European Media Art Festival

Video & Computer Installations

(September 12 to 24, 1995)

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Interactivity again characterizes most of the installations presented in Osnabrück this year. Here the visitor can experience the artistic approaches to these new technologies.

``? The Taboo ''

Thessy Mehrain, USA

Five visitors in a room are simultaneously confronted with a series of taboos from religion, sexuality, body manipulations via a video production. The intensity of the description depends on the ``bodily exertion'' of the group: sensors in the floor covering will record the visitors' movements; the more active they are, the more detailed, that is `taboo-offending' the images become. In case of a slow down or of a total standstill a return to a less explicit opinion will take place.

Thessy Mehrain's interactive video installation causes the participants to feel a conflict between his interest in watching something `forbidden' and the societal system of rules which makes a taboo of the contemplation of these images.


Dieter Kiessling, D

In times of a constantly rising flood of images, Dieter Kiessling traces in his works in a reduced form the methods of recording and reproduction of technical media.

A camera records the rotating ventilator and transfers the image to the screen. Since the speed of the aerofoil and the shutter speed of the camera are identical, the image of the aerofoil will appear as having almost stopped.


Dieter Kiessling, D

The video camera records a red bulb and transfers its image to the screen. The image appears beside the bulb and it is simultaneously recorded and transferred. The series will continue until six images appear side by side. The slightly blue light of the television set makes the reproduced light giver in each generation a bit bluer.


Norbert Meissner, D

A black box is enthroned above a silver, sparkling cube. If the visitor presses the start button, bright light, hissing vapour and loud voices will appear. One wall of the black box will ice up and become the projection surface for the sender, a switchbox. After a short while this process will be reversed, the icy surface will thaw and erase the image.

Idle Hands

Rafael Lozano Hemmer, Mex/Can, Steve Gibson, Can

``Idle Hands'' is an installation which allows two participants to control an audio-visual environment by their movements in a large interactive area and by striking a percussion controller.

In addition to reacting to the input of the participants, the ``Idle Hands'' follow a musical composition, as well as a probabilistic programmed synthetic behaviour.

Passage Sets
One Pulls Pivots At The Tip Of The Tongue

Bill Seaman, Australia

The installation combines an interactive video-disk, a poetic menu and an automatic poem generator to become a poetic network. A series of video stills, overlaid by poetic texts forms panoramic views that are being projected onto a screen. The user can control this architectural/spatial poem by clicking several areas of the image: He can intervene both in the controlling process of the poem and in the formation process of new poems which are derived from fragments of this word-image-sound network.

The Twelve Loveliest Things I Know

Chris Hales, GB

A technically perfect, thought at the same time very emotional and personal interactive film; a mosaic of memories, childhood experience, the different values of children and adults, hopes and experiences.

The visitor can click on motives via a touch screen - a flying balloon, a person dressed in red, a passing car - so as to recall that part of the story which belongs to it. When the clip changes, the accompanying music will be automatically adjusted to the rhythm of the images.


Egbert Mittelstädt, D

``Trabanten'' - architecturally exposed metropolitan living spaces or electronic impulses to synchronize images - initiate an interactive communication of the machines that excludes the human being, reducing him/her to the contents of information which are being exchanged.

Four satellite dishes, equipped with video-beam and rotating about its own axis, are both sender (projector) and receiver (projection surface). From time to time they will adjust towards each other in pairs. During the phase of `searching' the beamer produce a video noise, `illuminating' that way the environment of the installation. When two dishes adjust themselves towards each other, the noise will be interrupted and a short video sequence will be projected onto the dishes. A rapid exchange of images will take place which stops when this adjustment is left.

``Rather Like Fairyland (Isn't It?)''

Ronald E. Visser, NL

A screen offers the circular projection of a foot- and headless body, rotating about its own axis and - like a clock hand - turning round. The centre of the screen has been replaced by a monitor which depicts the soles of a body, hanging over a gas flame.

Visser discusses the search for an independent artistic power of expression. He makes use of modern, times-adapted media and `time' is the superior phenomenon that covers his actions.

(c) 1995 EMAF by umi / JK