Art Telecommunication Projects in the 80s

Documentary Exhibition, Artpool, 1993

Documents (portfolio, photo, CD and photo documents) of several communication projects (1980—1992). Exhibition curated by Robert Adrian X., incidental program to "Danube Connection".


The conference at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art included an intercontinental SlowScan TV and Computer Communications project organised by Bill Bartlett. On February 16, 1980, artists in 9 cities in Canada, U.S.A., Japan and Austria exchanged ideas and images for 2 hours over telephone lines using IPSA (the IPSharp Computer Timesharing Network) for text and Robot 530 Slow Scan Transceivers for images.

The participating cities were:
San Francisco
La Mamelle & San Francisco Museum of Modern Art: Bill Bartlett, Lisa Bear, Sharon Grace, Gene Youngblood and the public
Western Front Society: Hunk Bull, Kate Craig, Glen Lewis and others
University Art Department: John Southworth és mások
Tsukuba University Micheal Goldberg and others
Trinity Video and Ontario Collage of Art: Norman White and others
New York
1. Alternative Media Center / New York City University :Douglas Davis, Martin Neisenholtz and others
2.Center for New Art Activities: Willoughbby Sharp and others
Cambridge (USA)
Center For Advanced Visual Studies / M.I.T.: Aldo Tambellini and others
Victoria (Canada)
I. P. Sharp Ass.: Mike Powell and others
Wien (Austria)
Museum des 20. Jahrhunderts: Bob Adrian X., Grita Insam (organisation), Ernst Caramelle, Valie Export, Peter Weibel, Richard Kriesche, Gottfried Bechtold


A world-wide 24 hour telecommunications project organised for Ars Electronica '82, 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 l 2:00 noon Central European Time on Sept.27 and followed the midday sun around the world, ending at 12:00 noon on Sept.28.

Wiencouver IV. 1983

A Slow-scan TV and Telephone Music project between Vancouver (Western Front) and Vienna (Blix). Sound and Image were carried simultaneously on 2 phone lines for about 3 hours - as a kind of low-tech interactive TV program. The project also included a Telephone Music event between Vienna, Berlin (Aufbau/Abbau) and Warsaw (Dzienka), parts of which were retransmitted to Vancouver.

Konzert über Telefon 1983

Budapest-Vienna-Berlin telephone concert organised together with Robert Adrian X. and Helmut Mark from Vienna. The sites were the Studio of Österreichische Kultur-Service in Vienna, the Galerie Auf und Abbau in Berlin and Artpool in Budapest. In the program each city transmitted a one-hour long partly live concert, in the 4th hour a common concert of the musicians and the public in Budapest and Berlin was transmitted. The audio cassette no. 3 of Radio Artpool documents the event.

Kunstfunk - 1984

A 7 day Slow-scan TV project using ham (amateur) radio organised by Blix for the Vienna Festival. Installations and performances in the Vienna Secession by Vienna artists (Distel and Dee, Klaus Karlbauer, Helmut Mark. Zelko Wiener and Robert Adrian) were transmitted daily as slow-scan images. Short wave was used for regional communication (Europe, Middle East, Africa) and VHF to a local "ham" for retransmission via satellite to Pittsburgh.

Hearsay - 1985

A computer network (Artex/IPSharp) project by Norman White, Toronto, in which a text ("The Message" by Robert Zend*) travelled around the world in 24 hours - November 11-12 1985. The route of the message was - Toronto, Des Moines, Sydney, Tokyo, Vienna, Newport, Pittsburgh, Chicago, Toronto. Each location received the message in one language, translated it to another and transmitted it to the next location. The languages were: English - Spanish - Italian - Japanese - German - Welsh - Hungarian.

* Robert Zend was born in Hungary and died in Canada a few months before the Hearsay project. The text was written in 1978 and dedicated to Marshal McLuhan. HEARSAY was organised by Norman White as a tribute to Robert Zend.

Planetary-network / laboratorio ubiqua 1986

Slow scan TV, FAX and Computer network (Artex/IPSharp) project for the VENICE BIENNALE'86. Live activity in Venice lasted for 14 days followed by a 2 month on-line conference on Artex funded by IPSharp. Locations included Venice, Vienna, Sydney, Honolulu, Vancouver, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Toronto, Pittsburgh, Atlanta, Boston, Bristol, Paris and Milan.

Conception - Roy Ascott, Network coordination - Robert Adrian, Fax program - Grazia Mattei

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