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Themesicon: navigation pathOverview of Media Articon: navigation pathMuseum
Homage to New York (Tinguely, Jean), 1960Open Reel (Martinis, Dalibor), 1976

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shown at the same time in the museum exhibition «The Machine as Seen at the End of the Mechanical Age» at the Museum of Modern Art in New York under the direction of Pontus Hulten. This not only meant a demonstration of the mediated character of artistic production by showing the work in two different versions at the same time, thus vividly raising the question of original and copy. The context was also different in each case as well. While «Some More Beginnings» precisely showed the multiple possible forms of cooperation between art and technology in a panoramic survey, MoMA attempted to lend some of the work shown an aura conveyed by the historical context. The object and the work of art were central–not the practice and open, laboratory-like experiments. But, by necessity, «SomeMoreBeginnings» also demonstrated the precarious situation of those that dare to appear in public with technology still in the experimental stage, which does not always work. There is a statistic that shows the gradual technical failure of works with the passage of time.[14] The story of how Billy Klüver encountered the obsessive apparatus artist Jean Tinguely when they were working


together on «Homage to New York» (1960) is one of the most impressive accounts of these tensioned- filled circumstances and embodiments of productive dysfunctionality.

From the «open artwork» (Umberto Eco) and the musical practices of an artist like John Cage, a link leads to the first processual video experiments with Sony's «open reel» for its CV- and AV-Portapak half-inch video recorders, the first portable electronic format, that–as the legend goes–was first presented by Nam June Paik to the art public in the Café Au GoGo in 1965.[15] The thirty or sixty-minute tapes, which initially did not allow for editing or subsequent adaptation, were suitable for mobile production and for recording non-dramaturgical, open processes.[16] Bruce Nauman's or Vito Acconci's tapes presented situative processes or «attitudes,» with a beginning and end that followed no cinematic or theatrical logic. In a special way, however, Dalibor Martini's video Performance «Open Reel» (1976) demonstrates how the instability of the electronic signal, often brought about technically by uneven tape tension, can be used as a decidedly artistic element.

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