[ISEA2023] Paper: Tilman Baumgärtel — Presenting “Piazza Virtuale” in five different ways: On using common.garden and other media for access to archived media art works and academic research


Third Summit on New Media Art Archiving

Keywords: Interactive Television, Van Gogh TV, Piazza Virtuale, Participation, Net Art, Online Archive, Online Presentation, common.garden, Documenta, Constant Dullaart

“Piazza virtuale” by the art collective Van Gogh TV” was one of the most ambitious and probably the largest media art project in history. The group created for more then three month a daily television program at the 1992 documenta in Kassel from a container studio right next to the Fridericianum that was broadcast by a public cable television station, by various other TV stations in Europe and internationally via satellite. The goal was to include the audience in as many ways as possible into the program: “Piazza virtuale” therefore was interactive television and an early Social Medium. The viewers could call in and discuss during the show or trigger various application with their touch tone phones. This paper describes some of the findings that we came up with during a three year research project on “Piazza virtuale”, but more importantly the different ways and media that we used to publicized the digitized and archived material from “Piazza virtuale” as well as our own research. Apart from a book and a website, there are also a video documentary, an exhibition and a permanent online exhibition with the new and innovative tool common. garden that was developed during the COVID epidemic by Dutch artist Constant Dullaart.

  • Tilman Baumgärtel is a writer from Germany. He has published books on Internet art, computer games, media culture and Independent cinema in Southeast Asia. From 2005 to 2009 he taught at the University of the Philippines in Manila and from 2009 to 2012 at the Royal University of Phnom Penh in Cambodia. Currently he is professor for media theory at Hochschule Mainz. From 2018 to 2021 he led a research project on the art group Van Gogh TV and their documenta project Piazza Virtuale that was sponsored by Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG). He is currently doing research on the American artist Douglas Davis. Works (selection): net.art, Nueremberg 1999; net.art 2.0, Nuermberg 2001; games. Computer games by artists, Frankfurt / Main, 2004; Van Gogh TV´s “Piazza virtuale”. The Invention of Social Media at documenta IX in 1992, Bielefeld 2021; Now and Forever: Towards a Theory and History of the Loop, London 2023.