Exhibition and art event, Vienna/Austria:
Timebased, In Principle — In der Kubatur des Kabinetts
The exhibition Timebased, in Principle in the Viennese club Fluc presents three artists whose practice in the fields of film/video, visual arts and literature is immediately interwoven with the principle of time. Without remaining on a formalistic level Siegfried A. Fruhauf, Michael Kargl and Jörg Piringer combine questions of material and form with the discursive dimensions of contemporary media art. Alongside the traces of time—created on its way from the past to the future—the artists reflect the momentariness and ephemerality of medial manifestations as well as the parameters of perception which are bound to it. As a moment in a continuum, as a continuity of a procedure, as a sequence of events: time is the starting point to go beyond the strings of existence of the different media, it does not grind the circuit of (self-)reflections to a halt.
The ephemerality of language, its fluid context and its disengagement from social conventions is in the center of the text/sound-video performance frikativ, eleven poemlets (2007-2008). During thirty minutes the Viennese sound- and new media poet Jörg Piringer generates fragmentaric text-images in realtime. With the screening of the video Ground Control (2008) Siegfried A. Fruhauf, an experimental filmmaker based in Linz, discusses the repeatability of a unique event in form of “white noise” which appears on the screen. Departing from his desire to control an uncontrollable world his reflections result in the localisation of the breaking points of the material: in the threepart video installation Structural Studies (2003) those disruptions express themselves as a moment of opening towards the illusionary. On the contrary Michael Kargl overstresses the visitors capability of reception by displaying the 8-days-long video all you can see (2008). With the adaption of the originally Internet-based work of art opus magnum (2008) the artist also reflects the reproducibility of timebased art and opposes its randomness and ambiguity with the mechanisms of the contemporary art market.
Timebased, in Principle is part of a series of art events called In der Kubatur des Kabinetts, a timebased space for the presentation of artistic practices which go beyond economic imperatives. The performative presentational mode of the shown artworks by Siegfried A. Fruhauf, Michael Kargl and Jörg Piringer refers to a club and art setting which deals with the question of how artistic critique can be sustained in times when “critical projects” tend to be the trend. According to Roland Barthes “the text is experienced only in an activity of production” which means that it is bound to a timebased movement cutting across “hierarchies” and “the old classification”—time is the driving force, it is the principle.
Siegfried A. Fruhauf
Ground Control (2008) | Video, 2 min
Snow, or: the uncontrolled beam of electrons directed across a photoelectric layer of cesium oxide lining a Braun tube: Siegfried A. Fruhauf’s starting point withing the video miniature Ground Control begins with the simplest and most fundamental thing the electronic moving-image machine has to offer. The recording of a chaos and the repeatability of a unique event. A visual sequence which has never before existed and will never happen again becomes reproducible, thereby losing the status of the chaotic. This idea, a result of the desire to control an uncontrollable world, is the beginning of the chain of associations in this video, into which randomly acting ants push their way. The image of them crawling is manipulated in the reproduced images, distortion of their movement is forced upon them. The insects become monsters when—after being locked into the frame—they suddenly burst into the (snow)storm as a sequence of individuals. In a technological sense waves now serve as a vehicle for moving images. As the movement of the surface of water, they represent a constantly changing visual spectacle, and through them the video descends into the images’ snow in the end, thereby returning to its beginning.
Siegfried A. Fruhauf
Structural Studies (2003) | Threepart video installation, each 4 min
Breaking points and the moments of their opening: in the threepart video installation Structural Studies Siegfried A. Fruhauf assembles waste footage from the darkroom into grainy video images. According to rigid plans he develops musical compositions which arise from the visible edges of the frames of the waste footage, the splices, the sprocket holes and scratches which trie to liquidate the originally haptic qualities of the film material. But Structural Filmwaste is more than just an analysis and a reverence to the history of the (Austrian) film avantgarde. The analog film image is replaced by the electronic video image, and the haptic quality of the material makes way for the purely optic nature of a two-dimensional white field generated by a computer. Not only the image but the medium, the material itself proves to be illusionary, the original cinematographic apparatus has long since disappeared. It is the continuation of investigations of the fragmentation of time and images through video. Fruhauf attempts to reveal the material nature of this vehicle of illusions, to finally create new illusions.
Biography — Siegfried A. Fruhauf (*1976, Austria) lives and works in Linz. He is an experimental filmmaker and visual artist who studied “Experimental Visual Design” at the Art University Linz. He deals with the media film and video on a structural level. Besides the participation in renowned filmfestivals like the Festival de Cannes, the Biennal di Venezia and the Sundance Filmfestival, his work is regularly shown in art institutions. Currently he was part of the exhibitions “Aus Gnade und Verzweiflung” (2008) at Charim Gallery Vienna as well as of “Am Sprung” (2008) at OK Centrum Linz. In summer 2008 he presented the single exhibition “Snow” at Galerie der Stadt Wels, a venue he describes as a “visual research laboratory”.
all you can see (2008) | Computer installation, 11185 min
With common video formats, almost 17 million different colours can theoretically be represented on the screen today. If these are shown all at once, a condensation in pure white is generated in the digital picture production. In the 8-days-long video all you can see Michael Kargl plays with the time-based representation of structures of the digital art production, that are inherent to the system, and the processes attendant to it. The viewer gets to see all that is possible: Countless different colours are lined up linearly with a rate of 25 pictures per second in single frames and result in a changing process from black to white und thus from colourlessness to absolute condensation. The artist establishes through the extension of the material, perceptible for the viewer as monochrome representation, references to the colour field painting of Abstract Expressionism. In his video production, the artist dispenses with the subject and employs colour purely for its own sake. Reflections and theories known for a long time from art history, about the end of painting, are transferred into the digital realm. Michael Kargl’s methods: restriction, reduction and concentration.
opus magnum (2008) | Computer installation, 11185 min
A maximalist approach to Minimal Art: “this is piece number: 5663505” is written lapidarily above the passpartout of a monochrome field on the website with the somehow self-pleasing title opus magnum. It it the display of one of the almost 17 million different nuances of colour which can theoretically be represented on the screen today. With every new reload of the webpage an new number and a new color are generated: red, moss-green, violet, without any systematics. No way to talk about “colour fastness” as each browser shows the nuances in different qualities. There is no index either which would relate colours and numbers, the arrangement seems to be randomly chosen. However, each of the single colour fields represents an original for Michael Kargl who offers signed fotoprints for sale to all viewers which are at the same time potential clients. With his reflections upon the mass procuction of art objects he treats a key issue of Contemporary Art: the “mechanical reproduction” (Walter Benjamin) of art and its consequences for the art market.
Biography — Michael Kargl (*1975, Austria) lives and works in Vienna. He is a visual artist, teaches Media and Interdisciplinary Art, and studied “Sculpture” at the University Mozarteum Salzburg. In his work he deals with the politics of artistic creation in the field of New Media and Internet-based Art. Besides numerous online projects his work was currently shown at the exhibitions “YOU OWN ME NOW UNTIL YOU FORGET ABOUT ME” (2008) at the Museum of Modern Art Ljubljana/Slovenia and “Paraflows: Utopia” (2008) at MAK Gegenwartskunstdepot Vienna. In autumn 2008 he presented the multipart single exhibition “intereference” in Denmark which was about the transfer of Internet-based Art from the virtual to the real space.
frikativ, eleven poemlets (2007-2008) | Text/sound-video performance, approx. 30 min
Fricatives are consonants produced by forcing air through a narrow channel made by placing two articulators close together – this is the way speaking works. During the performance frikativ, eleven poemlets Jörg Piringer speaks into a microphone. With his lips, with his palatal, with his pharygeal and his tongue he produces fricatives, which appear in realtime on a screen in form of Visual Poetry and which are overlaid by sound. The medium of speaking, the voice, is the starting point for a performance in which a software analyses the sounds to create abstract visual text-compositions. The artist widens the ideas of the early literary avantgarde by the analysis of the developing processes of language and accordingly of its meaning. The voice becomes the interface in a dynamic and electronic context, which—on the spot—develops itself as quick as it vanishes again. The animated conglomerate of letters and signs which can be seen on the screen, seems to deconstruct language by and by. The system, construced by social agreement, is lead back to the “arbitrarity of all signs” (Ferdinand de Saussure).
Biography — Jörg Piringer (*1974, Austria) lives and works in Vienna. He is a radio, sound and text artist and member of the Institute for transacoustic research as well as of the vegetable orchestra. He studied computer sciences at the Technical University Vienna and researches the intersections between language, visual arts and technology. Besides numerous publications of his sound work in multiple recordings he often performs live and shows his installative artworks in art institutions. Currently he performed at club transmediale “structures” (2009) and his work was shown in the exhibition “YOU OWN ME NOW UNTIL YOU FORGET ABOUT ME.” (2008) at the Museum of Modern Art Ljubljana/Slovenia.