Ars Electronica 1986
Festival-Program 1986
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Festival 1979-2007


Video-Mania: Pictures non-stop

Tuesday, June 24th, 1986
10:45 p.m., FS 1

ORF-Videonale '86

From late in the evening till early in the morning, video masterpieces will be shown.
Responsible for the program: Kunst-Stücke team
Expert guidance: Grita Insam

The following tapes are shown as a whole:

Zhigniew Rybczinski
The Discrete Charm Of The Diplomacy


Rybczinski's wit and satirical humour is combined with a "menagerie" of special effects. Perhaps the essence of his success lies in his direct "honesty" of techniques, an open seducation that relishes playfullness, but still manages to leave the mark of a "love bite".

Ko Nakajima
Mount Fuji

1983, 20'

As you know, Mt. Fuji is one of famous mountains in Japan. Since Japan was founded as a country, its beauty has been expressed through paints, poetries, music, photograph and so on. This is a new image of Mt. Fuji that is modulated by Computer Graphic Equipments. Though it seems difficult to express Japan's own atmosphere called "Wabi and Sabi" (taste for the simple and quiet) with the equipment, I'm sure this digitalized "Mt. Fuji" is one of the best works.

William Wegman:
The Best of William Wegman

1970–78, colour, 20'

"Man Ray, do you want to do something? Do you want to go out? Where do you want to go to? To the park? Or do you want to go to the beach? Or do you want to visit Gayle? Where is Gayle? Do you want to got to see Ralph? Who is Ralph? I don't know … Do you want to go to the beach? Or how about a tour on the bicycle? … Maybe we should, now, Man Ray, we could, Man Ray, we could, hey, so we could. Man Ray, do you want? Only if you want … "

Karl Konvanz and Renate Kocer:
4 Tänze

1984, 15'49"

Four screen-dances: there is dancing:
– the diver in a glass of water
– football-replicates on trotting-courses
– three hearts, four feet right and wrong
– two voodoos at home

John Sanborn/Dean Winkler:

1986, 10'

This work is dedicated to Ed Emshwiller and rolls through a deck of fantastic cards of video special effects. Sanborn displays his video craftsmanship in a spectacular concert of computer graphics.

Max Almy

1981, colour, 4'

Max Almy crystalizes cultural cliches into caustic comments. This video shows the demand for performance in combination with personal ambition. Intelligent and seductive images, beautiful lips of a girl and a melodious voice which first sounds like a song and then becomes hard.

Den Reeves:
Smothering dreams

1981, colour, 22'

A sensitive and moving investigation into violence and society. It is
based on his personal experiences in Vietnam and focuses on how society condones and supports violence at all levels. A sincere and compelling production that closes the gap between documentary style and artist's reality.

Marina Abramovic and Ulay:
Terra Degli Dea Madre

1985, colour, 16'

Marina Abramovic and Ulay travelled to Sicily to continue their project of exploring time and place in relation to a culture and its people. Here, their fluidly moving camera passes through a configuration of rocks and men to an interior of ornate furniture and motionless women, while an evocative hybrid language forms a hypnotic spoken accompaniment. As a study of contrast – male/female, interior/exterior, nature/civilization -this tape also reveals the affinity of these people with their environment.

Joan Logue:
Renée et Georgetta Magritte

1984, 5'

In this video clip of the song by Paul Simon, Magritte's aesthetics together with an abundance of special effects allows an experience of video magic.

Robert Wilson:
Deafman's Glance

colour, 30'

With this tape, the American sculptor, performance artist and internationally renowned theater man shows once again his qualities in mise en scene and surrealistic story telling, in the form of detailed images for the video/TV screen.

Daizaburo Harada and Harubiko Shone [Radical TV):
Program Music

1985, colour, 4.32'

Music composed and performed by Radical TV
Computer program by Radical TV

This piece was made for the opening ceremony of the 16th Ginza music festival which was held in Tokyo in 1985. In this piece, the sounds start of with the sounds of nature, such as the sounds of thunder and waves, then to the sounds of dinosaurs and primitive people, and to the music made by the famous classical musicians, and finally ends with the modern computerized music. In other words, this piece traces back the history of music visually from the beginning of music until the modern times.

Dara Birnbaum:
Will o'the Wisp

1985, colour, 7'

In this prologue to a larger work, the classic themes of Faustian duality are introduced into a contemporary urban setting. Using sophisticated video technology, Birnbaum developed techniques based on Japanese Ukiyo-e forms – screens, fans and scrolls – to explore themes of transcendence and loss: the conflict between the inner self and the external surroundings.

Marcel Odenbach:
As If Memories Could Deceive Me

1986, 17'

The piece focuses on images of classical music as expressions and symbols of bourgeois cultural education. There are shown different ways of using the piano, combined with a series of musical and visual associations linked with each kind of use. The artist has been working on the project at The New England Conservatory and other Boston area locations.

Klaus vom Bruch:
Jeder Schuß ein Treffer

1986, 17'

The artist is behind his utopian looking weapon, in reality it is an antena, and he attacks his audience with the discharge of his ideas. The remarkable editing technique describes diverse directions starting from tender movements of half-circles to a series of images in staccato while we hear a deranged tango, hypnotic in its effect. Though the
title of this tape suggests aggression, it sometimes seems as if the artist wanted to protect himself by using the sticks as weapons and trying to hide himself behind it.

Joan Logue:
30 Second Spots

TV Commercials for Artists (Joan Jonas-Spot]
1982, colour, 15'

In short portraits, the artist works out a certain vocabulary which characterizes artists with their own elements of style: Nam June Paik, Laurie Anderson, Robert Ashley, John Cage, Spalding Gray, Phillip Glass, Joan Jonas, Meredith Monk, Luicinda Childs, etc.

Joan Jonas:
Double Lunar Dog

1984, colour, 25'

A vision of post-apocalyptic survival aboard a spacecraft travelling aimlessly through the Universe. The timeless travelers have forgotten the purpose of their mission and have no recollection of where they came from or what their destination is. In an attempt to remember the past, they play games with 'deja-vu' images which appear in digital sequences. Performed by Jonas & Spalding Gray, with Jill Kroesen, David Warrilow and John Malloy. The video screen becomes the theater that utilizes special effects to condense time and space.

Helmut Rainer:

1985, colour, 6' 20"

Rhythmic sequence of 'claustrophilous' real and computer image structures.

William Wegman:
The Best of William Wegman

1970-1978, b/w, 20'

Man Ray and friend follow an interesting point. The approach of Wegman's use of video, in this classic work, is typical of his intimate investigations and conversations.

Joan Logue:
30 Second Spots

TV Commercials for Artists, (Nam June Paik-Spot)
1982, colour, 15'

Douglas Hall:
Songs of the Eighties

1983, colour, 17'

This work is based on the staging of performances. It consists of five episodes which are connected by the subjects repression, fear and restraint. These metaphors for current political and social tensions are elegantly expressed by means of a number of video techniques such as slow movement, short staccato cutting and slow resolution.

Rupert Putz:
R-S Project No. 8 (Video Haiku)

1985, colour, 45'

In this video Putz continues his theories of recycled images. Putz uses the poetic form of a Haiku and applies it to a Polanski film. The Haiku is searched for word by word in the film and then the collected visuals collage to reform the poem. The translation uses a formula that predetermines the apparent random quality of the images. Applying language to language to create his visual poem.

Jacques Louis and Danièle Nyst:
J'ai la tête qui tourne

1984, colour, 15'

The course of the scenery follows that of a conversation between two persons. They intend to move the world to a small grey corner during the night. However, the corner has to remain uninhabited until the unicorn appears.

Woody Vasulka in Cooperation with Ernst Gusella:
The Commission

1984, 45'

In operatic form, this episodic narrative revolves around an incident between the 19th-century virtuoso violonist Niccolò Paganini (portrayed by Ernest Gusella) and his contemporary, Hector Berlioz (portrayed by Robert Ashley). The anecdote is a gift of 20,000 francs which Berlioz offers to the destitute Paganini as a commission for a piece of music – "an extraordinary event between artists". The romantic myth of the genius is given full attention by Vasulka, and the images reveal the specialized digital techniques that transcend video with multiple representation and aural mutation. An eulogy for the suffering artist, the final sequences of this work (accomplished with a scan-processing technique) tells of the thirty years before Paganini's corpse is properly buried and sanctified.

Ed Emshwiller:

1979, colour, 3'

On a grey surface a sun face appears which moves and changes in manifold ways in the course of the tape. For this three minute video Emshwiller worked with a computer for more than eight months.