival
Graz - Diagonale, Festival des österreichischen Films
Palic - Festival of European Film
Stuttgart - Filmwinter, Expanded Media Festival