Dead Reckoning

Dead Reckoning

Dead Reckoning

Editing: Zbyněk Baladrán
Sound: Jan Hála
Actors, social actors: John Comer, Elizabeth Spacilova
Producer, Co-producer: Zbyněk Baladrán
Color: Colour
Language: English

The vicious circle of modern man. Statistics, psychoanalysis, income, and paranoia as the basic attributes of contemporary society. Four seemingly incongruous video sequences that share an intense experience of emptiness and sterility are accompanied by random contrapuntal commentary. An exceptionally unsettling work of video art on the fruitless search for the meaning of life in consumer society.


Many of the works of Zbyněk Baladrán are infused with the inner doubts and resistance experienced by the generation that lived through the historical, political and social upheavals of the countries of the former Soviet bloc after 1989. The feeling of inadequacy and dislocation provoked by a highly paradoxical freedom, offered by a so-called democratic world, ended up producing what the artist calls “mental spasms”. More than just disenchantment, it was a kind of profound helplessness that took hold of the everyday life of this generation, which oscillated between the desire to adapt to a new liberal, individualistic environment and the search of a new sense of the common. In his most recent films, these questions are still central. Using minimal resources with a DIY spirit, Baladrán compiles a variety of images taken from the grey, apathetic media flow. He reconstructs these heterogeneous sources while lending them the rhythm of his own manipulation. There is no obvious correlation between the array of images and the voiceover text. The working method he uses involves continual misunderstanding and contradiction, as the title suggests. In fact, Dead Reckoning is a technical term that designates the calculation of a vehicle’s position based on the distance travelled from its point of departure. Alongside the data used (such as speed), dead reckoning incorporates more fluctuating parameters like wind and sea currents. Reflecting this paradoxical science, whose purported objectivity incorporates error and uncertainty, the film is produced from the same navigation method. The film Dead Reckoning is product of the artist’s research, which revolved around identifying the symptoms and contradictions that affect society as a whole. Paranoia, anxiety, hysteria and psychosis are the modern, internalized individual translations of a broader historical trauma in which class struggle, colonization and consumerism all clash. Marie Cozette

Photo Gallery

Zbyněk Baladrán
Farní 3 / 162 00
Praha 6 / Czech Republic
+420 604 127 810

Festival edition: 2014
Premiere Type: Central European Premiere
Exhibition format: Video File
Subtitle languages: Czech
26.10.2014 13:00


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