Fernsehturm features two cinematic components that resonate in the form of live transmission of the images of and continuously captured from inside the Berlin TV Tower. Originally built as an East Block Icon and electronic panopticon for spying on both East and West Berlin, the Fernsehturm exists in a distinct cultural and technological realm and, whether by design or by coincidence, refers beyond itself not only to the TV tower of signs, but to the historical, economic and military projection of power. A mechanical, digitized exercise in endless recording, theFernsehturm displays raw technological capability, simply a view, a camera position, and the image being constituted live over the Internet. This continuous view of the Berlin TV tower enabled by the distribution system of the network critically place the entire system of the recording, transmission and reception of electronic images under an implicit and open scrutiny, offers a symbolic mode of human eternity, a verification through surveillance of the presence of the tower with its monumental banality stripped of ostentatious attempts at any interesting or spectacular visual experience commonly assumed from the evocation of the technological scale.
With a particular synergy between the technological and social connections mediated by the Internet, Staehle’s work is to be subsumed by the world rather than to dominate the world, and sees a positive correlation between the object and the subject through the phenomenological approach of being-in-the-world1.
Digital Chronophotography (Live Transmission)
Wolfgang Staehle's work Fernsehturm is a reprise of a work first executed in 2001 as part of an exhibition at Postmasters gallery in New York City entitled 2001. Fernsehturm is a live transmission of the upper part of the iconic Berlin TV tower built in the 1960s by the authorities of the German Democratic Republic. In its new iteration at the Chronus Art Center, the live image of the Berlin TV tower is taken from the opposite angle and in higher resolution. It will be accompanied by a video on the opposite wall showing a view of the city from the revolving restaurant platform.
The time lapse photographic sequences are presented here in real time – a rate so methodical that it denudes the image of its cinematographic aspect, while accentuating it pictorially. By allowing us to exact the machinations of the nature (and building), through figuratively arresting time, a perceptual shift is created that video does not pose, and thereby realigns our relationship with the real. Each contiguous moment pre-empts the prior, switching out the obsolete image for a perpetually updated "now"2.
(2) Kelly Gordon, "Projecting Dreams," The Cinema Effect: Illusions, Reality, and the Moving Image, Hirshhorn Museum, exhibition publication, 2008.