keep that dream burning

Rainer Kohlberger´s eight-minute film keep that dream burning begins with extremely fine black-and-white particles that flutter across the screen. Coagulating into rough structures, they transform into a storm of jagged artifacts and steadily changing spots of light. With the introduction of the flicker effect, the floating electronic sound turns into a piercing rhythmic wafting and comes to rest towards the end - to the image of a black hole subtly growing deeper and deeper. Concrete object and events continually materialize from the active particles: dispersing debris, fireballs, and smoke barely evoke images of explosions familiar from action films, before disappearing again in static.

The static in Kohlberger´s work packs a punch. The term white noise describes the continuous overlay of different tone frequencies across broad areas of the audible spectrum. The white noise of an analog television, also known as "snow," appears when the device is not receiving any antenna signal: an image of constant movement without legible information. In Don DeLillo´s 1984 novel White Noise, this state of vacant communication serves as a metaphor for inflated consumer culture and manmade catastrophes, as well as for the search for undefined energies. Whereas DeLillo draws a scenario that transcends real experiences (similar to those of a child) beyond medial simulations, Kohlberger enters the now independent machine, which he positions to learn and apply transformations of images in accordance with his aesthetic guidelines.

On the one hand, keep that dream burning points to the increasing use of algorithms to produce resounding movements, such as fire or water, in big cinema´s special effects, while on the other hand, the "old" world breaks apart here: The genesis of a digital aesthetic, whose developmental processes are increasingly less "understandable" for humans, takes place before our intoxicated eyes. (Florian Wüst)

Translation: Lisa Rosenblatt

What is the nature of the white noise created by digital media? And what would a journey into its depths look like? Kohlberger’s new film posits an original answer to similar questions as we head straight into the noise of a digital image, where the rhythm of chaos or perhaps a hidden algorithm sets its black-and-white particles dancing. They are the means to give form to shapes, objects, and systems until they all dissolve back into a tumultuous expanse of particles. Or perhaps this isn’t the case? keep that dream burning reveals the elusiveness of our modern world’s digital esthetics.
(Hubert Poul, Karlovy Vary Int. Film Festival 2017

Orig. Title
keep that dream burning
Austria, Germany
8 min
Orig. Language
no dialogue
Rainer Kohlberger
Concept & Realization
Rainer Kohlberger
Rainer Kohlberger
Supported by
Land Oberösterreich, BKA - innovative film
Available Formats
Digital File (prores, h264) (Distribution Copy)
DCP 2K scope (Distribution Copy)
Aspect Ratio
Sound Format
Dolby 5.1.
Frame Rate
24 fps
Color Format
35 mm
Aspect Ratio
Sound Format
5.1 surround
Frame Rate
24 fps
Color Format
Festivals (Selection)
Berlin - Intern. Filmfestspiele Berlinale - Shorts
Graz - Diagonale, Festival des österreichischen Films
Linz - Crossing Europe Film Festival
Vila do Conde - Festival Internacional de Curtas-Metragens
Tokyo - Image Forum Festival
Buenos Aires Festival Int. de Cine Independiente BAFICI
Wien - VIS Vienna Shorts
Hamburg - Internationales Kurzfilmfestival
Karlovy Vary - Int. Film Festival
Melbourne - Int. Film Festival
Seoul - EXis (Experimental Film- & Videofestival)
Grimstadt - Kortfilmfestivalen
Santiago de Compostela - Curtocircuito
Zagreb - 25fps Film & Video Festival
Kassel - Dokumentarfilm- & Videofest
Marienbad International Film Festival
München - UnderDox, Festival für Dokument und Experiment
Belo Horizonte - Festival Int. de Cortas Metragens
Lausanne LUFF Underground Film Festival
Ljubljana LIFFE– Int. Film Festival
Cork - Int. Film Festival
Regensburg - Kurzfilmwoche
Regensburg - Kurzfilmwoche
Hamburg - Katarakt Festival
Ann Arbor - Film Festival
Stuttgart - Filmwinter, Expanded Media Festival
Paris - L'Etrange Festival