Film still from How to Disappear

Total Refusal, How to Disappear , 2020

Total Refusal

The Film Club

2.10 2020


Welcome to the Film Club’s screening of three video works by the Austrian artist/filmmakers collective Total Refusal. The evening will treat how interventions in computer games and how the games affect us. After the screening, an online conversation with the collective will be held. Moderator is Ming Wong, professor of Fine Art with a focus on Performance in the expanded field, The Royal Institute of Art.

Mainstream video games are becoming one of the most wide-reaching and influential cultural media and yet most fail to challenge their players’ moral values and instead affirm their total immersion in the militarization of cosmic space.

The Austrian artist/filmmakers collective Total Refusal (Robin Klengel, Leonhard Müllner and Michael Stumpf) intervenes in the “public spaces” of digital gaming media, in order to re-open these virtual combat zones for creative disobedience and critique.

Within the rules of the game’s software, the militaristic environment could for example be re-used for an architectural tour by peaceful urban flâneurs within a post-apocalyptic replica of Midtown Manhattan (‘Operation Jane Walk’); restaged for in-game performances exploring the topic of disobedience and desertion within an online shooter game (‘How to Disappear’). Or reclaimed for sharing users’ dream experiences revealing how game and dream worlds collide in their psyche and what feedback can develop between the two alternative realities (‘Featherfall’).


Operation Jane Walk

16:14 min

How to Disappear

21 min


10:21 min

About  the artists/filmmakers

The artist/filmmakers collective and pseudo-marxist media guerrilla Total Refusal (Leonhard Müllner, Michael Stumpf and Robin Klengel) intervenes in current video games and writes papers about games and politics.

Since 2018 it has been awarded with 17 prizes (and 10 honorary mentions) like the Loop Discovery Award, the Contemporary Visual Arts Award of Styria Province and Vimeo Staff Pick Award among others. Total Refusal has been screened at more than 120 film and video festivals like Berlinale (2020), BFI London (2018) and IDFA Amsterdam (2018) and they been exhibited at various exhibition spaces like the HEK Basel (2020), CURRENTS New Media  in Santa Fe (2020) and the Ars Electronica Linz  (2019).

Leonhard Müllner (born1987 in Graz), lives and works in Vienna as visual artist and media researcher and is currently doing his PhD in Media Studies.

Robin Klengel (born 1988 in Graz) lives and works as artist, illustrator and cultural anthropologist in Vienna and Graz.

Michael Stumpf (born 1985 in Wels) studied Philosophy and is currently completing his studies of Media Culture and Art Theories in Linz.


The Film Club features films and discussions on Friday evenings – at the museum or live-streamed on the web site.

The Film Club resurrected in 2018 and presents films on the boundary between art and documentary. Often, the artist or director will take part in discussions after the screenings. The 2020 autumn programme is compiled in collaboration with Östgötateatern, The Royal Institute of Art, MDT and Institut Français de Suède.

Film has had a prominent position at the Museum since the start. The Moderna Museet Film Club has existed since the Museum opened in 1958, showing everything from children’s matinees to the latest experimental art films.

During the 1990’s and early 2000’s the museum presented international artists in the series Contemporary Film and Video. Other screening have often been held in connection with exhibitions at the museum or in collaboration with The Royal Academy of Art, Filmform, Cinemateket, Tempo Documentary Film Festival, Cinemafrica, Stockholm’s Feminist Film Festival, among others.

Previous programme: The Film Club

The Film Club editorial team

Lena Essling, curator, Catrin Lundqvist, curator.