Ulysses Alphabet

James Joyce's novel of the century, Ulysses, has achieved the status of one of the defining key works of modern literature. Not only did he have a major influence on the work of the 20th century, but he also provides numerous sources of inspiration impulses for literary work in the 21st century. It seems that even today, 100 years after its first publication, it is still ahead of its time. The novel consists of 18 chapters.

"Ulysses Alphabet" builds on this and transports the structure of the novel into the image level, while the stylistic diversity is reflected in the film music:
36 characters, the letters of the alphabet and the numbers 0-9 rotate clockwise on a circular disc. Each character is divided into two parts, one red and one black. The circular disc on which the characters move is divided twice, namely into 12 parts and 9 parts. The red character components move on the 12-part circle and the black ones on the 9-part circle. As a result, the black parts of the characters precede the red ones. In the course of all 36 characters, the red parts complete three rounds of the circle, while the black parts complete four rounds.
The animation stops at letters that add up to the following text: "James Joyce Ulysses 1922 ; 2022".

Based on the stylistic complexity of Ulysses, the music to the film supports the rhythm of the circular movement on the one hand, and on the other hand it repeatedly drifts away from this strict time scale. In the alternation and superimposition of 3- and 4-part periods, short dance episodes, the beginnings of tonal structures, musical chains of associations, melodic motifs and harmonic structures composed of industrial noises arise.

  • Christoph Theiler
  • Christoph Theiler
  • Christoph Theiler
  • Christoph Theiler
  • Project Type:
    Animation, Experimental, Music Video, Short
  • Runtime:
    3 minutes 59 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    January 15, 2022
  • Production Budget:
    2,000 EUR
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Räume für Notizen
    February 2, 2022
Distribution Information
  • Christoph Theiler
    Country: Worldwide
    Rights: All Rights
Director Biography - Christoph Theiler

Christoph Theiler (1959 / BRD) lives in Vienna since 1982.
He studied piano with Erich Appel in Nuremberg, with Edgar Trauer in Stuttgart and Leonid Brumberg in Vienna. Percussion with Hermann Schwander in Nuremberg.
As a composer he is an autodidact.
He first began an extensive concert career as soloist and chamber musician. This he finished in 1998 to concentrate himself exclusively to composition.
In 1995 together with Renate Pittroff he founded the theater "meyerhold unltd." and the artist group “wechselstrom”. They run an off space “gallery wechselstrom” in Vienna, which is a room for exhibitions, media activism and all art forms on the fringe of culture.
Since 1997 he has been working in the field of radio drama and experimental radio art.
Recent works are located in the area of multimedia, sound installation, performance, intervention and social sculpture. His work catalog includes approximately 100 compositions, 40 theater and radio music and 70 interdisciplinary work.

Selection of Works:
Piefkedenkmal - construction of a monument for the musician Gottfried Piefke, who is
also the name patron for the well known austrian dirty word for germans
(2009 Gänserndorf)
Samenschleuder - tool for ecological sensitive car driving
(2009 Weinviertel, lower austria)
tracker dog - following a (your) dog and tracking the route with GPS-System, then
printing and distributing new maps of walks (2008 Mostviertel, lower austria)
community game - tool for distributing gouverment grants using a mixed system of
democratic voting and randomized control (2006 Vienna - distributing Euro 125.000,--)
whispering bones - theater play aubout the theme, where A. Hitlers bones remain
(2004 Vienna, rta-wind-channel)
Reply - mailing action: sending Mozart´s begging letters again under own name to
270 people, the 100 richest germans and austrians, high cultural managers and
artists of classical music business and all members of the austrian
gouverment (2005/06 Vienna)
Kalbsembryonenverkostung - eating a cow embryo (2009 Vienna)
Re-Entry: Life in the Petri Dish - Opera for Oldenburg 2010
"Fluid Control" – using water as an electronic device (2012 - ongoing)
„Scribo“ - Tool for painting music with conductive ink (2020 - ongoing)

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Director Statement

Media art, which wants to be more than a mix of materials, has to start where formative processes are emerging.
We, the artist group "wechselstrom", work primarily at this interface. We don't change perspectives, we create new eyes. We don't design an environment, we invent new lounges. We don't put old things in new contexts, we are the context.
One of our main concerns is to what extent such action can be classified in terms of market technology. In this respect we are venture capitalists.
Our projects are either hated or loved - there is nothing in between.
Subcutaneous effects cannot be ruled out.
In the "Tracker Dog" project, owners followed their dogs. New hiking maps for Lower Austria were created from the routes recorded with GPS. This project was partially prohibited due to the special Austrian right of way.
In “Reply” we sent Mozart's begging letters, slightly updated, under our own name in 2005/06 to the 100 richest Austrians and Germans as well as to selected artists in the international classical music industry. The cancellation routines of the moneyed nobility began to falter. The radio play produced from it was shortlisted for the German War Blind Prize.
"Calf embryo tasting" - a metaphor for the flow of money in the financial world - took place under police protection in January 2009 in the gallery AC with 12 guests. From 500 hate mails to death threats, 5 parliamentary questions in the Austrian National Council and further interference by city and district councillors.
"Seed thrower" should make the car an environmentally friendly means of transport.
The car tire coated with a seed-containing paste was supposed to sling the seeds while driving, in order to let the roadsides bloom in many ways. This project was banned because the authorities claimed that the roadside was a natural area where interventions are not possible.
"Piefke" is the common dirty word for the Germans in Austria. In 2009 we erected a Piefke monument in Gänserndorf near Vienna. It is there in the shopping street in front of the cultural center with library and music school. The word "Piefke" is lasered into a rotating cortehn steel disk; a tongue of spring steel gliding over it creates an interesting rhythm as the disc rotates.
One project that has been in development since 2012 is "Fluid Control". We conduct electricity through water and use the resulting voltage differences to operate synthesizers, sound and video software. Sound video performances and interactive installations were developed from this.
In the project "Rotational Body" we stand in front of churches with foreign percussion instruments (Chinese gongs, singing bowls, Syrian darbuka, etc.) and counterpoint and transform the Sunday bell ringing with our improvisations. The resulting game between harmony and dissonance is recorded and presented at the Klangturm St.Pölten (in the administrative district of Lower Austria).
We firmly reject the suspicion of pure provocation.