Gunafa Twins Return To Vienna

We just returned from a lecture tour in Austria and Germany.

That brought back memories ...

when we met in school in Linz.

One sunny day Lisa & I looked each other in the eye and thought, "we hafta become the gunafa twins", and accompanied by the sounds of The Animals, we got into the "We gotta get out of this place" groove.

Understand that Linz was "die Perle des Reiches", as Adolf Hitler put it, his favourite city. He made it the most modern industrial city in Austria.

A high acceptance of new technology can definitely be found in Linz; here is where the first worldwide electronic festival Ars Electronica, began. Ars Electronica is now an annual de rigeur June pilgrimage for ambitious digerati from Japan, US, and Europe. The Academy of Arts in Linz is located in the same building where the Gestapo Headquarters was located. Gary studied there 1980-81. Strange place, the machines in the cellar always broke down there without apparent reason. We vividly remember the math teacher in high school recommending that "hippies should be shot," the asshole. Austria is also the only "western" country without free commercial TV stations.

We decided to Go East, first stop Vienna, skip Linz. We had broken completely with our upper class families after we decided to become artists.

More than 50% of Vienna's inhabitants are over seventy.

But Vienna is a magical place, still the door to the east, not the hippest place in the universe, but a good playground for artists - if they don´t stay there too long !

But before we get stuck in slandering Vienna, we understand that Vienna changed art, music, psychology and thus Western society globally at the beginning of this century, that this spirit still lives on, and that "Die Erben Schoenbergs, Wittgensteins und Billy Wilders" fling their arms exstatically at our Gunafa Clubbings, o.k. ?

So when we decided to become the Gunafa Twins, it was mid 70ies, and that meant strict post-war authorities on one side, and pseudo-intellectual marxesque pseudo-hippie babble on the other side. Thank Gunafa the punk movement swept that away !

We started our sweet bohemian life in the late 70ies in Vienna, morphing into multimedia artists. Before we started Station Rose as a public multimedia space in the center of Vienna in 1988, we did multimedia-live performances all over Europe, fashion shows, exhibitions, concerts, released records and videos, and gained our diplomas at the Academy of Applied Arts in 1987, to check out optimal credits for young academics at Austrian banks.

After a postgraduate grant in Cairo/Egypt for 8 months in 88/89, our point of view concerning western society, art and communication changed radically. We saw clearly how the so called third world is the first world concerning music, installation, setting and performance art. There's great art everywhere that you never read about in Time magazine, you see it everywhere in the streets as well as in TVshows & concerts! Great everywhere.

The outcome of our occidental/oriental, art/techno/performance was


modern electronic hypermedia chaos which we belive is the future, e.g. on the web! One heavy consequence derived from the Cairo experience was to close our STR-shop one year later. We realized at that point that we had experienced all possible versions of being artists in Vienna during the eighties.

So, after the close of Station Rose shop in 1990 we knew we had to leave for a more modern and dynamic place. Since 1991 we have lived in Frankfurt, Germany. We had to start from the bottom again, which was not easy. It was a great spiritual exercise, being suddenly unknown after we had been famous in Austria! But we made our place here, too, from the Techno underground up.

We never lost contact with our tribe back home in Vienna. They all showed up when we gave a lecture 2 weeks ago. Made us feel very good.

Here they are: Peter is a philosopher, Goschka was our gallerist, Dieter is an architect, Suzie a real bohemian, Andy a musican, FE is an art theorist, Johanna is an artist, Stella is a curator who made our homepage possible, she works with Marlene, Peter Noever is the head of an important viennese museum. They are all great!

Onward to meet Gunafa Artists in Vienna and Germany