Ars Electronica 1986
Festival-Program 1986
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Festival 1979-2007


Electronic Greetings

' Bechtold Bechtold / 'Richard Kriesche Richard Kriesche

Wednesday, June 25th, 1986
10:20 p. m., FS 2

ORF-Videonale 86

Perfect Lives – An Opera for Television by Robert Ashley, Production John Sanborn

Part V: The Living Room (The Solutions)
Will and Ida discuss the trouble at The Bank.

This broadcast centres on the use of the medium television as a means of communication by artists. Excerpts from historic examples will be shown, for example the satellite transmission of "documenta 6" with Joseph Beuys, Nam June Paik and Douglas Davis, "Good Morning Mr. Orwell", etc. The main item of the broadcast is the first showing of the Austrian production "Silent Electronic Mail" by Gottfried Bechtold and Richard Kriesche.

Richard Kriesche and Gottfried Bechtold:
"Stille elektronische Post" (Electronic "Whispered Messages")

The electronic digital media are so much alienating our life sphere that it finally becomes completely alien. As "Stille Post" – a children's game in which a word or message in being whispered into the neighbour's ear and after several whisperings becomes unrecognizable – information is being altered step by step, "Elektronische Stille Post" starts out from an alienated reality; only by destroying real space will its new electronic digital basis become visible.

An existing communication line image and sound circuit is being utilized between the ORF Regional Studios in Linz and Dornbirn, between Kriesche and Bechtold; according to this communication structure, only partial worlds are being constructed in Linz and Dornbirn, in Upper Austria and Vorarlberg (divided human beings, divided pianos, divided cultures, etc.).

The computer and video project "Stille Elektronische Post" demonstrates the subjective visions of the world, hidden away in existing communication systems; these visions will have to be approached as works of the word, works of art in the true sense of the word.

Production: Richard Kriesche and Gottfried Bechtold in cooperation with Austrian Broadcasting Corporation, Regional Studios of Upper Austria and Vorarlberg
Director: Alois Sulzer

Text originally in three columns Image [I] – Text [T] – Sound [S]

[I] TV announcer in typical ORF pose
[T] "… this broadcast of two artists – Richard Kriesche and Gottfried Bechtold – is dedicated to electronic space. This imaginary space is the product of electronic communication. ORF (Austrian Broadcasting Corporation) has established a connection between the two Austrian provinces of Upper austria and Vorarlberg in order to visualize this imaginary space – or imaginary Austria.

This form of communication does no longer represent the space, moreover, it creates an entirely new space with all its new objects. Electronic communication is a new formation of the world, a new order of objects and traditions.
Thus, this experiment is also a contribution to a new art, outside of museums and galleries, an art in public space, an art that owes its evolution to this public electronic space."

[I] title: "Stille Post" moves over the screen, downward. Kriesche and Bechtold enter from both sides

b: hello, Richard
k: hello, Gottfried

[I] centre of the screen is invisibly divided
Kriesche throws globe to Bechtold. Globe vanishes in the centre, but reappears soon afterward, Bechtold catches it.
image (1) shows Kriesche (k)
in the monitor Bechtold (b) image (2) shows (b) and in monitor k

k: television is yearning for faraway places
b: television is the unstilled yearning for "the place without time" and for "time without space".

[I] cuts back and forth between images (1) and (2)

k: the manifestation of yearning for faraway places is the tv-studio
b: tv-studio is no place, it is our condition
k: it has no history, no future, only present
b: the present is to be found in the network, in the connection of the tv-studios
k: the network is the description of the world
b: in images
k: the two of us deal with images
b: in the network
k: because images are more real than reality
b: they do not make any statements on reality, they have long since become reality.
k: images are the reality of the majority
b: images of the network are the beauty of the majority
k: other words: the reality of the majority is expressed in the beauty of the images

[I] b. does not talk to k. but to b.

b: this is why the beauty of vorarlberg can be exchanged for the beauty of Upper Austria
b: that is why we have connected two studios by network, to describe Austria.

[I] production "ORF cameraman" 3/4 image,
1/4 image insert pictures that are based on tourist information pamphlets
text is taken from tourist information pamphlets

[S] professional announcer off noise
original sound + ideal discs (noise discs)

[I] image (2)/image (1) spray, very brief

b: the electronic reality is a partial reality
k: entirety is an illusion of the majority
b: television is the image of the illusion of entirety
k: reality is what everyone of us realizes
b: Richard, is Upper Austria ready?
k: ok, Gottfried, Vorarlberg should come!

[I] divided screen (unrecognizable)
to the left k., right b. spray the outlines of austria
image (1)/image (2)

k: reality is majority
b: majority is beauty
k: democracy is electronic beauty
b: any activity is confirmation

[I] screen divided black/white

k: is Vorarlberg ready?
b: is Upper Austria ready?

[I] here, clapping, shouting, etc. sets in for light control both halves of the screen reach about the same degree of brightness (possibly insert the sound-image of both pictures as curve or similar as insert)
[S] original sound

b: electronic images are super-images
k: nature is only their grey reflection
b: television images deplete nature
k: artistic images offer resistance to uncontrolled plundering

[I] b: dressed in national suit, "hirschknopfanzug" in the centre of Dornbirn
k: with national suit, "gamsbartanzug" in the centre of Linz
man as sculpture, quiet, solemn settings
[S] original sound
[I] image (1)/image (2)

k: he talks about citizens, talks about the town …
b: he talks about the ideas the citizens have about themselves and their town …
k: already talks about a picture that he produces for us …

[I] b. and mayor of Dornbirn interview-situation

b: "Mr. Mayor, we thank you for having talked to us for two minutes"

[S] original sound
[I] k. and mayor of Linz interview situation
(name of town is not mentioned or cut out)
k. drinks water from the Danube
b. drinks water from the Bodensee
ritual, sculpural totale.
k. walks from the river bank to the Danube
k. draws water and drinks
(insert of time and date)
image (2)/image (1)

b: electronic communication is partial reality
k: the single world is an illusion
b: our pianos are the first prototypes of an electronic partial reality
k: our pianos are the first objects of a global communication

[I] classical recordings of pianists. 2 performers at piano, only one half is playable. beside the score, there is a monitor on the piano, showing the other performer
[S] original sound
Gershwin: Rhapsody in Blue
[I] image (1)/image (2)

k: the beauty of our home country
b: is a collective agreement
k: it is the beauty of economy and of the majority
b: it is the beauty of tourist information pamphlets
k: the pamphlets are for strangers
k: among those super-pictures we have found subjective pictures
b: at the same place, at the same time
k: as an insert

[I] as on page thematic focal point turns to home country
image (2)/image (1)

b: is its basis …
b: its perspective is a global one

[I] a choir is divided in two. gaps between members. sing a song together
[S] original sound
folk song?
[I] image (1)/image (2)

k: the electronic space is our real space
b: it is the message of a faultless space
k: is the message of a self-controlling space
b: television images are the first and the last messengers of this space …
k: automatic, eternal and faultless

[I] b. as blind cameraman – later also k. as blind cameraman
takes shots of a model in the centre of town (Miss Upper Austria or a world champion from Vorarlberg or Miss Vorarlberg)
1/4 insert ORF hidden camera.
it shows b. and k. at the camera
image (2)/image (1)

b: the electronic space is the space of partial realities
k: it no longer has anything to do with seeing or hearing, it has to do with art …
b: with the art of seeing and hearing
k: electronic democracy

[I] k. and b. face the public as men. seperately on the half image of the monitor.
by instructions from the audience they come together blindfolded to a total image. both cameras zoom into the black
[S] original sound
[I] image (1)/image (2)

k: to the beauty of the majority we have added the beauty of the minority.
b: shown the objective by the subjective
k: partial views …
b: tele-communicative television

[I] as on page …
impressionistic pictures
the 1/4 insert finally turns into a total picture
3/4 picture becomes 1/4 picture
image (2)/image (1)

b: the electronic space is an artificial space …
k: at the end of which lies the end of art
b: yes, the termination of this space is the end of art
k: it is only in this finale that reality and beauty become one

computer game/design over a digitalizing tableau b. shoots to Linz and k. shoots to Dornbirn. shooting with pencil as "gamsbart". design appears on the screen of k. and b., but not on the tableau. after "successful" shooting-down design appears on screen.

k. vanishes from the picture (mirror effect). design on the monitor dissolves.

final title.