Mediamatic Magazine 2#4 1 Jan 1988

All in the family

How to get into video and other stories

One of our readers sent us this transcription of a nightmare that occurred during the pre- festival depressions he suffers from every summer. We understood that he's doing better again now.

Traveller sees strange lights, turns off road, curiously contributing to gathering crowd staring in direction of flickering phosphorescent cubes. Resonances of the brain, says one, another: Hidden messages of artificial intelligence. Shouldn't this thing be serviced? - call's ignored. Oh yes, it's video time in entertainment desert, another stranger mumbles, but aren't we all strangers in this family looking in the same direction?

Dottore Fagone ... - a slim apprentice envoy of the local newspaper crouches eagerly on the fauteuil in the lobby, in her hand the magnetic word attractor. She skillfully tries to catch every bit of meaning, that is spilled by the Italian professor sitting comfortably next to her. Through his tellelens glasses he throws one of his Caligari-glances at her, before he thoughtfully reveals his secrets about video as art and the need for new visual experiences in media society. The question of the excitedly nodding girl, which TV programme he favors most, and if he ever sees a chance for Berlusconi and experimental video to find a common denominator, remains unanswered, because the professor's attention's already distracted by one of the worldly fairy, overseer of a Parisian temple of art. They swiftly switch into the intimate vernacular of the savoir vivre, comparing past and future constellations of theirs on their never ending way through the art world.

Meanwhile the hustlers meet in casual conversation. From the ridge they look out, inconspicuous, yet watchful, for everything digestible. The same way, vultures are surrounded in respectful distance by lesser birds, some devote performers try to divert their attention to their electronic peacock fans. The patience of the idle observer will not be in vain, since one or another of these poor devils will be lured successfully by the media salesmen, who were to dull to turn television into a funky razz-matazz, even if they were asked to.

A peculiar whiff of sweat-stop mingles with cigarette smoke and coffee steam. The fragrance is the unmisleading sign that J.P. TREFOIS has arrived, who, as rumours go, has been promoted into a less uncanny position. Whether or not he will leave a gap at the bar, where all the undercapitalized dealers hangout, to exchange their prescription for another dose against the art-on-television-syndrome (ATS ), will have to be seen.

WULFHERZOGENRATH? Well, I haven't seen him yet. ... He wanted to stop by on his way from Torino? Didn't he want to go to Avignon?
... Where? at the MOMA? (Is it true, they call it the Modern these days?)? ... Yes, at theDocumenta.... A real wheeler and dealer.... In Japan! With the Pope??

How do you react, if you are introduced to someone you try to miss? How do you remain indifferent against such a person in a small and not to crowded cafeteria? How versatile are you in responding to someone, whose mental health depends on being regarded as an
artist? Do you feel compelled to give at least one positive judgement, just because you have seen three hundred tapes during a jury's session? Can you convert nausea into a compliment? Are you a nagging brat? (Welcome at our table!)

JEAN-PAUL FARGIER? ... Who said that? ... No, I've always thought, he does not understand any other language than French. How distasteful, but that's none of my business...

No ... Yes ... Aha, I see ... MICHEL BONGIOVANNI? How ugly! I should have known. ... Come on, let's change the subject. ... The first prize? Well, no problem, but I have to discuss it with the jury. ... No, you don't have to share. ... Sure, no problem, if you take the morning train, you'll be here for the surprise
... Bye bye.

With a rataplan the doors of an abandoned movie theatre are being opened for the public. Artists hide among the visitors, ready to receive their certificate of craftmanship from one of the mothers of invention of video art. Who watch the historical ceremony as solemnly as our old headmaster, when it came to the annual distribution of school reports. With the blessing of the artists by a representative of the European Cultural Sewage System, Mr. MICHAEL KUSTOW, the ceremony almost reached its height, when an American woman rushed in to notoriously announce the world premiere of ... Hi, KATHY, the faint voice of an old admirer remained unheard. Here she was, the queen of the United States of Artist Video, turning the shabby arena of a French provincial media development project into the MET of the CAT, breathing with her unforgettable voice into the microphone those wonderful words: To Cannes or not to Cannes.
That's all for today children, God bless you and good night.