Leah Dorner, Maria Kanzler, Stella Krausz

We think of the underground as a space where different rules apply, which is not politically charged and thus excludes no one. In the form of an essay film we capture conversations with underground explorers. We aim to find a method that allows knowledge to be partially left underground, so that no expropriation but a discussion about it can take place.

As the subsoil of all of us, the underground metaphorically raises the question of how much space each of us has at our disposal – literally but also within society. No one can escape absolute surveillance. Some might be forced to „go underground“, whilst others follow an urge to explore it. Penetrating these spaces and revealing them would endanger their special characteristics and could lead to a permanent occupation.

While exploring the subsoil of Vienna, looking for entrances and accesses, we discovered different phases of personal experiences. The reorientation in the darkness exceeds our power of imagination within the everyday life. Our senses try to adapt to the new situation and open up a possibility to dive into the unknown. Speaking to some underground explorers, a certain kind of communication strategy became recognizable: they do not reveal their knowledge immediately. Talking about less known places they usually become more restrained, vague and leave details in the dark.

In the form of an essay film we show conversations, relationships between the owners of knowledge and fragments of underground places. This "smattered knowledge" opens up an arc of tension which, as we believe, allows us to talk about the underground without naming it specifically and thus bringing it to light.


© Submersion Team


© Submersion Team


© Submersion Team




June 2020
Leah Dorner
Maria Kanzler
Stella Krausz