Running Time: 3:17
Shot mainly on 16mm Tri-X Reversal Film
My greatest inspiration for this film was Maya Deren's Meshes of the Afternoon (1943). I wanted to create a dreamscape through careful attention to mise-en-scène. For the content of the dream and message of the film I wanted to portray the impact of capitalist-consumerist culture and advertising on the human psyche. This is where the title comes from. "Kauf" is the noun form of the German verb kaufen meaning to buy or purchase. "Geist" is a German noun that translates to mind, ghost, spirit, and/or psyche. The title, formed of these two nouns, can be understood to mean something along the lines of "spirit of the purchase" or "spirit of buying" similar to the term Zeitgeist meaning "spirit of the time" or "spirit of the age." To represent the Kaufgeist I wanted to explore the idea of advertisements in our dreams born of cultural conditioning from constant exposure to advertisements promoting capitalist consumerism. The presence of such rampant materialism in our dreams, where we explore the deepest levels of our psyche, or Geist, is a disturbing prospect. Thus, through the course of the film the student's dream is intruded by a salesperson trying to sell them various products, leading them to come to realize the sheer scale and prominence of capitalist-consumerist culture all around them. The salesperson's presence is at first an annoyance but soon becomes a source of terror born of their violation and commodification of a person's deepest layer of privacy and personal identity, their dreams.