This music-optical experiment is a sort of a proto-video clip.
The black and white visualisations resemble an archaic arcade game played on a hulking machine, only to switch to surrealistic photomontage, which passes on to automatically generated abstract animation However the film, recorded with use of a 35 mm celluloid stock, was created in 1944 in the UK, where Agnieszka and Stefan Themerson emigrated during the World War II.
The soundtrack comprises four songs by Karol Szymanowski, performed in English. What we see in the screen is the interpretation of the songs. Each one is briefly introduced by a speaker who explains the method used to connect the sound with the images.
Some of them are metaphorical images inspired by the lyrics of the songs, some form an analysis of the components of the songs, with different images assigned to different groups of instruments, e.g. one instrument is represented with a simple geometric figure, which fluctuates depending on the tone.The artists analyse “the manners of transposing sound into image and vice versa, in a pursuit of finding such a method of combining the two that would not lead to a mere mutual illustration, but could ensure coherence of types of content hailing from each medium.”
“Olivetti - Studio 44” este marca mașinii de scris care se află în colecția Ion Monoran și pe care obișnuia să o folosească poetul și revoluționarul timișorean atunci cînd își ordona și transcria poemele sau textele de publicistică. Mașina de scris a fost achiziționată la prețul de 2.000 de lei, ceea ce reprezenta la vremea respectivă salariul unui profesor. Achiziția a fost făcută de Monoran în 1984, anul în care s-a născut fiica lor Oana, își amintește Ana Monoran. Aceasta înseamnă că deținerea unei asemenea mașini de scris intra deja sub incidența celebrei Legi 23 din 1971, precum și a Decretului 93 din 1983. Conform primului act normativ, care legifera apărarea secretului de stat, regimul mașinilor de scris, al copiatoarelor și al fotocopiatoarelor aveau un statut similar cu cel al armelor, munițiilor și al substanțelor explozive. Pentru că fotocopiatoarele și copiatoarele aveau un mare potențial subversiv, prin Decretul 93 din 1983 s-a interzis și deținerea acestora de către persoanele fizice. Același decret mai menționa și faptul că, dintre toate mijloacele de multiplicare, “persoanele fizice pot deține numai mașini de scris.”
Statutul acestora din urmă era sever reglementat. Orice achiziție sau moștenire a unei mașini de scris presupunea o înregistrare a acestora în cel mult 30 de zile de la data achiziționării sau a moșternirii. Pentru ca o persoană să dețină în mod legal o mașină de scris, era nevoie de autorizație de deținere și folosire, iar la momentul obținerii acestei autorizații, fiecare deținător trebuia să dea “o probă de scris” la respectiva mașină. Amprentele care constituiau “proba de scris” trebuiau să fie reînnoite în fiecare an, astfel încît autoritățile comuniste să dețină o evidență cît mai exactă a mașinilor de scris și să poată detecta potențiala lor folosire pentru multiplicarea de materiale diseminate clandestin.
La mașina de scris “Olivetti - Studio 44” deținută de Ion Monoran au fost culese multe dintre materialele publicate după decembrie 1989 în ziarul Timișoara, cotidian emblematic pentru mass-media locală de după căderea comunismului. De altfel, Ion Monoran a găzduit într-una dintre camerele locuinței sale pentru mai multe săptămâni redacția acestei publicații.
- Timișoara, Romania
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Photo series of spontaneous actions at the chapel: Once we went, May, 1972 (Photo: Dóra Maurer, participants: Miklós Erdély, György Jovánovics, Tamás Szentjóby, Tibor Gáyor)“There was a grid put across the chapel door, originally from a fence, but applied horizontally and not vertically. Jován stood on it, and the others automatically began to find their places, too. Szentjóby lay down on a branch and stuffed his long hair into his shirt, so his hair was not floating like Jován’s in the photo. Erdély placed himself in the door, bent over, as if he had been glancing out from there, while Tibor lay on the ground, as if that had been another direction, too, and only the smoke of his cigarette revealed which direction was up. Erdély held up a poppy and said that if we photographed it, it might look as if it were the chapel bell. Then they were jumping down from a bench, Erdély, Tibor, and I think Jován, too, as if they were jumping on top of the Badacsony, i.e. as if they had been touching the mountain with the shape of their bodies.” (Dóra Maurer, 1998)
As part of Infermental 6, Antonio Muntadas and Hank Bull initiated the Cross-Cultural Television project. In this framework they asked artists from around the world to record materials from local television programs and submit them for compilation with other project materials.
Miklós Peternák, together with László Beke and Gyula Száva, decided to make a Hungarian submission. On 22 November 1986, they used a Betamax recorder (a format since obsolete), provided by Gyula Száva, to record their contribution.
They sat in front of the television all day, waiting for some part of the programing that they liked, and then recorded it. A little more than three hours fit on the Betamax tape. However, it turned out that they had missed the deadline for posting contributions to Vancouver.
Miklós Peternák did not want to waste the work they had invested in the recording, so with the help of a friend in a video studio he edited a shorter, “watchable” version of the tape: they ran the material through a mixer in real time while adding special effects.
The resulting material reflects not only the Hungarian television programming of the time, but also the contemporary technical circumstances characterizing television receivers and video technology. The record—which contains black and white fragments of the program, often ghostly, poppy images, and sometimes even stripes (the image “runs”)—treats these mistakes as esthetical features.
Years later, this idea led to a project called Medium analysis (Watching Television), at the Intermedia department of the Hungarian Academy of Arts. Initially, it was held every other year, then stopped, but rather recently students themselves restarted the series. Today it is a festival-like event throughout the building, with several parallel programs.There was an intention to organize these events on the original date of the Medium analysis. It later turned out that this date, 22 November is also important in terms of media history, because it was the first time that broadcast television was interrupted, in this case, in order to announce the death of John F. Kennedy (“the birth of breaking news” as Stephen Kovats called it at an analysis session).
This event was followed by strong media repression. Authorities in the cultural sphere who were party functionaries were ordered to criticize the artists in the sharpest possible manner. In Pantelić’s opinion, some of the artists of the time even repressed their memories of these events to such a degree that they do not even remember being a part of avantgarde groups.
- Novi Sad, Serbia
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