First of all, I would like to thank the members of Van Gogh TV for their support: first of all, Benjamin Heidersberger, without whom this research project would not have existed. He as well as Mike Hentz, Karel Dudesek and Salvatore Vanasco were available as interview partners, provided me with material from their private archives and were always there when I needed answers to questions.

I also have to thank my colleague Jens Schroeter from the University of Bonn, who embarked on the adventure of writing and submitting a proposal to the German Research Foundation (DFG) with me, the subject of which is an artist group that does not necessarily belong to the canon of media art history. Thanks also go, of course, to the DFG staff and jury members who approved our unusual proposal. As a member of the project team, Christoph Ernst was a congenial colleague with whom it was as much a pleasure to work as with Jens Schroeter.

I must also thank my colleagues at the Institute for Media Design (IMG) at the University of Applied Sciences Mainz, Anja Stöffler, Hartmut Jahn and Olaf Hirschberg, who supported me in the application process, as well as Ms. Hartel-Schenk from the university’s research department, who was a great help with all administrative aspects of the application.

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I also have to thank everyone who let us interview them for this project, some of whom provided photos, letters, sketches and other material, and also people like Peter Farkas, who was helpful with a lot of information. The collected interviews can be found here: Interviews.
A great help in researching the archives of the public broadcasters was Katrin Brinkmann.

Thanks are also due to my Mainz project collaborators: student assistant Lisa Langemann, who, while sifting through uncounted hours of video material, came across the Piazza-virtuale fan club, which had formed among viewers of the satellite broadcasts as a kind of early “virtual community” and identified its members with detective-like flair.

I owe a special debt of gratitude to my collaborator Julian Weinert, who I could rely on for three years in a variety of functions – author of scientific texts as well as cameraman, web designer as well as editor – who supported me in each of my many attempts to master this huge project and who never let his mood be spoiled in all this.

Tilman Baumgärtel, May 2021