How to Disappearat Heldenplatz

How to Disappear

The short film How to Disappear by Robin Klengel, Leonhard Müllner and Michael Stumpf (collective Total Refusal) negotiates "desertion" in video games as well as the big picture of the history of desertion. In 2020, the film received the Diagonale Award for Best Short Documentary. Now the Artificial Museum connects it with the place that in 2014 became a collective place of remembrance for those persecuted by the National Socialist military justice - i.e. deserters and "Wehrkraftzersetzer" - and adds a narrative dimension to Olaf Nicolai's memorial.

Via the question of what a deserter is, Total Refusal penetrates the narrative of a first-person shooter game (a video game in which players fight other players or computer-controlled opponents with firearms in a three-dimensional game world). The picturesque battlefields of the video game "Battlefield V" provide the backdrop for an essay-like fictional narrative that deals with war and play, discipline and disobedience, and asks about the possible forms of resistance. Through interventions in the virtual battlefield, the collective explores the play spaces and limits of the audiovisual entertainment machine and simultaneously and creates a digital reflective space for reality. "The narrative creates a rift through which physically real realities enter the depoliticized fun stage of the game." (Total Refusal)

Total Refusal sees itself as a pseudo-Marxist media guerrilla, primarily researching issues of capitalism, war, and politics in video games. The collective (consisting of Robin Klengel, Leonhard Müllner, Michael Stumpf, Susanna Flock, Adrian Haim and Jona Kleinlein) develops films and installations from video games using the means of appropriation and rule-breaking within the medium.

The Artificial Museum, an initiative of artist Daniela Weiss and programmed by Jascha Ehrenreich, uses public space as a vehicle for art through a web-based augmented-reality application. For the presentation of How to Disappear, it makes its digital platform available. The short film screened at numerous national and international film festivals, such as the Berlinale, and won 15 awards.


at the Memorial for the Victims of Nazi Military Justice, 1010 Vienna

Further Information

"HOW TO DISAPPEAR", short film, AT 2020, 21 min.

Direction: Robin Klengel, Leonhard Müllner, Michael Stumpf
Screenplay: Total Refusal (Robin Klengel, Leonhard Müllner, Michael Stumpf)
Performers: Franz-Josef Windisch-Graetz, Dmitry Gamolin
Camera: Michael Stumpf
Editing: Leonhard Müllner
Music: Adina Camhy
Sound Design: Bernhard Zorzi/Blautöne
Text: Robin Klengel, Michael Stumpf
Production Design: DICE
Producers: Total Refusal
Digital Installation: Artificial Museum (Litto/Daniela Weiss, Jascha Ehrenreich, Klaus Krobath, Peter Várnai)
Production: Total Refusal


How to Disappearat Heldenplatz

Time Period

from July 4 2023 until the end of June 2024

U3 Herrengasse // 1, 2, 71, D, U2Z Ring/Volkstheater

Education - Events


Go to documents


short film
Total Refusal
Artificial Museum