In the supporting programme of documenta 9, 1992, the media art collective Van Gogh TV presented its project "Piazza Virtuale". The group was formed in the mid-1980s and consisted of American, German and Austrian media and performance artists and technicians. Its aim was to develop a collaborative media practice that would enable media consumers to actively participate in programming. To this end, Van Gogh TV built up a network of television stations throughout Western and Eastern Europe and Japan, and during the documenta every night broadcast several hours of television programmes that had previously been produced with the assistance of international artists and various media techniques.


In order to investigate these early forerunners of today's social media more closely and to make the research results accessible to both science and the general public, the Institute of Media Design at Mainz University of Applied Sciences, Prof. Tilman Baumgärtel, and the Chair of Media Cultural Studies at Bonn University, Prof. Jens Schröter, received funding from the German Research Foundation for a period of three years.


The documenta archiv is a cooperation partner of this project and will provide archival material and audio-visual media from and about Van Gogh TV from its collections and will contribute to the development of the metadata structure for the indexing of the material. After completion of the project, the archive will incorporate all digital copies into its holdings and make them accessible online via its databases.


Project Management: Prof. Tilman Baumgärtel, Prof. Jens Schröter