Art Cologne

CLIENT: koelnmesse
28.OKTOBER til 2.NOVEMBER 2003

On the catwalk at Art Cologne. Kirsten Geisler’s Virtual Beauty welcomes visitors to Art Cologne.

In close cooperation with KölnMesse, 235 MEDIA presents the computer animation “Catwalk” – as an installation on the canopy of the main entrance. Additional works by Kirsten Geisler can be seen at 235 MEDIA, Hall 1.1, Stand 28.

A naked beauty moves over the runway towards the visitor with an artful swing of the hips. She looks towards him, then turns, and the catwalk begins anew.
Kirsten Geisler works with virtual creations. She uses the power of digital technology to create artificial beauty. Geisler develops women’s heads, Virtual Beauties, which she designs on the computer, drawing on research into human perceptions of beauty. Although Geisler’s “Beauties” appear to fulfil all the ideals of female beauty, the blank expressions on their well-proportioned faces are nonetheless deeply puzzling for the viewer. Geisler’s comparison shows that stereotypical representations of women have by now reached such a level of artificiality, that the borders between the real and the virtual world are becoming increasingly blurred.

Having worked together with a cosmetic surgeon, Kirsten Geisler has achieved excellent results. The simulation swings her hips in a confident walk towards the observer, who is unsure whether to submit to this delicate seduction or reject its obvious clichés.

In Cooperation with koelnmesse

Studio Azzurro


A shipwreck is an unfulfilled act because the ship and her passengers do not reach their port of destination after setting sail. All our everyday aborted actions are shipwrecks too, in particular the many small tentative gestures we make. Shipwrecks of ideas, intentions, feelings.

Losing the port of destination is a painful event. Lost in the water, the castaway is left to his own fate. The loss of the harbour fills us with a pain that prevents all movement and takes away our ability to survive, physically and spiritually.

But not all castaways sink without a trace. Many leave behind tracks and signs. From a mathematical perspective, these are remainders; in psychoanalytic terms, residues; and in the literary sense, relics. This is what surrounds us and what we castaways can cling to. Castaways cling to experiences, following the gestures of earlier victims of capsizes. An ideal raft in the form of tables on which they can climb makes it possible for them to end their journey and reach their destination.

The journey is a departure towards touch, the gesture of a stroke, a fleeting emotion dedicated to a person’s body or soul. The shipwreck arises from the impossibility of fulfilling this gesture and of following the impulse of a feeling to its conclusion; the rafts are an unexpected rescue, a new possibility to let the gesture reach its destination.

To make use of this possibility, we must regain faith in our own senses and rediscover the power and tenderness of touching, the roughness or smoothness of surfaces and materials and perhaps even of our own bodies.


5. til 9. April 2003

A retrospective to mark the 20th anniversary of 235 MEDIA, agency, sales office and exhibition consultancy for media art.

Video art, originally situated between cinematic experiment and visual art, has long since left the narrow frame of the screen and assumed a spatial presence. While early linear video works were closely linked to the utopian ambitions and socially critical ideals of the 1960s and 1970s, contemporary media art reflects the discourse on the evolution of artificial intelligence and virtual worlds with great intensity. The far-reaching metamorphosis in media art can be observed in the constant further development of interactive media spaces that the viewer can walk in and amongst and digital network installations in the past two decades.

235 MEDIA has followed this process over the last 20 years and helped shape it. Founded in Cologne in 1982, the company offers an overview of some of the most important standpoints in media art to mark its twentieth anniversary. The special exhibition is on display from 5 to 9 April as part of KunstKöln in an exhibition space measuring approximately 250 m2. It is at once a portrait and a retrospective.

Visitors can see and experience installations by Studio Azzurro, Doug Hall, Bill Seaman, Marcel Odenbach, Ulrike Rosenbach and Klaus vom Bruch to name just a few. The genesis of media art can be followed in the selection of exhibits, which touch on key issues in this discourse: video art as anti-gesture and political statement, the staging of corporeality, the construction of the self, interactivity and engaging the viewer in the work, the expansion of semantic and virtual spaces… An accompanying
program with selected historic video works provides an insight into the roots and visions of video artwork.

The exhibition includes:
Studio Azzurro, Il Nuatatore & Der Schwimmer, 1984
Marcel Odenbach, Die Unwahrheit der Vernunft, 1978
Ulrike Rosenbach, Über den Tod, 1995
Doug Hall, The terrible uncertainty of the thing described, 1987-89
Bill Seaman, Hybrid Invention Generator, 2002
Klaus vom Bruch, Radar Zylinder, 1992
Kirsten Geisler, Cat Walk, 2002, & Touch Me, 1999

And a selection of video art works from 1578 til 2003.

Bill Seaman

CLIENT: Bill Seaman

The genetic and nano-technical progress that is being made today is portrayed as something almost inevitable by its supporters and opponents alike. The computer specialist Bill Joy characterizes nano-technical development as a “Faustian bargain“ and thinks that we are opening a “new Pandora’s box“. The researcher Ray Kurzweil belongs to the great optimists and prophecies that technical progress will take off at lightning speed and foresees the fusion of man and machine.

The dream of tiny robots racing through a human’s arteries in order to destroy pathogens on the spot at the same time implies that so-called nano-robots can copy and reproduce a human brain. Man’s wish to improve the human body is as old as man himself. The technology with which it would be possible to realize such tempting visions exists in outlines; however it is impossible to know exactly what its effect on human life will be. The present debate raises hopes, addresses imminent dangers and poses the question of what it means to be human.

Based on this topical subject which scientists are doing research on, which is incorporated so often in science fiction movies and novels and which could soon be a part of our everyday life, INVERSION takes a look at the potential body of the 21st century.

Bill Seaman and Regina van Berkel’s subtle observations of the complex relationship man-machine are transferred to their dance/performance/installation in fascinating metaphors. The choreography and the direct presence of the body comment and contrast the aesthetic and expressive power of the onslaught of media images, supported by the poetry ´of music and text.

In Bill Seaman’s works we are repeatedly confronted with his view of human movement. He assigns the observer an active role and makes it possible for him to have a sensuous experience.

ZKM, Karlsruhe
Kunsthochschule für Medien, Köln

Vision Ruhr


The exhibition project `´ opens up, with new artistic works and using the Ruhr conurbation as an example , the reality of life in and the transformation of an old industrial region. The art exhibition combines various display elements into a scenario that engages itself artistically with the historical heritage, the present time and artistic visions of the future.

Outstanding media installations, sculptures and performances by world-renowned artists are the focus of the exhibition, which will be rounded off by an event programme from the fields of music, film and Internet as well as museum-educational activities.

The central venue for the exhibition is the Jugendstil-Zeche Zollern II/IV in Dortmund. With works from Gary Hill, Doug Hall, Perry Hoberman, Studio Azzurro, Laurie Anderson, Jochen Gerz and many more.

Doug Hall

CLIENT: Doug Hall

Doug Halls environment allows for a complex spatial experience through the cooperation of several media. The whole of the exhibition area is integrated into the dramaturgy by creating a complex spatial structure with the help of various steel constructions and by using the walls as projection screens.

Within the darkened room, huge video projections and six video monitors create a dramatic scenery of tempests, fires and floods. These impressive but non-directive—and virtual—energy potentials of Nature presented to the audience both as video images and as sounds, are contrasted with a physical installation exhibit: In certain intervals, a Tesla coil produces enormous “live” electrical discharges in the hall.

The name of Doug Halls installation THE TERRIBLE UNCERTAINTY OF THE THING DESCRIBED refers to Edmund Burkes “A Philosophical Inquiry into the Origins of Our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful”. Hall draws on Burke’s description of the relationship between Man’s awe in the face of the powers of nature and the sciences quest for enlightenment, staging this field of tension with the help of video technology and various steel constructions. Both fascinating and frightening, the installation does not only deliver a representation, but also an analysis of the transformation of energy. The taming of the sometimes destructive natural powers, represented by the artificial electrical arcs created with the Tesla coi, l seems to be successful; yet it becomes obvious—also under consideration of the latest news of natural disasters all over the world—that Man with all the technology at his hands still is not able to canalise more than a fraction of these enormous powers.

Andres Bosshard

CLIENT:, Dortmund

An interactive sound architecture to the plans of old sun dials: Echo-cascade for the production of sounds of subterranean vibrations and their optimum atomisation in higher layers of air.

Although sun dials of all sizes have existed for ages, the attempt to build a moon clock has not been made for quite a long time. A moon clock is an invisible machine. Its effects are only audible. The lunar powers of tide do not only influence the sea but also the different layers of rocks. Deep sound vibrations come up daily in different rising and falling cycles. A sound-based moon-clock makes those huge subterranean sound waves audible and brings them to the surface.

Four sound stones are set up immediately above ground with a distance of 25 metres from each other. They form the sound foundation for an echo-cascade rising up to 20m. This leads the sound movement of the deep sound vibrations along an alley and far beyond its tree tops. Six see-through sound transformers are hung up in the branches so as to enable every gust of wind to optimally blow away the sounds.

The layers of air themselves are naturally filled with huge deep sound fields that, however, are inaudible to us. A moon-clock thus is a space where different adjacent layers of space can be brought into a relationship as if we could read the night time by listening to the moon shades. Admittedly, without the magic of poesy, the light of day does not allow any moonlight to be seen. However, the sound areas cycling in the alley that can be diverted by the visitors with the help of four motion sensors, do provide such an impression.

Grahame Weinbren, Tunnel

CLIENT: Stadt Dortmund

Over some stairs, the visitor enters a 30 m long artificial tunnel mounted on top of a set of uprights and running freely through the machine hall of the mine Zollern ll/lV. The tunnel, an abstracted coal seam, is built in zigzagged shape; its inside height varies between 2.5 and 4 metres.

In turn, the floor and the ceiling of the tunnel are used as projection surfaces. As soon as one enters the dark corridor, head and shoulders of a human appear on one side, feet and legs on the other, moving through the tunnel as a “virtual companion” in sync with the visitor’s walking speed. Since the images are projected onto transparent surfaces, visitors always get a glimpse at parts of the old machinery.

With the movement through the tunnel, the appearance of the alter ego changes: While being clothed in the style of the turn of the century at the beginning, its clothes take on a more and more modern form the closer the visitor gets to the end of the corridor.

Against the background of the unchanged old industrial plant, the change of the industrial society is portrayed through the outer transformation of the “virtual companion”. The walk through the tunnel becomes a journey through time.

Jeffrey Shaw

CLIENT: Kunst- und Ausstellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland

The interactive installation PLACE RUHR exhibited from June 7 through July 20, 1997 at the Arts and Exhibition Hall of the Federal Republic of Germany in Bonn extends classical panoramas in painting, photography and cinematography into three-dimensional virtual spaces.

A circular room with a diameter of 8,9 metres is installed in the exhibition area, its walls being used as projection surface. Inside this 260-degree screen, users can operate three video projectors covering a panorama section of 120 degrees each..

The projection system is installed on a motorized platform; through a simple interface, users control the direction and depth of camera movements, allowing them to zoom in or out of the panoramic landscape.
The projected scenery consists of eleven panoramic views captured with a special panorama camera and combined in a computer-controlled system. The various panoramas—in the case of PLACE RUHR, industrial landmarks of the Ruhr region were used—are represented as round objects within a virtual data space and can be accessed and left singly through the control unit.

On the inside of the cylinders, video sequences are presented that correspond to the topic and place of the outside of the objects in question. These video sequences are produced at characteristical places. For the PLACE RUHR installation in Dortmund, actions with different elements were produced, including fire, water and smoke as well as sequences with actors, children, sportsmen, etc. Each cylinder is assigned a symbolic live element closely connected to the specific landmark and the position of the cylinder.

An additional microphone on the control unit allows visitors to trigger a computer program that projects three-dimensional fragments of text into the panorama.

Jill Scott

CLIENT: Zeche Zollern II/IV

Jill Scott’s large spatial installation consists of two interactive sections. The artist uses the representative architecture of the Zollern ll/lV mine’s “Steigerhalle” hall as a projection surface for seven video projections.

In the first section, visitors are assigned the role of observers, out of which they are given the opportunity to enter in a sort of dialogue with six different persons—three men and three women—representing the industrial workers of the Ruhr area from the beginning of the 20th century to the present. The six characters are fictional personalities modelled by Jill Scott to the results of intense archive studies, oral tradition and interviews.

The individuals work in different industrial branches; yet, they have in common a reflected view on their work and living situation. With the help of six electronic interfaces—custom-made computer-controlled chairs—, visitors can explore the history of each of the six persons. The control system allows the selection and order of subjects that the characters talk about. By following the whole of the six life stories, visitors become witnesses of the changing work situations; however, this is not achieved by merely imparting facts and figures, but by intimate insights in the worker’s lives. The video images are projected onto the insides of the big blinded arched windows of the “Steigerhalle” hall, merging the workers’ life stories of the workers into the architecture of the mine.

The second section of BEYOND HIERARCHY consists of a video projection on the window opposite the entrance of the “Steigerhalle” hall and an interface that needs to be operated by two simultaneously to start the projection. The two visitors are required to shake hands —a metaphor for solidarity—through both openings of the box-shaped interface. This triggers the projection of documentary (“objective”) film material showing acts of protest and solidarity of the labour movement interspersed with images of equally fictitious labourers who comment the footage from their personal point-of-view.

Jill Scott uses the electronic media as an instrument to digest history, offering the audience the subjective reports of fictitious “witnesses” to create a point-of-view allowing for an identification with the past on a very personal level. a view on history.

Jim Campbell

CLIENT: Zeche Zollern II/IV

The installation BALANCING ACT consists of a dark rectangular room with a large square rear projection video screen at one end and a small LCD video screen at the other end. On the floor, next to and facing the large screen, there is a walker filled with lead. In front of the walker, on the large screen, is a changing solid color field of light. Towards the bottom of the color field, there is a shadow of the walker.

As the viewer heads towards the walker and stands near it or within it, he perceives that the shadow of the walker in the image is not live. In other words, even if the viewer is looking at the image from within the walker, ha still sees the shadow of an empty walker. It seems like a mirror in which the viewer does not exist. The color field of light is constantly changing, slowly transitioning from one color to the next, lighting the whole space and the viewer with a single color at any one moment.

On the small video monitor at the other end of the room, there is a still image from the Wizard of Oz, produced in 1939. The image is taken from the scene shortly after Dorothy meets the Scarecrow which has a hard time standing because his knees are made of straw. When the viewer gets close to the small image he sees a single black pixel slowly moving from the left to the right and then down along a line, slowly scanning the image. It soon becomes apparent that the moving black pixel represents the location of the color that is currently being displayed on the rear projection screen behind the viewer.

As the pixel moves across the yellow brick road, the room fills with yellow light immersing the viewer in the same color as the moving black pixel on the image is being immersed in, giving the viewer the sensation of being within the image as a pixel and stuck in a 2 D world without being able to see beyond.

Jochen Gerz


For the duration of the exhibition “” on the premises of the former mine Zollern ll/lV in Dortmund, Jochen Gerz realöised the set-up of a digital photo studio and a frame workshop.

The photo studio offered every visitor the possibility to get a photograph taken for free by a professional photographer according to the artist’s instructions, which was framed afterwards in the workshop. At the same time a second identical photo was printed and framed and transported to the local museum “Museum am Ostwall” and exhibited. An estimated amount of 5600 portraits of 50 by 60 cm had been produced twice. The back of each photograph contained exact specifications, such as the date and serial number of the portrait, as well as a certificate about the context of production. However, visitors did not received their own portrait as a gift, but rather a randomly chosen portrait of another person. The image of a stranger in the recipient’s private space thus became a symbol of the social interaction of unselfish giving.To see their own portrait the visitor had to go to the museum.

Masaki Fujihata, Vertical Mapping

CLIENT: Stadt Dortmund

Masaki Fujihata’s interactive and networked installation VERTICAL MAPPING is oriented along the communication between miners above and below ground.

The installation consists of five hoisting cages that serve as the basis for the exploration of a three-dimensional computer-animated underground landscape where you can meet other visitors and communicate with them. Two of these cages are the original hosting cages of the Zollern ll/IV coal mine, two stylized copies can be found in the maintenance building of the mine, and another one on the balcony of the pithead baths. The different places where the hoisting cages are positioned are linked by “Shared Virtual Environment” technologies. VERTICAL MAPPING is a virtual pit system that contains quite a few surprises and invites the users to communicate.

The interface of the control system is the hoisting stand, or rather, its copy. The right lever is used for the movement along the X-axis (left and right), the left lever along the Y-axis (up and down). Next to the chair there is a telephone over which one can communicate with the actors of the other hoisting stands.

VERTICAL MAPPING uses an extended version of the software for “Global Interior Project”, 1996, and “Nuzzle Afar”, 1998, developed by Takeshi Kawashima.

Perry Hobermann, Workaholic

CLIENT: Stadt Dortmund

A bunch of cables is hanging from the ceiling like a giant pendulum. On the lower end of the cable, just a few centimetres above ground, an omnidirectional bar code scanner casting its intense red laser light onto the floor is supended. A laminated print of about six square metres containing hundreds of bar codes and other high-contrast black-and-white images covers the floor beneath the scanner. A few metres above ground, a small video projector is mounted to the cabling, casting its images downward.

By swinging to and fro, the scanner reads the various bar codes at random. The projector projects an image to the floor that swings in tune with the scanner at its centre. The bar code data are forwarded to a computer controlling the video projector and constantly changing the images and animations. The images are determined by the bar codes, their appearance depending on the direction of the scanner/pendulum’s swing.

An octagon railing of the size of the pendulum?s maximum swing surrounds the cable bundle. On it, eight powerful hairdryers are mounted to act as a sort of interface. The visitors may direct the jet of the hairdryers towards the pendulum in order to change its course. Several visitors can combine their efforts to force the pendulum into a certain swinging plane or into a circular motion that will produce spectacular images.

The work and its hard-to-use interface evoke associations of a consumerism out of control, with a flood of goods and transactions melting into each other and becoming undistinguishable.

Sommerer & Mignonneau, Industrial Evolution

CLIENT: Stadt Dortmund

In the installation INDUSTRIAL EVOLUTION visitors can interact with historical photographs from the time of the Industrial Revolution. Pictures of factories, mines, assembly line, production sites and connected administration buildings convey a fascination for the technical achievements of the time, not unlike the one that can be felt towards the present digital revolution.

In part, the images selected present the mine Zollern ll/lV in Dortmund, others show factories and production sites from all over the world. Many of the images accessible in the installation are stereo photographs from the middle of the 19th century. They were looked at through a so-called stereoscope that allowed a three-dimensional view.

Based upon the idea of combining those historical pictures of the Industrial Revolution with the digital technology of our time and opening them to be experienced by the visitors, Sommerer and Mignonneau created this interactive and immersive virtual environment integrating the audience.

INDUSTRIAL EVOLUTION allows the visitor to enter the historical images and to interact with them. When entering the installation, visitors see themselves on the projection screen being set into one of those pictures. By moving within the real space of the environment they may simultaneously experience the virtual three-dimensional space of the historic photograph.

Peter Kogler

CLIENT: Stadt Dortmund

Within the setting of the media art exhibition, Peter Kogler designed two huge printed courtains covering the lateral windows for the right half of the great machinery hall of the Zollern II/IV mine. Kogler’s works, developing their
best effect when in large formats, are based on recurring patterns of graphic items.

This work referring to the tools of coal mining was custom designed for the machinery hall by Kogler. In addition to the artistic message it conveyed, the curtain was actually intended to darken the right-hand side of the hall.

Studio Azzurro – Dove va tutta questa Gente

KUNDE: Stadt Dortmund

The installation, the title of which can be translated as »Where are all these people going?«, consists of three automatic sliding glass doors which are installed, one behind the other, at a distance of four meters from one another. The glass surfaces of the doors and the floor space between the doors serve as projection surfaces.

When a visitor approaches the first door, an infra-red transmitter is activated and changes the first two levels of images on the floor and on the door. The door opens automatically, and by passing though, the next two image levels are influenced

The video images depict many slowly moving human bodies. When a visitor approaches a door, the bodies move and try with all their might to open rooms and to overcome doors and other obstacles in order to get from one room to the next.

Toshio Iwai

CLIENT: Kunst- und Ausstellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland
APRIL til JUNE 1999

COMPOSITION ON THE TABLE is an interactive installation that allows several visitors at the same time to develop musical compositions in real-time. Besides, Iwai presents a new visualisation of complex musical contexts with the help of simple symbols.

The table construction based upon computer software developed by Iwai presents a simple interface. It consists of a grid of 36 push buttons combined with a data projector. The projector is situated on the ceiling above the table. The projection technique shows simple graphic symbols referring to the push button and allowing for the selection of various “instruments”. By pushing various combinations of the buttons, the looped musical compositions can be started and changed; furthermore, they can be experienced graphically by watching their projection on the table

This new combination of graphics, electronic music and simple interface offers infinite possibilities of musical design. Toshio Iwai presents two new table constructions with a diameter of 120 cm. They are part of a series of table installations that he has been creating since 1998.

Jean-Louis Boissier, Seconde Promenade

CLIENT: Art and Exhibitions Hall of the Federal Republic of Germany

Boissier’s installation SECONDE PROMENADE, exhibited at the Art and Exhibitions Hall of the German Federal Republic between December 3, 1998 and February 2, 1999, combines different media: Pictures, sounds, music, videos and computer-based text. This hypertext is closely related to Rousseau’s original work “Seconde Promenade”

By means of simple interaction with the artwork, visitors can read Rousseau’s text in all sorts of variations. Furthermore, the installation refers to the Rousseau’s complete literary and philosophical work as well as describing the results of the research conducted. This piece of media art is essayistic on one hand; on the other, Boissier describes autobiographical aspects of Rousseau‘s life and work.

“Seconde Promenade” is a central part of Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s (1670-1712) text “Rèveries du promeneur solitaire” (Monologues of a lonely walker). This text is a counterpart to the stories about the flowers of the island of Saint Pierre that served as foundation for Boissiers earlier installation “Flora petrinsularis”. The stories describe the moment in which Rousseau decided never to write again, only to start his work on “Confessions” at the same time.

“Seconde Promenade” stands for a moment of rebirth: Rousseau is spending an afternoon walking, collecting plants in the autumn landscape on the hills of Ménilmontan. Absorbed in his own thoughts, he remembers wonderful moments of his life. Suddenly, he is attacked by a dog, loses his consciousness and only slowly regains it. This experience is what he describes in the “Monologues of a lonely walker”.

The aesthetic power and the conceptional quality of SECONDE PROMENADE consists in finding a new language for the audio-visual media particularly on the interactive level, following both the literary and the cinematographic tradition.

Studio Azzurro – Un Passo di Cristallo

CLIENT: Studio Azurro
April 2012

The interactive installation UN PASSO DI CRISTALLO was developed for Swarovski’s “Kristallwelten” in Wattens, Austria.

A long corridor is lit by a white reflecting linoleum floor onto which video sequences are being projected. Approaching the corridor, the visitor only perceives an undifferentiated pattern of crystal images. A symphonic ouverture is audible at low level.

The first step onto the plain of projection triggers an unforeseen reaction: The floor underneath moves and appears to open downwards right under your feet. The crystals on the ground suddenly seem to be only loosely connected, they are torn away by the load of visitors, sliver to pieces and disappear in the endless depths. Underneath, new images emerge: projections of fire, water, earth and air come into sight.

Behind the visitor, the picture falls back in its old position. The tactile experience associates an underground walk across a field of crystals. The pictures which come afore by treading the ground give an impression of the mysterious, the profound and the secret of the crystals.

PARTNERS:Andre Heller

Brian Eno

CLIENT: Art and Exhibitions Hall of the Federal Republic of Germany

Brian Eno has created a series of constantly changing audio-visual installations – environments that are slow, subtle and yet overpoweringly enchanting. He places single light objects together creating an ensemble which permanently takes on new combinations due to changing video sequences and slide projections. The objects, placed by Eno in a fully darkened room consist mainly of a semi-transparent sculpture wrapped in parchment paper with a video monitor or projector hidden inside.

As with his music, he seeks to create an atmosphere rather than a “piece of Art”. These are places in which one would like to stay, places which engage the visitor and take him into a new, quiet world.

The exhibition climaxed with a great party in the museum grounds. Under the banner „Sushi! Roti! Reibekuchen!“ there was food and drink for a thousand guests. Brian Eno performed on stage for the first time in 15 years. Eno improvised with musicians including Holger Czukay until the local police shut off the power.

Francisco Ruiz de Infante

CLIENT: Art and Exhibitions Hall of the Federal Republic of Germany

In the exhibitions hall there are ten tables, arranged in three groups and surrounded untidily by fourteen chairs. Within these groups, the tables are connected by big plates of frosted glass with monitors installed underneath, the screens of which face upwards.

Two wall-high images are projected onto two opposite walls, showing close-ups of different animals in quick succession. Slight digital manipulation of image speed and minor details lets the animals move bodies and mouths simultaneously, uttering strange sounds suggesting that the animals are speaking. The ensemble of sounds is complemented by another complex input of translation attempts.

14 II Lind Headphones are hanging from the ceiling, completing the installation. When the visitors takes a seat and wear the headphones, they can listen to a simultaneous translation of all the sounds and witness the strange animal conversation. What is special about these headphones is that four of them translate the text into Spanish, three into English, three into French and three into German. However, the translation seems strangely disjointed and consists of monotonously lined up sentences. So, visitors can select an understandable language but they will only hear a new series of sounds, in this case human. Like the expressive animal sounds, these human utterances make only as much sense as the own the power of imagination is able to decipher.

Studio Azurro – Gorgo Meteorit


The interactive installation IL GORGO refers to the two central topics of water and energy. The installation was created for André Heller’s project “Meteorit” in Essen and seamlessly integrates into a fantastic underground architecture in which visitor looks into an abyss from a bridge.

While at rest, the abyss shows the projection of a slightly moving water surface. Through their voices, visitors can trigger various interactions: Activated by the visitor’s voices, figures appears out of the water, slowly moving towards the viewers. However, before the image reaches the observer, it disappears in the increasing luminosity around the bridge. In a second option, the sound transforms the water surface into a swirl that disappears as quickly as it appeared, leaving behind the unperturbed water surface as before. Both of the options transform the energy emanating from the visitors (i.e., their voices) into kinetic energy that is returned to the visitors.

George Legrady

CLIENT: Art and Exhibitions Hall of the Federal Republic of Germany

TRACING is an installation examining the relation between the countryside and what seems to be the cultural centre. The exhibition room is separated in the middle by a 4m wide wall, on which you can see a video projection on each side.

George Legrady describes the two parts of the room as „two sides of a coin“, as heads or tails, as pitch-penny, as a decision to be taken. The element connection this metaphor is a letter in which a man from Eastern Europe complains that his Western friend doesn’t answer and obviously has no interest in the friendship anymore. The letter seems to glide to and fro through the wall, presenting itself in connected passages on one side while being visible on the other only whenever certain passages are actively clicked on with the mouse.

In the front part of the room, the movements of the visitors are registered via sensors, which triggers the picking of selected fragments from the linear text via computer control. Those text passages are connected to specific video sequences that are projected onto the rear of the wall. There, Legrady confronts us with atmospheric pictures from Eastern Europe; with views of squares, front doors and interiors as well as with private impressions.

Additionally, in the rear part of the room you can read selected passages of the letter with the help of a computer mouse, which in turn activates the video sequences. Thus, te selection of the video images and text parts is a complex interaction between the movements in the front part of the room and the active selection of text passages by the computer mouse.

Masaki Fujihata

CLIENT: Art and Exhibitions Hall of the Federal Republic of Germany

Masaki Fujihata calls many of his works “experiments”. To him, BEYOND PAGES is a piece of art. This is among others due to the well-defined framework conditions that—contrary to many of his other works—are not designed as an open process.

The viewer finds a situation that is invitingly oriented towards the moment of reception. The book as a bearer of information and a means of memory is, to Fujihata, important for the culture of writing and for the learning of linear reading. His interest in testing and using multimedia technologies allows him to question the qualities and limits of this medium. The book as an interface still simulates the leafing through pages; however, the limitations
induced by the two-dimensionality of the surface and the rigidness of the characters is overcome in an elegant manner.

Fujihata introduces moments of surprise the effects of which lie consequently in an extension of the usual quiet and silent existence of an illustrated text. Three-dimensional and animated elements appear on the pages, the pulse-giving gesture is linked to acoustic signals.

With BEYOND PAGES, Fujihata refers to the potential of technology and to the task of designing out of concentration and interest with fantasy what is appreciated as the content.

Masaki Fujihata

CLIENT: Art and Exhibitions Hall of the Federal Republic of Germany

The interface between real and virtual space is formed by four cubes with one window each through which the virtual space can be explored.

Masaki Fujihata chose 18 symbols as allegories for the world that are visible as iconic representatives in one of the virtual spaces only. Furthermore, the installation is complemented by a sculpture consisting of 18 boxes containing each one figure that thematically matches one of the symbols.

As soon as someone acts at one of the cubes and finds him- or herself in one of the virtual spaces, a door opens at the sculpture and releases the figure matching the space accessed. One of the cubes is placed next to the sculpture, allowing to observe at the sculpture in which virtual rooms there are other participants, and to get in touch with them.

The installation is the exemplary attempt to realize communicational design with modern technology and to experience new possibilities of cultural exchange. GLOBAL INTERIOR PROJECT mediates an understanding of the meta-structures of electronic communication networks and their interfaces between real and virtual spaces.

Ulrike Rosenbach

CLIENT: Art and Exhibitions Hall of the Federal Republic of Germany
MARCH til APRIL 1997

With the installation IM PALAST DER NEUGEBORENEN KINDER (In the Palace of the Newborn Children) Ulrike Rosenbach realizes her latest work, a custom design for the MedienKunstRaum of the Art and Exhibitions Hall of the Federal Republic of Germany.

Through a narrow entrance, the visitor enters a long octagonal room, the sides of which are made up entirely of video screens. From these projection areas, oversize images of children moving in a slow rocking dance look down on the visitors, encircling them with their roundel. The portraits of the children seem serious, blown up, almost gigantic, and they are underlined by a sound composition of a deep, monotonous heart beat and by electronically distorted children’s voices. The image of a computer monitor seems to float on the small front side of the octagonal projection room, displaying children?s palms commented with the words “Life checker”, “Lifesaver”, “Live runner”.This giant ensemble of animated images leaves the visitor in a helpless state, confronted with a kind of juvenile violence that demonstrates its power with a combination of awareness and static personality.

In the narrow image space of the walkable installation, the artist confronts us with a future vision of children who appear as half human, half android—fictitious images of a world that appears as a mirror of the torn inner condition of our society. The children as a metaphor for the future and a new start full of hope are questioned by the form of the installation and become uncertain carriers of a future draft of the world.

Bill Seaman

CLIENT: Art and Exhibitions Hall of the Federal Republic of Germany

The interactive installation is based upon audiovisual and textual compositions dealing with travel, motion, and sensuality.

Within the exhibition space, one side of about nine metres is covered with projections from three video beamers. This view into a virtual world presents itself as a menu system that can be controlled via a trackball, video disc player and computer and allows embarking on a poetical journey around the globe.

A complex system of short haiku poems that can be constructed in ever new variations forms the basis. Each haiku is associatively connected to video sequences and music composed by Seaman that are played back in parallel—a poetical discourse about love, sexuality and sensuality in a global networked society.

In addition to the interactive use by the audience, an autonomous poetry generator constructs further haikus that are projected by one of the three beamers. Here, artificial intelligence and the displacement of language are being addressed.

The conceptual superposition of the projected spaces defines a flowing imaginary space open for the viewers/participants and constructs new kinds of hybrid locations with the help of the latest technologies.

Gary Hill



In his installation CIRCULAR BREATHING, Gary Hill combines five detail shots with five fragments into seven chapters.

The pictures move along the wall in mathematically structured sequences. The more pictures are visible on the five projection surfaces, the more the speed of upcoming pictures decreases, going into slow motion before coming to a standstill. The picture sequences and the synchronous sound blend and separate at the same time, suggesting elements of a story and forming intuitive allegories without coming into a linear narrative structure.

In the context of the works about perception, consciousness and communication CIRCULAR BREATHING is Gary Hill’s most outstanding work. The title refers to a special technique of breathing as practised when playing wind instruments and in Chinese Tai-Chi. CIRCULAR BREATHING symbolizes the process of perception in memory and is an exercise of renouncing a meaning. Pre-structured chapters like “Strassenszene” (Street Scene), “Baustelle” (Building Site) or “Klavierspiel” (Piano Play) encourage the perception to formulate a structure of narration. But in the race with the disappearance of the fragments of pictures and sound, the attempt of a linear narration dries up. The continuity of seeing meets with the instability of the flickering images and the discontinuity of the narrative technique.

Following the rhythm of the images, the eye has to breathe, between a fade-in on the leftand a fade-out on the right hand side. The appearing and disappearing of the images and sounds corresponds to the process of remembering and forgetting. The images show up as if emerging from a stream of lost recollections just to disappear again into oblivion.

Sommerer & Mignonneau

CLIENT: Art and Exhibitions Hall of the German Federal Republic
JUNE til JULY 1996

With the interactive real-time installation A-VOLVE the visitors of the Art and Exhibitions Hall of the German Federal Republic in Bonn were offered the opportunity to create and influence virtual beings via a graphics computer had between June 5 and July 28, 1996.

Through a touch-screen, users could assign the figures any shape and structure and convert them into three-dimensional beings that seem to swim in a video-projected water basin. The beings develop in an evolutionary process and can be influenced in their creation and development by human interaction.

The movement and behaviour of the virtual beings is defined by their shape that the viewer has drawn on the touch screen. Their spatial behaviour is an expression of their shape and their shape is an expression of their adaptation to the environment. The motional capabilities of these beings determine their ability to survive in the pool. The most capable being will survive the longest and be able to mate and reproduce.

In the mutual fight for survival, the beings will try to receive as much energy as possible. Predators hunt for prey to kill it. Furthermore, the creatures react to visitors and the movements of their hands on the water surface. If a visitor tries to catch one of the beings, it will try to escape or to stay calm if actually caught. Thus the visitor is able to influence the process of evolution by protecting the victim from the predator.

If beings of matching strength meet, they can procreate a descendant and a new being gets „born“. It carries the genetic information of its parents. Mutations and crossbreeding represent a natural mechanism of reproduction following Mendel‛s laws. The newborn will soon grow up to its full capacities of reaction and and interact with visitors and other creatures.

Algorithms developed by Mignonneau and Sommerer guarantee smooth and natural movements and an animal-like behaviour of the beings. None of the beings is predetermined; all of them are created in real-time by interaction of the visitors and of other creatures. That allows an unlimited abundance of forms that reflects human and evolutionary rules.

Studio Azzurro

CLIENT: Art and Exhibition Hall of the Federal Republic of Germany

Six slightly bent tables standing in a darkened room, on each of which one projection is visible: a sleeping woman, a burning candle, a water-filled bowl, a set table etc. By simply touching the surfaces of the tables the visitor provokes changes in the projected pictures: the woman awakes, the candle falls over and sets the table cloth on fire, the bowl of water spills over, the table cloth gets pulled down.

“Touch” is the pivoting point of this work: the only sensorial perception requiring an action to make an experience. You have to dare something if you want to touch: Hands need to be stretched out, grasping in order to grasp, without the opportunity to reassure oneself beforehand of the consequences. Touching inevitably creates a relation — even if it happens in an imaginary space.

Agnes Hegedüs

CLIENT: Art and Exhibition Hall of the Federal Republic of Germany

The interactive installation BETWEEN THE WORDS is designed for two performers and is based on the artist’s earlier telecommunication works.

A wall in the room separates the actors but allows a look through a semi-transparent window onto computer-generated hands and the person standing opposite. Through joysticks, each actor can now design and control virtual hand gestures, which not only allows for non-verbal communication but makes it necessary as the only means to communicate.

The possibility of computer-based interaction with the piece of art is one of the few really new dimensions in the arts. Agnes Hegedüs designs scenarios of this interaction and invents new interface techniques. Her artistic work ranges in the area of tension of game and art. She deliberately takes on the challenge of employing computer and joysticks in order to convey both artistic contents and contexts. On one hand, she uses the rules of the game, just to give it a completely different meaning on the other—all in the sense of a ready-made à la Duchamp.

The visitor does not interact within the installation to win or to have fun: rather, the game structure becomes a metaphor that questions our expectations and judgemental criteria of works of art. Simultaneously, BETWEEN THE WORDS explores our capability of a non-verbal communication.

BETWEEN THE WORDS is a co-production of the Art and Exhibitions Hall of the Federal Republic of Germany in Bonn and of the „Ars Electronica“ in Linz.

Grahame Weinbren

CLIENT: Art and Exhibition Hall of the Federal Republic of Germany

Grahame Weinbren’s SONATA is interactive cinema, realised in a spatial installation. Visitors can influence and change the course of the film by grabbing a frame that hangs freely in the room and producing an infra-red field that acts like a touch screen.

Only very few artists are able to handle this hybrid form of art that includes video as well as film. Over the past decade, Grahame Weinbren has established himself as the most brilliant representative of this group, not only by his virtuosic command of the above art form, but also by being able to use and exploit the artistic potential of the latest computer technology.

After “The Erl King” from 1986, SONATA is Grahame Weinbren’s second interactive film. In this work he combines scenes based upon Tolstoy’s short story “The Kreutzer Sonata” with elements from the biblical story of “Judith” into labyrinthine, associative image sequences and a linear cinematographic narrative. Furthermore, he tries to approach the arbitrary complexity of trains of thoughts and dreams: The viewer may watch the same scene from the point-of-view of different characters and enter different narrative threads. Thus, an individual version of the artwork is created (“fictional mind”), an individual “meditation” about the (Tolstoyan) claim that art—and especially music—potentially creates violence. This is extended by the question of immanent violence in relationships between the sexes with the story of Judith who seduces Holofernes only to behead him afterwards.

Klaus vom Bruch

CLIENT: Art and Exhibitions Hall of the Federal Republic of Germany

Klaus vom Bruch’s work ARTAUD SPRICHT VOR DEN SOLDATEN (Artaud Speaks of the Soldiers) is intended as a discourse about intensity, madness, destruction and delusion. Vom Bruch addresses these themes using a collage of documentary war film, music and the cry of an ecstatic poet.

Four video projectors, one facing another, show contrasting film material: Children from the newly liberated concentration camp Dachau; three soldiers of the Wehrmacht surrendering to the Americans; a concentration camp tattooing scene and an animated rubber skeleton. The intensity of contrast is only exceeded by Artaud‘s writing. An apparently funny game with the rubber skeleton is a macabre allegory for Thanatos, the longing for death; the laughing children in the concentration camp and beaten, desperate soldiers; a tattoo that incorporates lust as well as death and finally the contrast between picture and sound.

The contrast between the fear of death and a desire for love is underlined by romantic Mexican love songs, mariachi bands and rumbas from the 30’s and 50’s. A carnival of death which almost demands you tap your feet to its relentless beat. Klaus vom Bruch uses a backdrop of constantly updated war reportage from around the world in encouraging the visitor to consider the underlying reasons behind our illogical enthusiasm for war. Despite the dramatic presentation the goal is to provoke a sensory dislocation and not to make a profound political statement.

Nan Hoover

CLIENT: Art and Exhibitions Hall of the Federal Republic of Germany

In her video installation MOVEMENT FROM EITHER DIRECTION, Nan Hoover creates a new space within the exhibition space. The geometrical outlines seem to have moved, the walls seem out of place. Already from the entrance, the view is caught by the opposite corner of the installation where the shadow of an oversized figure moves from right to left. After entering, one realizes that the room is empty and that theres is nothing to cast the previously seen shadow. This fiction, set up by the artist via video projection, is surprising. And Nan Hoover uses this moment of disorientation to abduct us into a world of shadows where the white and blue light projections transform the visitor into a shadow himself, making him part of the installation, causing him to interact.

In MOVEMENT FROM EITHER DIRECTION, the trained painter and drawer Nan Hoover deals again with her central subject, the human body by both letting it act in space and presenting it in a transcendent way through light and shadow. She play on the overwhelming, on strangeness and oversize—which we fear and yet instinctively expect when entering a dark room.

MOVEMENT FROM EITHER DIRECTION continues the happenings, performances and installations with light and video projections that Nan Hoover has continuously developed since the 1970ies. Almost all of her video works are abstract and challenge us to deal with speed, time and movement. They explore the fear of the imaginary and play with fiction and reality.

Nan Hoover describes her work as interactive, because the installation only becomes what it is supposed to be by the presence of the moving viewers and their wandering shadows. By the visitor?s actions, the spaces is filled with ever new variations of light and shadow. This continuous change of the installation is interactive in the classic sense—in contrast to many computer-based installations that are nothing but multiple-choice programmes. In the lightscape so created, both real and virtual shadows meet just as the imaginary meets with the visitor’s physical presence. While one of the shadows grows out of the absence of light, the other appears due to the projected light of a video projector.

“I am part of the darkness that gave birth to light” Mephistopheles, Faust

Ulrike Rosenbach

April 2012

For ÜBER DEN TOD (“About Death”), Ulrike Rosenbach mixed studies of light, form and motion dealing with the topic of “death”, enhancing the illusion of depth by computer and editing/mixing effects in order to achieve the impression of a three-dimensional visual plane.

A vortex of white salt pulls the observer into the depths, an illuminated steel rod turns in circles with clockwork precision, and a crowned skull wanders over the monitor in a “memento mori” manner.

Jill Scott

CLIENT: Art and Exhibition Hall of the Federal Republic of Germany
September till November 1994

These interfaces are broken and recycled machines and symbolic object of everyday use. The viewer brings them to life through interactivity.

When the visitor approaches the objects, certain sounds emanate from them – symbolic sounds which relate to the histories of the machine users and the meanings of their workplaces. Technically, this is accomplished by the use of the 3DIS-system (Australian designed software) which divides the room into sensor zones. Four digital black and white surveillance cameras register the viewer’s proximity to the object and trigger the sounds from the hard drive of a PC. These interfaces are very appropriate for a Museum or public display atmosphere.

Marcel Odenbach

CLIENT: Art and Exhibitions Hall of the Federal Republic of Germany

Already in the 1970ies, Marcel Odenbach treated smoking as an expression of boredom and, in that context, dealt with the issues of pure pastime and nervousness.

The two opposing double projections of TABAKKOLLEGIUM refer to each other, yet remain opposed. Thus, a confrontation of two cultures is created, a contrast between establishment and underground, young and old, political and apolitical, changing generations with a different consciousness.

The smoking artist’s mouth and a second image of a table with smoking devices and a full ashtray projected below it form one side; oversize eyes and images taken at amusement halls in Berlin and New York the other. The contrast is continued by various fade-ins on both sides. Pictures of the burning of books, violent demonstrations, racist riots or self-cremation form a macabre counterpoint to the speechlessness, boredom and belittlement in the face of these current political tendencies.

Marcel Odenbach confronts today’s youth with his personal experiences and tries to find ways of communication and solidarity. Even if this communication seems to be limited to the non-verbal pleasure of smoking, it is still the common denominator against discriminating, fascist tendencies in our society.

Michael Petry

CLIENT: Art and Exhibitions Hall of the Federal Republic of Germany

THE CHEMISTRY OF LOVE explores common and opposed factors in the chemical composition of the human body and the “chemistry” of inter-human relations.

In THE CHEMISTRY OF LOVE, several “specialists” describe the difference between the physical and emotional characteristics of an ideal relationship. These explanations are interrupted by Petry with scientific explanations about the chemistry of the body. The video interviews in German and English can be seen on eleven monitors that are integrated into a bigger spatial installation.

Michael Petry understands this installation as a metaphor of the human body. It consists of 121 laboratory glass receptacles of different sizes, suspended from the ceiling in 11 rows of 11 receptacles each. Each tube contains one of the 11 most important chemical elements that compose the human body.

The attempt at a total analysis of the human existence competes with the sensual experience that is constantly changing and cannot be defined. Out of this tension, an instability of the world is created that will always call for new combinations and their solution. Nothing stays the way it is.

Woody Vasulka

CLIENT: Art and Exhibitions Hall of the Federal Republic of Germany

BROTHERHOOD is a collection of media concepts dealing with the dilemma of male identity. The central subject is the compulsive urge of humans to reorganize nature and the destructive order resulting from it.

The interactive installation avoids attaching to a certain discipline, a genre or a style. The work rather shows bundles of systematic primitive expressions that are human-like but, so far, lie dormant in machines. These complex dynamic systems confront the viewer with a cultural identity that questions our interpretations of human and artificial intelligence.