Gerber, Ronald

Ronald Gerber
German videomaker

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biography
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Interview : 10 questions

1. Tell me something about your life and the educational background

I was born in 1980 in Leipzig which was part of the GDR back then. After finishing a traineeship at a bank I accepted that selling housing-savings for the rest of my life would drive me crazy. That’s why I quitted this job in 2002 in order study media arts at the Hochschule für Grafik und Buchkunst, Leipzig. I finished my studies in 2009 and now live in Leipzig and Berlin as a free media artist.

2. When, how and why started you filming?

I was invited to show some digitally re-worked images I made on a show in Paris. The organisers asked all exhibiting artists to produce a short video telling something about their lives and the way they produce art in order to get to know them a bit better. Even though this was not supposed to be a big deal I had a hard time shooting this video. What is an artist supposed to be like? Should I talk about art? Am I an artist, anyway? Dealing with these questions in front of the camera made me produce my first artistic video without knowing. In the end it was shown next to my pictures at the exhibition.

3. What kind of subjects have your films?

To me it is the biggest mystery to reveal how we became we. Mostly I take myself as the subject matter. What is it that made me act, think and talk like the person I see in the mirror every morning? Which influences changed me? Which role models put me into shape? Which social expectations did I surrender to? Or to put it another way: Who am I at all? And who could I have been?

4. How do you develop your films, do you follow certain principles, styles etc?

It always starts with hacking notes into my phone when ever my brains pop the results of subliminal research into my consciousness. Then the basic idea slowly grows to a complete concept while filling a whole notebook with twigs and branches of it. Afterwards I usually put the notebook away because I’m lazy and never convinced the idea is good enough to be transformed into a real-life art piece. If I still cannot forget the idea after several months I finally produce the video to get rid of it and be open for new stuff.

5. Tell me something about the technical equipment you use.

It took some years until I was brave enough to admit that I’m a big fan of sophisticated consumer technology. It is lightweight, easy to use, ready in a minute and produces acceptable results. Currently I use a Panasonic HDC-SD 100 camcorder for video recording and a Canon Digital Ixus 980 IS for photography purposes. Both cameras are really lovable!

6. What are the chances of new media for the genre film/video in general
and you personally?

Since I don’t regard myself as a film maker but as a video performance artist I find it hard to predict which development film will take due to new media influences. For me personally new media offers the chance to produce my work low budget and spread it easily across the world receiving feedback from all kinds of people that stumbled over one of my videos on the web by accident.

7. How do you finance your films?

I pay my art bills bearing a 9 to 3 office job. To me this is the best solution. My art does not have to pay my rent and I’m not chronically cash-strapped any more.

8. Do you work individually as a video artist/film maker or do you work in a team?
if you have experience in both, what is the difference, what do you prefer?

Last week I had my first shot working with a team. Undoubtedly it was a lot more fun than working alone.Nonetheless it was quite challenging to grant others access to my baby, before it was even born. As a matter of course working with others adds new aspects to your original idea. That is the biggest chance but also the biggest risk of working with others, depending on how self-confident you are about the results you wants to achieve.

9. Who or what has a lasting influence on your film/video making?

It might be not too obvious but Marina Abramovic and Nan Goldin influenced my work a lot. And not only my work, but also the way I think about art and what I emphasise when producing or receiving it.

10. What are your future plans or dreams as a film/video maker?

I am really looking forward to finish the editing of my current project. Then I plan to exhibit it, talk about it, put it aside and start something new. Not a real future plan, though. Well, than I probably don’t have one and will continue taking chances as they come.

Can works of yours viewed online besides on VideoChannel? Where?

All my videos can be viewed online on my website www.ronaldgerber.de