Posts Tagged ‘Kunst’

Perry Hobermann, Workaholic

Posted by Thomas Donga-Durach

CLIENT: Stadt Dortmund
2000

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

Posted by Thomas Donga-Durach

CLIENT: Stadt Dortmund
2000

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

Posted by Thomas Donga-Durach

CLIENT: Stadt Dortmund
2000

Within the setting of the media art exhibition vision.ruhr, 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

Posted by Thomas Donga-Durach

KUNDE: Stadt Dortmund
2000

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

Posted by Thomas Donga-Durach

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

Posted by Thomas Donga-Durach

CLIENT: Art and Exhibitions Hall of the Federal Republic of Germany
DEZEMBER 1998

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

Posted by Thomas Donga-Durach

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

Posted by Thomas Donga-Durach

CLIENT: Art and Exhibitions Hall of the Federal Republic of Germany
1998

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

Posted by Thomas Donga-Durach

CLIENT: Art and Exhibitions Hall of the Federal Republic of Germany
1998

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.

George Legrady

Posted by Thomas Donga-Durach

CLIENT: Art and Exhibitions Hall of the Federal Republic of Germany
DECEMBER 1997 til FEBRUARY 1998

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

Posted by Thomas Donga-Durach

CLIENT: Art and Exhibitions Hall of the Federal Republic of Germany
SEPTEMBER til NOVEMBER 1997

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

Posted by Thomas Donga-Durach

CLIENT: Art and Exhibitions Hall of the Federal Republic of Germany
SEPTEMBER til NOVEMBER 1997

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

Posted by Thomas Donga-Durach

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

Posted by Thomas Donga-Durach

CLIENT: Art and Exhibitions Hall of the Federal Republic of Germany
SEPTEMBER til NOVEMBER 1996

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.

Sommerer & Mignonneau

Posted by Thomas Donga-Durach

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

Posted by Thomas Donga-Durach

CLIENT: Art and Exhibition Hall of the Federal Republic of Germany
1996

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

Posted by Thomas Donga-Durach

CLIENT: Art and Exhibition Hall of the Federal Republic of Germany
1995

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

Posted by Thomas Donga-Durach

CLIENT: Art and Exhibition Hall of the Federal Republic of Germany
1995

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

Posted by Thomas Donga-Durach

CLIENT: Art and Exhibitions Hall of the Federal Republic of Germany
1995

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

Posted by Thomas Donga-Durach

CLIENT: Art and Exhibitions Hall of the Federal Republic of Germany
1995

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

Posted by Thomas Donga-Durach

CLIENT:
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

Posted by Thomas Donga-Durach

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

Posted by Thomas Donga-Durach

CLIENT: Art and Exhibitions Hall of the Federal Republic of Germany
DECEMBER 1994 til FEBRUARY 1995

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

Posted by Thomas Donga-Durach

CLIENT: Art and Exhibitions Hall of the Federal Republic of Germany
1994

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

Posted by Thomas Donga-Durach

CLIENT: Art and Exhibitions Hall of the Federal Republic of Germany
1994

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.

Woody Vasulka

Posted by Thomas Donga-Durach

CLIENT: Art and Exhibitions Hall of the Federal Republic of Germany
1994

An interactive sound-picture-automata installation that deals with two aspects of space: the real and present situation of the stage and the data-based virtual world.

In his installation, Vasulka refers to the classical functions of the theatre, however, he extends the stage to cater for an interactive discourse between man and machine. The pan/tilt/rotate camera head built by Vasulka himself, is, at this time, the most advanced piece of robotic used to construct this newly created dramatic space.

A second instrument, the binaural microphone system, allows a confrontation between an existing acoustic room and its synthetic model. This environment explores the possibilities of the mutual penetration of the different sensual worlds, of the subjective and objective experience and of the real with the fantastic.

Mobile Electronic Café

Posted by Thomas Donga-Durach

1992 til 1993

Musicians, architects, designers, writers and critics came together to explore, debate and criticise the new and changing possibilities of products and technology within around 60 individual projects. Their temporary studio was the ELECTRONIC CAFÉ INTERNATIONAL. Sited on the top floor of the “Container” it was linked to computer networks with state of the art business and communications technology (direct ISDN connection, Internet, Video-phone, Audio/Video conferencing etc.). The aim of the “Artists In Residence” was to challenge both the partiality of regulated broadcast media and the free for all of open channels where an opinion expressed is an opinion contradicted.

The mobile public room concept ELECTRONIC CAFÉ INTERNATIONAL was developed by Casino Container for today’s media society to use when and wherever needed. This hybrid of Media Work Station and neighbourhood café enables a new, modern interaction between local people and issues and the wider networks of the “Global Village“. For a discrete period of time a place is chosen, transformed, activated – then the journey continues…

A “Mobile Public Room” project created by Cologne based artists was installed beside Documenta 9 at the 1993 Venice Bienniale and later in the Cologne Media Park.

Ulrike Rosenbach

Posted by Thomas Donga-Durach

CLIENT: St Peter’s church, Cologne
1987

he video installation ORPHELIA was exhibited in 1987 at the documenta in Kassel, Germany and in St Peter’s church in Cologne.

Three monitors are lying in an object from perspex, showing three video works synchronised to each other. The overall picture of the three monitors show the Orphelia figure revolving slowly around its own axis. The image of Orphelia is overlaid a texture consisting of microscopic images of human blood circulation and blueish-reddish shades. Meditative flute and water sounds underline the iconic character of the installation.

Ulrike Rosenbach uses elements of far-east spirituality as well as subjects based on western ideas of transcendence. The title „Orphelia“ is a composition of the mythological Greek character Orpheus and the literary character Ophelia from Hamlet. Here, references to the androgynous utopia can be found: Orpheus and Ophelia merge into “Orphelia”. As an element in the pictorial code of the alchemists, the hermaphrodite stands as a metaphor for the feasibility of a symbiosis of contrasts.

The two characters Orpheus and Ophelia are connected by their common fate of a love that remains unfulfilled: Orpheus’ love for Eurydice, as well as Ophelia’s for Hamlet, ends tragically. Orpheus and Ophelia both live through the transitory states between life and the afterworld: Orpheus in the attempt to free his beloved out of Hades and Ophelia in the state of madness before she dies in the floods. In her work, Ulrike Rosenbach continues the development right through to the spiritual ideal of the androgynous Orphelia who has reached a destination between here and beyon

Videokunst auf VHS

Posted by Thomas Donga-Durach

1985

“As collage technique replaced oil paint, the cathode-ray tube will replace the canvas.” With these words, Nam June Paik prognosticated a great future for media art as early as the 1960s. After more than four decades, video art has long since outgrown its state of infancy. Meanwhile, it is established beside the traditional art categories like painting, sculpture and photography and no present art exhibition is imaginable without it anymore.

With the edition of the first video art series published on VHS in 1992, 235 Media took another consequent step to make the immaterial video art accessible to a wider audience. Besides the classics of video art of the 1980s, the first VHS VIDEO ART EDITION comprises trendsetting new works of the early nineties like Ulrike Rosenbach’s “Über den Tod” (“About Death”) or Raphael Montanez Ortiz’ “Introspective”.

The edition is not only interesting for colleges, universities and other educational institutions, it also addresses home users. The first VHS VIDEO ART EDITION was the first to allow an approach to electronic art outside the museum and exhibition context.

Video Congress

Posted by Thomas Donga-Durach

1982 – 1986

VIDEO CONGRESS was founded in 1982 at the documenta Kassel (Germany) as an association of independent video artists. Each issue has a particular topic which was chosen from the artists’ various proposals.

N°0: PROLOGUE

1982, 50 min., color, PAL

George Hampton, A+A Video, Fun & Art, Werner Schmiedel, Rosi Jahnke, La Loora, Eckehard Kähne, Montevideo (Munich), Art Now, Ingo Günther, Norbert Meissner.

N°1: EROTICA

1983, 72 min., color, PAL

A+A Video, Rudi Frings, Lied an die Freude, Josef Stöhr, Les Immer Essen, Fun & Art, George Hampton, Werner Schmiedel, Norbert Meissner, Montevideo (Munich), Halbzollgebiet

N°2: MONEY

1983, 40 min., color, PAL

A+A Video, Fun 6. Art, George Hampton, Werner Schmiedel, Norbert Meissner

N°3: FUTURE NO QUESTION

1983, 45 min., color, PAL

Halbzollgebiet, A+A Video, Axel Wirths, Norbert Meissner, Bildschön Video, George Hampton, Fun & Art, Sascha A. Ehrlich

N°4: FEAR

1983, 49 min., color, PAL

Best Boy Connection, Fun & Art, Bildschön Video, George Hampton, Halbzollgebiet, Mutagen Grau

N°5: ENCOUNTER

1984, 40 min., color, PAL

Brand/ Maschmann, Fun & Art, Halbzollgebiet, R. Frings/ G. Knapper, A+F, Maschmann, Ilona Kagel/ Frank Misiak Ausstrahlung

N°6: INDUSTRY/ADVERTISING

1984, 40 min., color, PAL

R. Frings/ G. Knapper, I. Kagel/ F. Misiak, G. Hampton, Mutagen Grau, Fun & Art, Petr& Probst/ Armando Ceste, Videogruppe Turin (Maschmann, Brand, Calopresti, Cianni, Vera)

N°7: SURROGATE OF REALITY

1984, 40 min., color., PAL

Rudi Frings, Norbert Meissner, Axel Wirths, Ilona Kagel, Studio 14, Mertens + Mertens, Frank Stöve

N° 8: METALANGUAGE I + II

1985, D, 114:00 min., color, PAL

KAOS, John Cage, Claude Torey, Etant Donnes u.a.
Videonal with booklet

N° 9: TRAVEL ACQUAINTANCE

1986, D, 82:00 Min., color, PAL

In 1985, the project was expanded to an international level, the establishment of contacts to foreign video artists and video art centres was intensified. This conscious expansion of international relations finds a concrete way towards cultural exchange and mutual inspiration at the VIDEO CONGRESS No.9. 20 contributions by artists from 8 countries; videonal with brochure.