<< preface

this blog is nina wenhart's collection of resources on the various histories of new media art. it consists mainly of non or very little edited material i found flaneuring on the net, sometimes with my own annotations and comments, sometimes it's also textparts i retyped from books that are out of print.

it is also meant to be an additional resource of information and recommended reading for my students of the prehystories of new media class that i teach at the school of the art institute of chicago in fall 2008.

the focus is on the time period from the beginning of the 20th century up to today.

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2008-07-17

>> Bob Adrian X, "The World in 24 Hours", 1982













A PROJECT CONNECTING ARTISTS AROUND THE WORLD
IN A NON-STOP
SERIES OF DIALOGUES BEGINNING AT 12 NOON ON SEPTEMBER 27 AND
ENDING AT 12 NOON ON SEPTEMBER 28 (CENTRAL EUROPEAN TIME).



This is a "low-technology" project using simple, cheap and readily available "off-the-shelf" equipment that operates via normal telephone or amateur (ham) radio networks.

There are three proven media (see other side) that have been successfully used in previous artist's telecommunications projects and there are probably others as yet untried. Artists or groups wishing to participate in this project may propose any medium providing that it operates via telephone, amateur radio or other freely accessible network, and that compatible hardware and access is available in Linz, Austria.

The budget provided by the ARS ELECTRONICA sponsors for this project is intended to provide for central organisation and telephone costs for one hour between Linz and each participating location. Each location will be called from
Linz at 12 noon local time (this will vary somewhat in Europe).

Each call will last for about one hour.

Locations working together with amateur radio operators are of course NOT restricted by telephone costs or availability of phone lines during the event.

MEDIA INFORMATION (see attached sheets for detailed information)


from: http://alien.mur.at/rax/24_HOURS/index.html



"ARS ELECTRONICA'82
27-28 SEPTEMBER 1982

A world-wide 24 hour telecommunications project organised by Robert Adrian for the Ars Electronica, Linz.




Artists and groups in Vienna, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Bath, Wellfleet, Pittsburgh, Toronto, San Francisco, Vancouver, Honolulu, Tokyo, Sydney, Istanbul and Athens participated using any or all of Slow-scan TV, Fax, Computer Mailbox or telephone sound. Each location was called from Linz at 12:00 local time - so the project ran from 12:00 noon Central European Time on Sept.27 and followed the midday sun around the world, ending at 12:00 noon on Sept.28."




ARTISTS'' USE OF TELECOMMUNICATIONS
This telecommunications program by artists is, like other such events in the past, intended to develop techniques for individual, personal, use of existing telecommunications technology.

It is often claimed that modern electronic systems and networks are not accessible to private individuals but actually access is a relatively easy matter, the real problems only arise when one seeks ways in which these systems can be used. One soon discovers that, with the exception of the games and entertainment sector, all this technology is designed for the corporate user. Individual users are isolated from the design of new technology because, having no precise need, it is assumed that their interests are met by firms interested in marketing high-tech by-products, in serving existing demand rather than assisting in the development of possible alternative directions in electronic technology.
If any sort of chance arises to develop new techniques by means of which private individuals can make meaningful use of these electronic media -- to assert their right to genuine participation in the development of this new electronic world -- then it will have to be very soon. It is probably too late even now to really change the direction of design development but we can try at least to discover ways to insert human content into commercial/military world floating in this electronic space.
And this is where artists are traditionally strong ... in discovering new ways to use media and materials, in inventing new and contradictory meanings for existing organisations and systems, in subverting self-serving power-structures in the interests of nearly everyone.

Artists using electronic telecommunications are trying to find human meaning in an electronic space.
Robert Adrian X



The World In 24 Hours
A project connecting artists around the world in a non-stop series of dialogues beginning at 12 noon on September 27 and ending at 12 noon on September 28, 1982 (Central European Time).

14 artists or groups around the world will be in communication with Linz, Austria, during the 24 hour project. Each of the participating locations will be called on the telephone from the central location in Linz at 12 noon local time (i. e. 18.00 in Linz = 12 noon in Toronto). Each contact will last about one hour, permitting the exchange of visual material via telephone by means of either Slow-scan Television or Telefacsimile transceiving equipment. In addition the I. P. Sharp computer timesharing network will be available for computer graphic exchange and/or coordination of the projects. Participants have been offered the opportunity of choosing any telecommunications medium for their contribution providing that it operates via normal telephone and is also available in Linz. However the present state of development makes only the 3 media mentioned above - and described below - feasible for use by artists or other private individuals.
1. Computer timesharing: (I. P. Sharp APL Network) Equipment: Computer Terminal. Medium: Local Telephone to nearest IPSA office. The I. p, Sharp office in Vienna will provide computer time and technical assistance to participants wishing to use I. p, Sharp software for computer graphic exchange. The ARTBOX and CONFER programs will also be available for coordination of the project and for computer communications exchanges.
2. Slow-scan television (SSTV): Equipment: SSTV Transceiver (e.g.. robot 530) Medium: Direct long-distance telephone connection. Signals from a video camera are converted by the transceiver into audio signals and transmitted via telephone, The received signal is reconverted to a video signal and displayed on a monitor. Each image takes 8.5 seconds to be completed.
3. Telefacsimile (Telefax): Equipment: Telefax transceiver (e.g., 3 M "9136", group III (transceiver) Medium: Direct long-distance telephone connection. Telefax transceivers convert images on paper into audio signals and transmit them via telephone. A compatible machine then converts the signal back into an image on paper, There are 3 different types of machine available. Groups I, II and 111. The latest of these are the group III machines which can transmit an A 4 page in under a minute. Machines like the 3 M "9136" are also compatible with the slower group I and II machines.

The 24 hour program will begin with an extensive European section lasting about 6 hours, from 12 noon until 18.00 (Central European Time). The European section will include contributions from FLORENCE, FRANKFURT, GENEVA, VIENNA and, concluding the European section, DUBLIN. There will also be an experiment called "PI- NETWORKING" (using the I. P. Sharp Timesharing Network) initiated by Roy Ascott in Bath, U. K, going on during the whole European section.

The overseas program will comprise at least 4 North American locations, (there may also be a New York City participant), Hawaii, Sydney/Australia and Tokyo, The final contact will be from Turkey at 11:00 on September 28 (Linz time).

The schedule
(All times Central European Time)
12:00-18.00 Exchanges with Frankfurt, Florence, Geneva, Amsterdam, Vienna and Dublin.
18:00 - 21:00 Toronto and Pittsburgh (New York?).
21:00 - 23:00 San Francisco and Vancouver.
23:00 - 03:00 Hawaii (with Pacific region conference)
03:00-04:00 Sydney
04:00 - 05:00 Tokyo
05:00 -09:00 open for conferencing, discussion, preparation of documentation, rest etc.
09:00-11:00 Summing up and discussion of project with European participants.
11:00 -12:00 Telex exchange with minus-delta-t in Turkey, en route to Bangkok.


[PARTICIPATING LOCATIONS]

LINZ
This project was begun in January 1982 when a series of workshops was arranged at the HOCHSCHULE FÜR KÜNSTLERISCHE UND INDUSTRIELLE GESTALTUNG, Linz. These workshops by Robert Adrian X (funded by the Österreichische Kulturservice) were intended to create a team of artists and students able to prepare and transmit original work and to man the equipment during the 24 hour event. The workshops were coordinated by Waltraud Cooper, lecturer at the Hochschule under Professor Laurids Ortner, Waltraud Cooper will also be coordinating participation by the Linz group during the program.
The workshop participants were: Bruno Aichinger, Helmut Guntner, Gerald Hackenberg, Josel Horvat, Elisabeth Juan, Moidi Kretschmann, Michael Langanger, Jörg Mikesch, Otto Mittmannsgruber, Sonja Reischi.

FRANKFURT
Coordination: Thomas Bayrle
Location: Städelschule, Hochschule für Kunst, Frankfurt/Main
Participants: Thomas Bayrle, Ernst Caramelle, Jochen Fey, Jürgen Riehm and Monika Schwitte.
Media: Telefacsimile
Thomas Bayrle is an artist working with photography, traditional media and artists books and is Dozent at the Städelschule.

FLORENCE
Coordination: Maurizio Nannucci
Location: Zona, Florence Participants: Fabrizio Corneli, Albert Mayr, Paolo Nasi, Massimo Nannucci, Maurizio Nannucci, Gianni Pettena, Marino Vismara
Media: Telefacsimile
ZONA is an independent group of artists working together in all media - including music, performance, radio, video etc., ZONA is also an artist-run space in the center of Florence.

VIENNA
Coordination: Helmut Mark
Location: Österreichische Kulturservice "Studio"
Participants: Markus Geiger, Ruth Labak, Helmut Mark, Alice Weber, Heimo Zobernig Project: SPUTNIK MACHT'S MÖGLICH The 5 artists will meet at the Kulturservice "Studio" (Grunangergasse 6) from 10 am to 6 PM every day from Sept. 24 to 29. On Sept. 25 and 26 they will hold workshops on telecommunications media in preparation for the 24 hour event on Sept. 27 and 28. On Sept. 29 a discussion of the entire project is planned.
Media: Computer Timesharing and Telefacsimile
Helmut Mark is an artist working in many media, mainly in public space. He lives in Vienna.

AMSTERDAM
Coordination: Annie Wright and David Garcia
Location: Mazzo, Amsterdam
Project: LATE TIMES EXTRA ". , ,one of a number of works we have made based on the insertion of 'fictions' into everyday formats. We have previously used shop windows, street posters, publications and television and now telecommunications." The project will treat the computer terminal as a news agency teleprinter, developing a plot trough the mixture of "real" news and fiction.
Media: Computer Timesharing
Annie Wright and David Garcia are English artist/ writers living in Amsterdam,

BATH
Coordination: Roy Ascott.
Location: Art Access/Networking, Bath, England.
Participants:
Project: PSI-BERNETIC NETWORKING (2 projects proposed). 1. "To identify nine people with terminal access around the planet, each to choose a card in sequence to make up the Celtic spread (with my card). We shall then participate and interact trough the network to generate meanings trough the spread."
2, "A second project will involve a kind of round table seance, automatic writing at the ASCII keyboard, This use of chance coupled with our individual/group intuitions and intimations will likely also generate some unexpected material."
"Both proposals attempt to generate a kind of group consciousness of planetary dimensions through the network to get at new ideas, texts or images. The second project may include, as input, trance utterances by clairvoyants if we can involve enough individuals in sufficient countries to make it global."
Media: Computer Timesharing.
Roy Ascott is an artist and theoretician presently Head of the School of Fine Art, Gwent College of Higher Education, Newport, Wales, member of the advisory board, International Network for the Arts, New York, member of the Editorial Advisory Board of "LEONARDO", Pergamon Press, Oxford and Director of Art Access/Networking.

TORONTO
Coordination: Derek Dowden (Artculture Resource Center) and Dieter Hastenteufel.
Location: COMMUNITEX: Community Videotex,
Participants: Dieter Hastenteufel, Derek Dowden, Peeter Sepp, Nancy Paterson, and others,
project: in preparation.
Media: Computer Timesharing, Slow-Scan and/or Telefacsimile.
Derek Dowden works with Artculture Resource Center, a non-profit organising facility for cultural projects.
COMMUNITEX is a non-profit organisation to promote and facilitate artistic, cultural and community use of new telecommunications technology.

SAN FRANCISCO
Coordination: Tom Klinkowstein.
Location: Audio Visual Center, the San Francisco State University.
Participants: Staff and students at the Audio Visual Center and at the Broadcast Communications Art Department (S.F.S.U.),
Project: "THE CUSTOMER IS ALWAYS RIGHT" Advertising or advertising-related images will be broadcast live via the (interactive) Cable Television station in San Francisco and via Slow-Scan Television to Linz. Similar material will be displayed as slides or video tapes to the audience at the ORF center in Linz and transmitted to San Francisco via Slow-Scan Television. Responses to the transmitted images will be exchanged via the I.P. Sharp Computer Timesharing network.
Media: Computer Timesharing and Slow-Scan Television.
Tom Klinkowstein is an artist, designer and teacher specialising in electronic media, audio-visual techniques and telecommunications, He divides his time between San Francisco and Amsterdam, Holland.

PITTSBURGH
Coordination: Bruce Breland.
Location: Department of Fine Arts, Carnegie-Mellon University, Pittsburgh.
Participants: GEKKO (Generative Energy /Kinetic Knowledge/Order), Bruce Breland, Herb Coshak, James Kocher, Harry Holland, Diane Samuels and Cindy Snodgrass.
Project: GEKKO'S WINDOW. 1. Bruce Breland - CASTING COLOR ON THE CONEMAUGH (SSTV) 2. James Kocher - X/O (SSTV) 3. Diane Samuels - FINGER PERFORMANCE (SSTV) 4. Herb Coshak - ALETH (SSTV) 5. Cindy Snodgrass -WINDRAYS, AIRWAVES, HIGHWAYS (SSTV) 6. Harry Holland - STRATA VARIANTS (Computer Timesharing).
Media: Slow-Scan Television and Computer Timesharing.

VANCOUVER
Coordination: Henry Bull and BilI Bartlett.
Location: Western Front Society, Vancouver.
Participants: Henry Bull, Bill Bartlett, Kate Craig, Gien Lewis and members of the Western Front Society.
Media: Slow-Scan Television and Computer Timesharing.
Henry Bull is an artist, musician and curator working in practically every medium from photography to radio. He lives in Vancouver and is responsible for the gallery program at the Western Front.
Bill Bartlett is a pioneer of artists use of telecommunications, especially with Slow-Scan Television and Computer Communications. He lives on Pender ISiand, British Columbia.
Western Front is an artist-run center (founded in 1972) that offers programmes in visual arts, music, dance and video as well as an ambitious "artist-in-residence" program.

HAWAII
Coordination: John Southworth.
Location: University of Hawaii, Honolulu.
Participants: John Southworth, Joseph Tanton and staff and students of the University.
Media: Computer Timesharing and Slow-Scan Television.
John Southworth is an educator and specialist for integrated electronic learning systems. He lives and works in Hawaii.

SYDNEY
Coordination: Eric Gidney.
Location: City Art Institute, Sydney, Australia,
Participants: Eric Gidney, lan Howard and students of the City Art Institute.
Media: Computer Timesharing and/or Telefacsimile,
Eric Gidney and lan Howard are lecturers at the City Art Institute.

TOKYO
Coordination: Kazue Kobata,
Location: Body Weather Laboratory,
Participants: Min Tanaka, Yoshi Nobu, Kazue Kobata
Project: In preparation.
Kazue Kobata is an artist and dancer working in Japan and America.

TURKEY
Coordination: Minus Delta t
Location: Turkey (en route to Bangkok)
Participants: Karel Dudesek, Mike Henz, Bernard Müller
Project: BANGKOK/ARCHIV EUROPA
Media: Telex?
Minus Delta t is a group of artists who been, since 1980, on the expedition "Project Bangkok".
The project encompasses the ARCHIVE EUROPA, A FESTIVAL, the transportation and erection of a large and heavy monument, and working in the countries through which they are traveling until the end of December 1982. Apparently a classic expedition, but Minus Delta t are making art as field research.

DUBLIN [did NOT participate!]

GENEVA [did NOT participate!]




report:

Vienna, December 9, 1982

It is now just over 2 months since "THE WORLD IN 24 HOURS" project took place and this report completes, finally, the documentation. The enclosed material, including copies of telefax pages, photos of SSTV images, descriptions and photos of the activities in Linz during the project, and a nearly complete copy of "ARS CONFERENCE" on the I.P.Sharp network, is a selection from all the material we received during the 24 hours. We also have over 2 hours of U-Mativ Video tape which will be edited to about 20 minutes. Dubs of this tape are available to anyone interested for the cost of tape and dubbing time.

The strain of 24 hours of non-stop activity on people and equipment is obvious in the uneven quality (and quantity) of the enclosed material ... some things didn't get recorded or photographed ... the sound recording equipment broke down ... the person with the camera went home to bed, with the camera! ... we ran out of video tape in the middle of the night when everything was locked ... one telephone died and another got very neurotic in the early morning ... we all forgot and lost things, including telephone numbers.

But on the whole it was a successfull experiment. We learned a lot ... for one thing, we learned that most things, including people are not designed for non-stop, 24 hour, activity. But we also learned that such a project is possible and that the next one will be even better given the experience we now have.

There are, of course, many things we would do differently if we had to do it all again but three things stand out:
  1. More time for preparation. We had 9 months but it needed at least a year.
  2. Better audio recording equipment. The ORF (Austrian Radio/TV) supplied excellent sound equipment but the wrong tape deck. We should have paid a lot more attention on this point.
  3. More telephones. We had 3 lines but needed 5. For a total telecommunications experience you need all the media working at once ... plus a communication line for emergencies.
Telecommunications, by artists or anybody, only gets really exciting when carried out on a global scale. But the price of global scale telecommunications projects is all the pain and problems of language and cultural differences, time zones, networking and night-working. On balance I think it is worth it ... looking through the material we received one can feel a new kind of art developing, a new medium. Its a very exciting feeling.

Lets do it again soon!

Robert Adrian X


This documentation has been made possible by the cooperation of the 3M company and the Österreichische Kultur Service.

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... is a Media Art historian and independent researcher. She is currently writing on "speculative archiving && experimental preservation of Media Art" and graduated from Prof. Oliver Grau's Media Art Histories program at the Danube University in Krems, Austria with a Master Thesis on Descriptive Metadata for Media Arts. For many years, she has been working in the field of archiving/documenting Media Art, recently at the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Media.Art.Research and before as the head of the Ars Electronica Futurelab's videostudio, where she created their archives and primarily worked with the archival material. She was teaching the Prehystories of New Media Class at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) and in the Media Art Histories program at the Danube University Krems.