VinylVideo - yesterday's technology today
Austrian artist Gebhard Sengmueller, timemachined
back into the consumer paradise of 50s America, asks himself: 'why can't
I record my favourite sitcom and watch it whenever I want?' Rewriting the
history of technology, he invents VinylVideo: video is converted into an
analogue electrial signal and pressed onto vinyl. A regular recordplayer
is then connected to a regular TV set via a little black box that converts
the signal back to moving images. The low quality is thrilling: groove
and stylus allow a far narrower bandwidth than TV, so the resulting movies
- running at eight frames a second with telephone quality sound - look
like they come from a parallel world.
Out of the eleven video discs released to date, Heimo Zobernig's Avoidance and Harry Hund's subtle Guinea Pig Massacre are both worth watching, though the classic of the genre remains the first release - an infomercial for VinylVideo itself in true 'Now Jeff, tell me why Vinyl Video is so great' style. Fake media-fossil fascination aside, today's DJs might enjoy dropping in a little visual interlude - I ask you, can you scratch with a DVD?