Museums of Altena Castle
235 Media successfully completed the filming of seven historical personalities for the historical exhibition at Altena Castle in the planet nippes studio.
235 Media successfully completed the filming of seven historical personalities for the historical exhibition at Altena Castle in the planet nippes studio.
235 Media advised the exhibition organisers and supplied and installed the media technology. Various special constructions were used.
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Bill Viola, Night Vigil (detail), 2005/2009. Photo: Kira Perov © Bill Viola Studio
235 Media has taken over the technical planning and realization and supplied the video and audio technology – as always when the Bill Viola Studio exhibits in Europe.
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The IMAI – Inter Media Art Institute in Düsseldorf turns 15 years old. The founders and managing directors of 235 Media, Axel Wirths and Ulrich Leistner, congratulate!
235 Media co-conceived the RTL-HOLOCIRCLE appearance in cooperation with EYE SYSTEMS, created the content and provided the technical equipment and the video operator.
Photo: Rheinisches Bildarchiv Köln/Marleen Scholten © Boaz Kaizman
235 Media designed, provided and installed all the technology for the elaborate video/audio installation – 16 videos on 7 projectors, surround sound and individual audio experience via headphones.
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235 Media installed several room-sized monitor and projection works.
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The american artist Bill Viola uses since the 1970s personal and universal experiences to shape his work, addressing his emotional and spiritual conflict with key metaphysical topics such as life, death and transformation.
The exhibition called “Via Mistica” took place in the Spanish city of Cuenca and showed 16 pieces of his art. The works of the media artist were appropriately distributed to four “sacred” places in the historic center of Cuenca. These include the Museo de Arte Abstracto Español, the churches of San Miguel and San Andrés and the Escuela de Arte José María Cruz Novillo Gallery in the former church of Las Angélicas.
235 MEDIA was responsible for the technical planning and support of the exhibition, delivered key components of the media technology and realised the technical set-up and dismantling.
Other exhibitions by Bill Viola, which took place in the Caixa Forum Barcelona, in La Nava Salinas on Ibiza, in the SESC Paulista in Sao Paulo and in the Moritzkirche church in Augsburg, were also technically managed by 235 MEDIA.
Of the seven international Guggenheim museums, the Guggenheim Bilbao is the most spectacular. Frank O. Gehry’s famous deconstructivist building is housing the exhibition “Bill Viola: A Retrospective”, which provides a thematic and chronological cross-section of works by one of the most important artists of our time. The retrospective begins with his early single-channel videotapes, including iconic works such as “The Reflecting Pool” (1977–79) and “Four Songs” (1976), where the central themes of Viola’s work were already evident: time and its deconstruction, the exploration of human existence, and experimentation with the media manipulation of images and sounds. Significant works from the 80s, 90s and 2000s trace the development of the large-scale audiovisual masterpieces that brought Bill Viola worldwide renown, and which reveal their full magic in the Guggenheim Bilbao.
Since 2007, 235 MEDIA has been responsible for providing and installing the complex media technology for all of Bill Viola’s major exhibitions in Europe, including the Guggenheim Bilbao, the Palazzo Strozzi in Florence, the Deichtorhallen in Hamburg, and the Grand Palais in Paris.
The town of Düren is continuing to expand its leisure infrastructure. With financial support from RWE Power and Langerwehe District Council, the redevelopment company indeland GmbH has established a multimedia and interactive information centre on a previously disused site at Langerwehe station. Find out more on the Projectsite >>
As part of the 2017 Anniversary of the Reformation, the Deichtorhallen Hamburg is presenting a large exhibition of Bill Viola’s works. In his works, the American artist deals with personal as well as universal experiences, through which he presents his emotional and spiritual confrontation with important metaphysical themes such as life, death and transformation.
The exhibition will show 13 of Viola’s cinematic works, including huge video installations up to ten metres in height, which will transform the architecture of the Deichtorhallen’s darkened Hall for Contemporary Art into a cathedral of the 21st century.
The technical planning and implementation was undertaken by 235 MEDIA, who will also provide the video and audio technology. For this exhibition, 235 MEDIA designed and built a custom screen measuring 5.6 metres in width and 10 metres in height, in an extremely slimline design.
Photos: Felix Krebs / Deichtorhallen
© Bill Viola Studio
The Palazzo Strozzi built in the Early Renaissance in Florence is home to the exhibition of the American media artist, Bill Viola. The show titled “Electronic Renaissance” shows a cross section of his works from the 1970s to the present day. Find out more on the Projectsite >>
The Palazzo Strozzi built in the Early Renaissance in Florence is home to the exhibition of the American media artist, Bill Viola. The show titled “Electronic Renaissance” shows a cross section of his works from the 1970s to the present day. In the comparison of the predominantly large-size video installations and select masterpieces of Italian Renaissance paintings, the important role 15th and 16th century art is revealed as a fundamental source of inspiration for Viola’s works, which are considered icons of media art.
235 MEDIA took responsibility for the technical planning, realisation and supervision of the exhibition, provided video and audio technology for 17 installations and realised the technical structure.
REMOTEWORDS.32 consists of the now 32nd stage of the long-term art project ‘REMOTEWORDS’ by Achim Mohné and Uta Kopp. REMOTEWORDS writes short messages in large letters on rooftops in order to distribute information via navigation and satellite systems such as Google Earth, which are “hacked” and used for artistic purposes. Unique messages are constantly developed for various REMOTEWORDS locations, such as the University of Art in Berlin, the Kumu Art Museum in Tallinn and the H3K House of Electronic Arts in Basel.
The words on the rooftop of 235 MEDIA in Cologne were selected by the Cologne artist, Marcel Odenbach, and are borrowed from a poem by Ingeborg Bachmann written in 1952. For the artists, the wording represents a relativisation of the media images and calls for the constant questioning of supposed ‘photographic authenticity’.
On the occasion of the rooftop’s opening on 8th July 2016, a radio-controlled CCTV drone by the friendly film production company, TIMESCOPE films, was flying over the roof of 235 MEDIA showroom and production studio, transmitting the aerial images and revealing the message.
On 22 February, the six new underground stations on the Wehrhahn line were opened in Düsseldorf. This extraordinary project was completed after a 15-year collaboration between architects, artists, engineers and the municipal authority.
The Benrather Straße station was designed by the installation artist Thomas Stricker under the project name “Heaven above, heaven below” (German: Himmel oben, Himmel unten). The entire intermediate level, which is around 70 x 15 m, replicates the inside of a spaceship. Six large video screens were built into the metal walls, showing planets of our solar system and stars in the Milky Way. Together, the six animations form a complete film which is displayed on the six screens in such a way as to give the impression of travelling through space; thus creating the illusion that the entire station is flying through space. The installation brings the heavens to the earth, swaps up for down and transforms heavy to light. The vastness of the universe is transferred to the confines of the underground. The architecture appears mobile, like a spaceship moving through the infinite expanse of space.
235 MEDIA designed the media technology and installed the feed technology, as well as devising the animations in cooperation with Thomas Stricker.
Full press reports from The New York Times and the Süddeutsche Zeitung can be found using the following links.
Artistic conception and realization: Thomas Stricker
Architecture: netzwerkarchitekten, Darmstadt
Media planning, film production: 235 MEDIA, Köln
Client: City Administration Düsseldorf
Photos: Thomas Stricker
KLICK-KLACK ensures that PCs are started when switching on the switching current of an exhibition or installation and to carefully shut-down the PC when switching off the switching current in order to protect the data and hardware from damages.
August 2015 saw the start of the research project “The media art agency 235 MEDIA” at the imai – inter media art institute in Düsseldorf, realised by the art and media studies expert Dr Jessica Nitsche assisted by Angelika Gwozdz. The project was sponsored by the Gerda Henkel Foundation.
The objective of the research project was the first systematic exploration and media-theoretical consolidation of the media art agency 235 MEDIA, which has significantly influenced the development and international distribution of video and media art since the early 1980s. The imai is the perfect location for this art history research. When the foundation was formed in 2006, 235 MEDIA provided an entire archive of video and media art, exhibition documentation and other audiovisual formats as well as numerous unpublished material spanning 25 years of media art history.
More information about the project and research team is available at: www.imaionline.de
Sponsored by: Gerda Henkel Foundation
The Wallraf-Richartz-Museum is the first European museum to showcase the spectacular video installation “Hearsay of the Soul” as part of the special exhibition entitled “Werner Herzog & Hercules Segers: Landscapes of the Soul”.
In this piece of work, the great German director Werner Herzog, who has lived in the USA since 1995, reflects his aesthetic relationship with the mysterious landscapes of the Dutch Baroque painter Hercules Segers (1590-1638), who, with his experimental etchings, still counts as one of the most original and influential artists of the Golden Age, although he failed to win the attention of a wider public, having being forced into the shadows by Rembrandt.
Herzog, who often creates ecstatic landscapes in his films, has taken off on an idiosyncratic journey into the visionary graphic work of Segers with his video installation, which had already caused a sensation earlier at the 2012 Whitney Biennial in New York.
235 MEDIA provided technical consultation, and was also responsible for planning and producing the installation at the exhibition in Cologne.
Bill Viola is without doubt the most celebrated exponent of video art. For the first time, the Grand Palais presents a wide-ranging group of his works, including moving paintings and monumental installations from 1977 to today. Focusing on both intimate and universal experiences, the artist expresses his emotional and spiritual journey through great metaphysical themes – life, death and transfiguration.
235 MEDIA took over the engineering and the maintenance of the exhibition. In addition 235 MEDIA delivered essential components of the media technology and implemented the technical setup and the destruction.
An exhibition organized by the Réunion des musées nationaux – Grand Palais in collaboration with Bill Viola Studio.
The video lounge in the Kunstmuseum Bonn, which makes the video archive accessible for individual use by visitors, has been modernised and expanded. 235 MEDIA developed a new user interface that makes a database search possible as well as the playing of films. For the video search via a touchscreen monitor the visitor can use either a list view of the works according to artist, title and year of origin or a full text search.
All video works were digitalised and converted by 235 MEDIA, and the associated metadata from the print catalogue was digitally recorded. The video data and content information were integrated into a specially conceived content management system that is now permanently available to the Kunstmuseum for the independent recording of new video art works.
As well as conception, design development and programming, 235 MEDIA also undertook the conception of media technology to ensure the smooth integration of the archive in the walk-through installation of Stefan Eberstad which contains the video lounge.
Bill Viola is one of the world’s leading media artists. His spectacular media art installations deal with some of the fundamental aspects of existence, like life and death, and life in relation to states of energy.
His solo exhibition “visioni interiori” was shown in the Palazzo delle Esposizioni in Rome, between 20th October 2008 and 6th January 2009. Sixteen of his best known works were exhibited, including the installations „The Crossing“, „Departing Angel“, „The Greeting“, „The Veiling“ and „Emergence“. 235 MEDIA managed the entire exhibition and put into place the complex media technology. In January and February, the Haunch of Venison gallery in Berlin showed the installation “The Messenger”, which was also installed and managed by 235 MEDIA.
From 7th February to 14th June 2009, Bill Viola’s installation “Nante’s Triptych“ was shown as part of the exhibition “Drei. Das Triptychon in der Moderne” in the Stuttgart Art Museum. 235 MEDIA carried out the management of the exhibition in this case as well. Followed by the exhibitions “Water” im Nordic Watercolor Museum in Skärhamn, Sweden und “Reflections” at Villa Panza in Varese, Italy
Bill Viola Studio
From the 27th July to the 1st November the exhibition “Catwalks – the most spectacular fashion shows of top designers” was shown in the NRW-Forum Culture and Economy in Düsseldorf.
The exhibition was transmitted nearly exclusively via video projections, whereby the room itself or a part of the room is used as screens. The emerging scenography was realised with the help of more than 80 video projectors. In order to give the visitors the feeling to be main actors in the theatrical play of the fashion designers elaborate room projections were created where up to 12 projections are installed in individual rooms. You walk on the catwalk and find yourself in the large fashion shows, which are animated with the help of video clips and multimedia installations. Thus the visitor himself becomes a model on the catwalk.235 MEDIA completely took over the media-technological realisation and the technical supervision during the exhibition.
In cooperation with Überraum, Paris
Exploding the walls that divide the media, Gary Hill digs into questions of perception and meaning in complex and challenging ways that always place the viewer inside an undeniable situation of presence and physicality. Making use of an array of elements and layered meaning, he has created two new large-scale works for his solo exhibition at the Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain. Gary Hill puts the notion of value into perspective—its significance, its ambiguity, the value of art as well as of money—through works that question our systems of thought and our symbolic construction of the world.
On the real gold bar in the center of the oil lake it is written: “For everything which is visible is a copy of that which is hidden”
imai – inter media art institute
Fondation Cartier, Paris
CLIENT: NRW-FORUM, DÜSSELDORF
In Düsseldorf the latest works by the American media artist Gary Hill were presented over approximately 1,200 sqm. 235 MEDIA took on the overall technical design and implementation. The exhibition displayed five large-format installations and an extensive video programme. At the core of the exhibition were Gary Hills new productions, “Frustrum” and “Guilt”. Both installations are co-productions of the Stiftung imai – inter media art institute, Düsseldorf, and the Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain in Paris, and they were seen for the first time in Germany. In addition, the installations “In Situ” (1986/2007) and “Glass Onion” (1983/2007) were restored for the exhibition.
imai – inter media art institute
Fondation Cartier, Paris
On the initiative of the media art agency 235 MEDIA and the City of Düsseldorf the first non-profit foundation imai is dedicated not only to the distribution of media art, but also to conservation and research issues is created.
Starting in the 1980s, the founders of 235 MEDIA, Ulrich Leistner and Axel Wirths have built up an extensive archive of video art as well as an international distribution network. Thanks to the active commitment of “Kunststiftung NRW” and the support of “Kulturstiftung der Länder” and in cooperation with “NRW Forum Kultur und Wirtschaft” and “stiftung museum kunst palast” both the collection and the distribution structure of 235 MEDIA have now been transfered to imai – inter media art institute.
For further informations and concerning all requests for video art works, please contact imai:
imai – inter media art institute
All installations and the special art edition are still available at 235 MEDIA.
Stadt Düsseldorf, Kulturstiftung des Bundes, Kunststiftung NRW
The Italian art group Studio Azzurro and the Staatsoper Stuttgart produced, in a close collaboration with 235 MEDIA, the opera “Neither” by Morton Feldman, from a text by Samuel Beckett. Thereby, 235 MEDIA took over responsibility for the overall technical coordination and realization.
The entire stage set was accomplished with video projections. Films and animations produced by Studio Azzurro carry the viewer off into the alternate reality of Samuel Beckett, whose poem “Neither” is the libretto. The detailed planning and precise employment of projection, control and playback technology were of crucial importance.
For the Art Collection NRW, K20, 235 MEDIA developed and implemented the interactive version of the artistic book “der Strom dein Zügel” by Gerhard Altenbourg.
Up to now, exhibited books and documents offered visitors only one opened double-page for viewing. With the interactive book the entire exhibit is now accessible. The visitor can now browse, select any pages and enlarge them, all virtually. The interactive book thus offers the possibility to explore valuable books and documents in detail and to provide additional information.
The exhibition “Gerhard Altenbourg. Im Fluss der Zeit. Retrospektive” was opened on 13.12.2003.
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
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.
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.
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.
Kunsthochschule für Medien, Köln
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.
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.
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.
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’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.
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.
For the duration of the exhibition “vision.ruhr” 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’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.
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.