Archive Europa / Asia Projekt / Project Archive / European Mobile Media Art Project

Already in the “Bangkok Project” of Minus Delta t, the documentation of the action on film and video had played an important role; part of the equipment on board the truck with which the stone was transported were video cameras and other technical equipment with which the journey was to be recorded. Video was also always used in the various travel projects that followed. Some of this material was used in installations and also in the first television projects. For example, in the programme booklet of the Ars Electronica of 1986, as a contribution by Minus Delta t, there is mention of Installation Archive Europe Archive Asia, about which it says: “According to two installations on the subject in the foyer of Brucknerhaus, where video material from the “Bangkok Project” and other trips was shown.

“Republic TV” (or “Re-Publik-TV”), which took place at Ars Electronia in 1989, again used video material from the artists’ travels. In issue 103 of German art magazin Kunstforum, which appeared in September 1989 and served as a kind of catalogue for Ars Electronica, three pages are devoted to “Perestroika – Vodka – Pravda TV”. This documented the “Van Gogh TV Tour in Eastern Europe, May, June, July 1989”, which passed through the GDR, Poland, the USSR, CSSR, Hungary, Yugoslavia and Austria just a few weeks before the fall of the Wall. Some of the contacts made during this trip later proved useful for the preparation of Piazza virtuale.

In the same issue of Kunstforum, another text about Ponton’s European Mobile Media Art Project says: “The basic team generates, collects or produces broadcast material. Ponton manages the material and centralises, archives it (sound/image). The tapes are freely available to the base team, so the material can be edited individually, so a wide variety of films can be made from the same tape material.”
This seems to accurately describe the work with video material that both Minus Delta t and Ponton/Van Gogh TV cultivated: the recordings were rather raw material for installations, presentations and broadcasts, not the orderly and well-conceived archive that the various names suggested. After Re-Publik-TV, Van Gogh TV no longer relied on their own video recordings for the television projects. The technology was now so advanced that in the following projects, Hotel Pompino, Piazza virtuale and Service area a. i. all of the broadcast material could be created live which was more in line with the group’s artistic concept.