Ars Electronica 1994
Festival-Program 1994
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Festival 1979-2007


Intelligent Ambience: Video Program

'Kathy Rae Huffman Kathy Rae Huffman / 'Carole Ann Klonarides Carole Ann Klonarides

1. Interim: Within and Beyond Confinement

Total: 136:00 min
BILL VLOLA – Reasons for Knocking at an Empty House, 1983, 19:11 min
TOM KALIN – Darling Child, 1993,1:54 min
SHELLY SILVER – Getting In, 1985, 2:47 min
MICA-TV – The In-Between, 1990,12:00 min
LESLIE THORNTON & RON VAWTER – Strange Space, 1992, 3:00 min
EDER SANTOS – Essa Coisa Nervosa (This Nervous Thing), 1991, 15:26 min
JASNA HRIBERNIK – Staircase, 1992, 16:04 min
MICHEL AUDER – Brooding Angels: Made for R.L., 1988, 6:00 min
GARY HILL – Solstice d'Hiver, 1990, 60:00 min

2. Interference: The Invisible Matrix

Total: 140:00 min
THERESE SVOBODA – Rogue Transmissions, 1993, 1:00 min
JOHN GOFF – Radio Image, 1990,6:00 min
ERIC M. FREEDMAN – surveiller, a text in two bodies, 1994, 13:00 min
DIANE NERWEN & LES LEVEQUE – GASP, 1993, 13:00 min
PAPER TIGER TV – Staking a Claim in Cyberspace, 1993, 30:00 min
MAX ALMY/ TERI YARBROW – Utopia, 1994, 5:00 min
STEINA & WOODY VASULKA – In the Land of the Elevator Girls, 1990, 4:00 min
LES LEVINE – The Media Cage, 1993, 9:00 min
KEN KOBLAND – Stupa, 1992, 60:00 min

3. Interstitial: Between What Is (Seen)

Total: 140:00 min
ANNA STEININGER – Going Nowhere Fast, 1993, 10:00 min
MICA-TV – Cascade/Vertical Landscapes, 1988, 6:30 min
BOB SNYDER – Trim Subdivisions, 1981, 6:00 min
VAN MCELWEE – Inside, 1986, 4:20 min
SHELLY SILVER – Things I Forget To Tell Myself, 1988, 1:50 min
BILL VIOLA – Angel's Gate, 1989, 4:50 min
LARS SPUYBROEK/ MAURICE NIO – NOX: Soft City, 1993, 5:00 min
HERMAN VERKERK – Swimming pool Library, 1993, 25:00 min
SRECO DRAGAN – Arheus (God's Whip), 1992-93, 7:45 min
MICHEL AUDER – Journey to the Center of the Phone Line (a work in progress), 1994, 60:00 min

4. Intervention: The Tactical Tourist

Total: 142:00 min
TONY OURSLER & CONSTANCE DEJONG – Joyride (TM), 1988, 14:23 min
BRANDA MILLER – Time Squared, 1987, 7:00 min
FRANCESC TORRES – Sur del Sur, 1990, 16:24 min
STEINA VASULKA – Urban Episodes, 1980, 8:50 min
NANCY BUCHANAN – American Dream #7: The Price is Right?, 1991, 13:00 min
EDIN VELEZ – As Is, 1985, 14:05 min
BRUCE YONEMOTO, MELISSA TOTTEN, ED. DE LA TORRE – Banhom/Davis Excerpt, 1993, 8:00 min
STEFAAN DECOSTERE – TRAVELOGUE FOUR: Coming From the Wrong Side, 1992, 56:00 min.

The Video Theater Program curated by Kathy Rae Huffman and Carole Ann Klonarides

1994, 5 min
Playing off of the notion of "interactive", Utopia poses as a video game that is plugged into the social consciousness of contemporary California. The viewer/player seemingly makes choices from the menu offering utopian or practical realities. However, the score is always the same; you win while you lose, and vice-versa.

Voyage to the Center of the Phone Line,
199194 (video), 1985-86 (audio) 60:00 min
Video Diarist Auder spent his summer vacation videotaping from his window the endless break of the ocean. Preferring the stance of a voyeur to a sage, Auder creates his own intimacy through his choice of audio excerpts edited from hours of pirated cell phone conversations, technically lifted from the limo privacy of neurotic commuters speeding towards nowhere on the "super highways" of Long Island, New York.

Brooding Angels: Made for R. L.,
1988, 6 min
An edited personal vision of urban life collected from material shot from the window of his twentieth floor Manhattan studio and from the television monitor contained within. His contrast of media/ experienced material heightens the meaning of both. A grotesque version of urban life ensues with an occasional idyllic vision of nature.

American Dream #7: The Price is Right,
1991, 13:00 min
Home ownership is an American dream and considered a basic right. But, the low interest loans and affordable property that were a reward to WWII veterans, is now a fantasy. The political control over the utopian living environment of Los Angeles, a metropolitan landscape without end, has been exposed – and its self-segregated communities revealed as a plan to prevent racial integration and to maintain the wealthy, upper class residential enclaves on the Westside. Mike Davis, author of City of Quartz, contributes biting commentary and historic information on California's suburban expansion, and the current battles to provide ample growth for future generations.

Travelogue Four: Coming from the Wrong Side,
1992,56:00 min
Travelogue is an ongoing investigation, and part four is a media "package" that exposes the diversity of place, time and event. It presents The Banff Springs Hotel, a turn of the century luxury hotel in the beautiful Canadian Rockies. A perfectly preserved tourist site in the modern world of advertising and theme parks, the hotel is compelled to compete: Native American dancers perform for the camera and the bystanders, becoming the future – an instantly archived.

Production: The Banff Center for the Arts and BRT, for the Belgium Television series BRTN.

Composer: John Oswald

Arheus (God's Whip),
1992-93,7:45 min
The artist considers the Renaissance painting "Prospettiva di città" by Piero della Francesca and the virtual reality of the figure of Arheus. Both are beyond the frame of reference to the experience of the observer. The sound of Laibach, with their version of Italian Renaissance music, further constructs the fiction of space.

Production: TV Slovenija. Music: Laibach.

surveiller, a text in two bodies,
1994,13 min
A self-reflective look at the power dynamics of interpersonal relationships, as mediated through theoretical discourse, telecommunications, and the lens of a video camera.

Text: Michel Foucault, "Discipline and Punish", Vintage Books, NY 1979

Radio Image,
1990 6:00 min
Electromagnetic rays are visualized with the help of a cathode ray tube and a computer: the radio-image laboriously evolves, attempting to display its heterogeneous sources. A suspended image emerges, and for a brief moment reveals a woman who appears to be delivering the evening news before it fades back into its invisible signal.

Solstice d'Hiver,
l990, 60:00 min
This is Gary Hill's last single channel videotape to date and was shot in real time on December 21, 1990 between the hours of 1:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. It begins with the camera moving in almost silent, slow increments around a room that is occasionally interrupted by the sound of the auto-focus on the camera lens readjusting as it searches for a subject on which to focus. A figure (Hill) enters into the frame and with determined slowness places a record on a piece of obsolete technology – a record player. The record continues to play a repeated message while Hill takes a shower, leaving the camera to document. the recording. The camera and Hill become separate entities.

Commissioned by La Sept for "Live", a series of real time videotapes proposed by Phillipe Grandieux. Sound recording played -Alvin Lucier, "I am sitting in a room".

1992, 16:04 min
The city streets are hectic, but inside an empty factory a psychological post-war narrative commences with the meeting of a man and a woman on a staircase. Against the measure of time a digital stopwatch intrudes, counting back and forth to zero. A struggle ensues, are they imprisoned? The climax reveals their bloody memories of recent history and the Balkan War.

Production: V.P.K., TV Slovenija, Slovenian Ministry of Culture, Studio Ljubljana.

Music: Dome, This Heat.

Darling Child, 1993,1:44 min
A visual poem, which functions as an alternative music video in response to issues of sexuality and human interaction. Spare visuals of an interior space, and minimalist music create an evocative, metaphoric interpretation of a text by Truman Capote, in this 1990s response to the AIDS crisis.

Music: Brian Eno

1992, 60:00 min
A flight over the suburbs yields an inexorable observation of the matrix of the communities below. Highways, shopping malls, parks and the endless lookalike rooftops of residences become ambiguous references to the vast burial grounds situated nearby (but out of sight of the living). Throughout the journey, the scanning of radio programs exposes connections between households and commuters. The consciousness of the American public is revealed in talk shows, country and western music, and traffic reports – in a never ending soundtrack: a solemn memorial to suburban life and death.

The Media Cage,
1993,9:00 min
Imposing a computer generated "cage" on headshots of individuals speaking in generic sound bites, Levine underscores the feeling of xenophobia created by the invisible architectures which exist around us.

1986, 4:40 min
This piece occupies a place where dreams and architecture overlap. A large, odd-angled mall is extended into an endless tunnel, which then reveals itself as a unit in a honeycomb of such spaces.

(Michael Owen and Carole Ann Klonarides)
The In-Between,
1990, 11:41 min
The Gothic theme of the doppelganger is played out against the sleek modernity of the Wexner Center for Visual Arts at the Ohio State University, designed by Peter Eisenman. Adapted from "Analogue," a short story by Susan Daitch, the fragmented narrative parallels Eisenman's architectural approach, which deconstructs symbolic associations.

Commissioned by the Wexner Center for the Visual Arts at Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio and the BBC2. Music composed and performed by David Weinstein with Shelley Hirsch.

Cascade/Vertical Landscapes,
1988, 6:30 min
Constructed as a continuous parade of vertical camera movements and image layering to simulate the way we experience the contemporary American landscape, the work is shot on locations in Southern California and in the New York City area, highlighting American architecture, which seems built to be photographed rather than inhabited.

In collaboration with artists Dike Blair, Dan Graham, and music by Christian Marclay. Commissioned by UK's Channel 4.

Time Squared,
1987,7:00 min
For decades, Times Square has been one of the most recognizable spots in the world. When threatened with urban renewal to "improve" the area, New Yorkers were outraged and objected – ultimately stopping "progress." In a music-video style work, images and sounds of the past and present merge -in a transparent overlay and converge in the office of John Burgee Architects, where the sterile model of the future city center is situated, devoid of sex, the homeless and street action.

Production: The Contemporary Art Television Fund for TIME CODE. Music: A. Leroy.

in collaboration with LES LEVEQUE
1993,13 min
GASP is set in the moment when the "spectacular" view from the nose of a "smart bomb" fades into the corporate rhetoric of a "one world network". GASP attempts to represent collapsing boundaries of geography, a virtual space where looking merges the internal with the external, the public with the private and the body with the machine. In GASP the identity of the individual subject (the traveler, the patient) is diffused and disappears into the delirious and mundane reception of electronic simulations.

Joyride (TM),
1988,14:23 min
In a dreamlike roller-coaster ride through a corporate theme park, an odyssey of the spectacle of consumer culture and the American marketplace is unfolded. The artists write that it is "inspired by the institutional versus the private-sector devotion to the transcendental."
A Western Front Video Production in association with Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE).

Staking a Claim in Cyberspace,
1993,30 min
A welcome alternative looks at the coming digital highway and the mass media's vision of the electronic consumer. Comparing the high commercial to the grass roots end, this program suggests that the public should take a more active role in developing these new "architectures".
Co-produced by Michael Eisenmenger, Linda Iannacone, Mary Feaster and Cathy Scott

Essa Coisa Nervosa (This Nervous Thing),
1991, 15:26 min
Questioning the ways we perceive and receive information, Santos writes, "lost in our creations we must use artificial means, such as newspapers and other media to simulate knowledge of what is around us. In doing so, we create heroes, cities, characters, icons and monuments." A driving soundtrack propels the viewer through a frenetic trans-cultural landscape.

Things I Forget To Tell Myself,
l988, 1:54 min
Living in a city one sees parts, rarely the whole. The media environment has extended this condition of anomie. This tape is made of tiny snippets of meaning, shot in a day in New York City, then spliced together to form a rhythmic flow of unconscious -associations. The giving and withholding of certain information, what we do and don't see, is not often offered as a privilege of choice.

Getting In,
1989, 2:47 min
"Getting in" is about heterosexual sex and the architecture of Northern California. By combining the two, Silver adds a new twist to the idea of a threshold as we continually approach and finally "come" out of buildings. The soundtrack was obtained from a sound recordist's out-takes from a porno film before the music is mixed-in.

Trim Subdivisions,
1981, 6:00 min, (silent)
In a game-like fashion, images of suburban homes are layered and wiped -back and forth between two images to express the two-dimensionality and architectural redundancy of tract houses in provincial neighborhoods. A sophisticated exploration of the formal properties of image, the digital video effects allow the homes to be seen as a set of interchangeable units – a sameness, which promotes the concept of unification in life styles and standards of living.

A I B,
1993, 8:08 min
An investigation of territory and communication through the repeated instructions of two women, who instruct each other on the water. Floating, navigating, and keeping in line – language is the key to understanding space and position. Frustrations ensue and the necessity of border(s) is observed. From an overhead vantage point the view of the river becomes the visible element in the spiritual encounter between human ambition and nature's energy.

Production: Offenes Kulturhaus Linz. Music: Thomas Nöttling

NOX: Soft City,
1993, 5:00 min
The NOX – Architecture statement is, "in a world of constant contamination of theories, images and disciplines, architecture should parasitize [sic) all possibilities of technology, beyond the reach of their use for good and guiding principles." NOX employs the excesses of modernity to demonstrate their vision of the relationship between modern culture and new design methodology.

Going Nowhere Fast,
1993, 10:00 min
A theoretical image search towards possibilities for a post-ethical means of expression. The nearly invisible subject is surrounded and overwhelmed with layers of images, from which no relief is available.

Production: Medienwerkstatt Wien

Strange Space,
1992, 3:00 min
While Vawter reads aloud from a poem by Rainer Maria Rilke, a doctor is heard discussing his medical condition. Photographic images of internal organs and of the moon's surface create landscapes of inner and outer space. The result is a haunting rumination on the relation and disparity between medical interpretations and personal experiences of physicality, mortality, corporeality, and, ultimately, spirituality.
Produced for AIDS Awareness Day 1992

Sur del Sur,
1990, 16:24 min
An investigation of the history of Seville, one of the few cities in Spain where one can actually perceive all the layers of its history in a synchronised way. This work explores the coexistence of two complimentary and opposite concepts of time, historical time, which is linear- and mythical time -which is circular.

Banharn/Davis Excerpt: The Architecture of Four Ecologies (Rayner Benham) (City of Quartz (Mike Davis)),
l993, 8 min
A textural, overtly styled music video that juxtaposes two generational views of the California landscape: on the lifestyles of Los Angelenos Banham states, "the freeway is not a limbo of existential angst, but the place where they can spend the two calmest and most rewarding hours of their daily life"; and to update, Davis laments, "in the erstwhile world capital of teenagers, where millions overseas still imagine Gidget at a late-night surf party, the beaches are now closed at dark, patrolled by helicopters, armed boats and police dune buggies."
Commissioned by KCET's The Works II.- The '60s in the '90s, broadcast June 1993 in Los Angeles. Music: Tom Recchion

Urban Episodes,
1980, 8:50 min
Downtown Minneapolis is observed through mechanized camera controls. Usually, the camera's point of view is associated with the human viewpoint, and pays attention to the human condition around it. Here, the mechanism (Machine Vision) directs the observations from a machine's perspective instead – giving new insights to the city and its inhabitants.

Producer: KTCA-TV, Minneapolis,

Optical instrumentation: Josef Frames

In the Land of the Elevator Girls, 1989, 4:00 min
The elevator is the metaphorical vehicle used to reveal an outsider's gaze into contemporary Japanese culture. The continual opening and closing of elevator doors serves as a succinct formal device, as the viewer is offered brief glimpses of a series of landscapes – natural, urban, cultural and domestic. Doors open onto doors to reveal layers of public and private vision, transporting the viewer from theatrical performances and street scenes to an elevator surveillance camera's recording of everyday life.

Producer: IMATCO/ATANOR for Television Espanola S.A. El Arte del Video

As Is,
1984, 11:28 min
A mythical interpretation of New York City from the grand theater of its urban architecture to its diverse ethnic heritage. Velez reshapes and layers the urban landscape, isolating gestures and rituals as paradigmatic signs and symbols within the vast, indifferent metropolis.

Swimming pool Library,
1993, 25:00 min
In the architectural domain, pragmatic perspective usually dominates. This vision exists in a virtual world, and only intermittently interrupts the tangible landscape where it might be built. What began as an attempt to understand the cause and effect of a street that was permanently jammed with traffic, evolved into a hybrid building imagined as a mind machine: a combination swimming pool and library (both excellent thinking places).

Producer: ETH, Zurich, für Nachdiplornstudium Architektur & C.A.A.D.

Angel's Gate,
1989,4:50 min
Viola writes, "… A succession of individual images focusing on mortality, decay and disintegration … appear as a series of openings or momentary glimpses into nature's essential gestures which, like thoughts, are destined to fade and themselves disintegrate into obscurity and oblivion." The journey of the camera reveals universal symbols, that "pass through and out into the bright world, liberated by the consuming, saturated white light of its own overexposure."

Reasons for Knocking at an Empty House,
1983, 19:11 min
A powerfully austere observation of the perceptual experience of the self in isolation, subjected to extended duration. Viola writes that this work is "an attempt to stay awake continuously for three days while confined to an upstairs room in an empty house. The space becomes increasingly subjective as events slide in and out of conscious awareness and the duration becomes more and more brutal."
Produced in association with the TV Lab at WNET/Thirteen, New York