“It is not as dark as it was. It is not dawn yet, either.”

Comrades and Comradettes! Ladies and Gendermen!

It is hard to believe but 2017 marks the end of our first five-year plan.
Ages ago someone in our team put a note on our group’s to-do list: “February 2017: Sierra Zulu final deadline”. This entry is often referred to as “the note that jinxed the shit out of it”. We are still working on “Sierra Zulu” (e.g. we just finished a clean-up of the screenplay) — but the film is not done yet.

I know this is probably very frustrating for some of you. You were very generous in supporting our project back in 2012 — and I can understand that you want to see re-fuckin-sults. Some of you may have already given up and file their donation as “totally wasted on crazy fuckers”.
To be clear: a) We haven’t spent a dime of your money. b) “Sierra Zulu” is still alive.
It’s our opus magnum, and we are not giving up on it.

The main problem: We realized that we can’t make the film with the Kickstarter money alone. We need more than 10 times the amount. The road to the movies is paved with blood, sweat, tears and Excel sheets. And back in 2012 and 2013 the Austrian film funding agencies were not sure they could trust us with such large sums. To be honest, they wanted to see more work… they wanted us to create other small-scale movies before they would invest a bunch of taxpayers money into our unconventional Soviet endeavor. We needed to prove ourselves worthy. And that’s only fair.

We started working on other flicks, all of them very low budget: the post-apocalyptic sci-fi comedy “Die Gstettensaga” (2014) and the nerdy road-trip documentary “Traceroute” (2016). Both won a bunch of awards and were well received. We consider them our business cards for sponsorship folks and film grant people.
Currently we are in pre-production for a feature musical film about the brilliant yet bats-in-the-belfry-ish astronomer Tycho Brahe and his sister Sophia.
Our plan is to finish and release “Tycho” and then we want to re-approach the funding folks to finally get “Sierra Zulu” off the ground.

We never thought this project would be our personal “Spartacus”… but that’s not a bad thing anyways. And good projects take time.
I hope you understand.

The monochrom committee
Vienna, Austria

“Communism is Soviet power plus the electrification of the whole country.” — Vladimir Lenin


A storm is brewing!

Comradettes! Comrades!

You have not heard from us in a while! It is time to break the silence, as we feel a storm brewing! We feel the tender leaves of revolution move with the wind! We hear the whispers: “When? Where? When? Where? When? Where?”

First: Don’t be too existential, Western money-laundry folks!
And second: Your investment is still working! “Sierra Zulu” is still on track.
But it resembles more closely a classic “5-year plan” than originally thought.

We are still accumulating “the Capital”. And our primary problem is: We only have one more try at the Austrian Film Institute to get their funding. Oh Lenin! Oh noes! And we don’t want to waste that last precious try! The jury was not keen in giving us their filthy money, because monochrom has not produced a feature film before, and Johannes “Ze Hawk” Grenzfurthner has not directed a feature film before. Reluctant jury, why can’t you be like Stachanov!

Anyways, we don’t want to waste our last chance to get A FAT AMOUNT of government bills for Sierra Zulu, that’s why monochrom and “Ze Hawk” decided to create one or two other films (like “The Gstetten Saga: The Rise of Echsenfriedl”) before re-applying. We want to show off! Stun them! Win at their own game! So: no worries. “Sierra Zulu” will be made. And if you consider inflation, you get way more out than you put in. (Or is it the other way around?)

Greetings! And: Fuck Putin!


“The Russians Are Coming!”

“23 WORKS” is a video series documenting the history of the art/tech group monochrom. monochrom has chosen 23 projects, anecdotes and stories out of their 20 years of material and recreated them as dioramas and machines.

Episode #6 tells a story from 2001 — about the early days of Soviet Unterzoegersdorf.

Link (Video)

Sierra Zulu @ Think Out Loud / Crowdfunding Session

Director Johannes Grenzfurthner will talk about Sierra Zulu and the Kickstarter campaign at Think out Loud! 2 / Crowdfunding in Attnang-Puchheim, Austria.

Johannes Grenzfurthner etwa hat seinen Film Sierra Zulu über Crowdfunding teil-finanziert. Über 50.000 Dollar sammelte er auf diese Weise über die US-Plattform Kickstarter von den Fans ein, eine Summe, die zuvor noch kaum ein heimisches Projekt erreicht hat. Er wird über seine Kampagne berichten und unter anderem auch die Frage beantworten, warum er nicht eine der deutschsprachigen Crowdfunding-Plattformen dafür ausgewählt hat.

April 25, 2013; 6 PM at Technologiezentrum Attnang-Puchheim, Austria.


Torture Whispers! Joe Magazine publishes Soviet interrogation of Johannes Grenzfurthner

Our director Johannes Grenzfurthner was captured by Soviet Unterzoegersdorf Military Intelligence, brought to an undisclosed basement without toilet and questioned about Sierra Zulu’s production status. So much can be said: SUZ Officer Moloshnikov was not happy…
The interrogation transcript was published in German in the magazine Joe.

Es stinkt nach Urin, Angst, Lügen und Wahrheit. Der Ort: ein karger Verhörraum. Die Protagonisten: Ein Offizier und Johannes Grenzfurthner, der Initiator des Film-Projektes Sierra Zulu. Ein Freigeist, dem seine Vision einer sowjetischen Mikrorepublik bis in die Realität gefolgt ist – Ein Interview der etwas anderen Art.

Text by Hubertus J. Schwarz & Johannes Grenzfurthner.
Photographs by Gerulf Dösinger.

Link to PDF version of interview

Soviet Unterzoegersdorf in “A Guidebook of Alternative Nows”

Just received our copy of A Guidebook of Alternative Nows in the mail.
We contributed a piece about Soviet Unterzoegersdorf and Sierra Zulu.

A Guidebook of Alternative Nows is a collaboratively created book. A Guidebook of Alternative Nows is a collaboratively created book. 34 visionary creative thinkers and makers contributed to this book which illuminates ways of devising more socially, economically, and ecologically just versions of now.

The Journal of Aesthetics and Protest Press, 2012
Concept: Amber Hickey
Editor: Amber Hickey
Graphic Design: Angelina Köpplin
Cover Art: Mary Tremonte
Paperback book with two alternative covers, 266 pages, Color,
17 x 24 centimeters (6.7 x 9.45 inches)


Futurezone interview about monochrom — and Sierra Zulu

“Wir sind Nerds, die in der Kunst gelandet sind”, sagen Johannes Grenzfurthner und Günter Friesinger von monochrom. Das neunköpfige Kunst-, Theorie- und Bastelkollektiv feiert noch bis Ende April im Wiener Musa seinen 20. Geburtstag. In der “Die waren früher auch mal besser” betitelten Ausstellung blickt monochrom auf ein bewegtes Schaffen zurück, das von Cyberpunk-Fanzines über Videos, Theaterstücke, Musicals, Perfomances und Konferenzen reicht. Die futurezone hat mit Grenzfurthner und Friesinger über Nerdtum, Hedonismus, Technologie und Crowdfunding gesprochen.


Soviet Unterzoegersdorf — and 20 years of monochrom

We currently celebrate 20 years of monochroms with an exhibition at MUSA in Vienna. As part of the show we also present an anecdote about Soviet Unterzoegersdorf, dating back to 2001. We chose the format of two jumping jacks connected to an audio player. The piece tells the story of an Austrian police officer who tried to question Commissar Chrusov (played by Johannes Grenzfurthner) — and fails.