Presentation of the project "Vinylvideo", Gebhard Sengmuller


Gebhard Sengmüller (1967, Vienna) is an artist who is working with electronic media, video, computer. He is founding member of media art group "Pyramedia" from Vienna, member of "Hilus intermediale projektforschung" and inventor of "Vinylvideo".

Gebhard Sengmuller, Vienna

"Vinylvideo" is invented by Gebhard Sengmüller, developed in colaboration with Martin Diamant, Günter Erhart and Best Before. "Vinylvideo" represents new step in history of audio - visual media. It enables storage of video material (plus sound) on analog long-play records. It consists of a turntable, a specialy designed conversion box (aka the Vinylvideo Home Kit) and a television set.
During presentation, Gebhard Sengmuller demonstrated the possibilities of this unique invention and stressed that storing of videosignal on LP records demands numerous simplifications: number of frames per second and resolution were drastically reduced, storage of color is not possible (black&white). Downside of this is a loss in the quality of stored images, the pictures become more sensitive to disturbances (defects of the LP). On the other hand, it makes possible real video and audio scratching (simultaneous DJ and VJ performance) and manipulation of the picture simply by changing the speed of LP. The capacity of one LP is 8 min per side or 25000 kiloherz (singles 4 min per side).

In a way, "Vinylvideo" presents a fake example of media archeology. It presumes combination of "old" and "new" technologies and their mutual presentation. For the first time, it is possible to store videosignal (moving image and sound) on a vinyl record. Gebhard Sengmuller has also talked about historical aspects of "Vinylvideo", counting on discontinuity in the development of electronic film technology. Even though television, the electronic transmission of moving images, had been feasible since the late 1920's, storage of these images became possible only after development of the first video recorder in 1958. Recording images for private use was not available until the mass introduction of the VCR in the early 1980's. Before that, time average consumer was confined to use super-8 film, a technology dating back to 1900, usually without sound. Recording of television was not possible at all. "Vinylvideo" reconstructs a homemovie technology of the late 40's and early 50's and bridges a gap in the history of consumer technology. Many artists (Vuk Ćosić, Alexej Shulgin, jodi, Olia Lialina, Kristin Lukas, etc.) contributed to "Vinylvideo" project by producing picture disc for every LP which is limited to only 10 copies.