Gunafa Art in Vienna and Germany

We were on the road during November/December, that meant we had to be away from our Digital Bohemian studio for 10 days, which in our opinion was hard & too long. We love to sit here all night long in our electron soup, creating things !

But on the other hand, we met a lot of artist friends in Vienna (see pic of "Class of 1990 Reunion" above, after the Station Rose lecture with Viennese art critic F.E. Rakuschan at Depot, November 28th 95), here in Germany.

Let´s start with what´s happening in Vienna right now.
As we had been living & doing art there for so long, we wanted to see and hear what artists do at this place now, and we really found something !

While more traditional artists didn`t get the fact that multimedia is all around, and are still doing paintings, sculptures and rock concerts, there are younger ones coming up.
Some of them have great ideas & sometimes even products.
Two of them are featured below: meet MAMAX, a multimedia couple, 26, cool and beautiful people, who do their thing beyond the academic artscene of Vienna; and F.E. Rakuschan, a little over 40, who is an art-theorist in the Viennese tradition, understanding hypermedia totally, using his wits to insult the ancient tradition of art-discourse.

Because Vienna is definitely one of the places for art in Europe today,

there is a lot of art theory around as well. Of course Vienna has a long tradition in verbal intellectual discourse concerning philosophy, the arts, politics and psychology. Cafe society, conversation that is both casual and serious, has a lot to teach to online discourse.

Trying to move through the air in Vienna for an artist or intellectual is like moving through an invisible, thickened, gelatinuous soup of old times, older times times and ancient times. Even though we left this place for a faster place, we still feel challenged in our art to satisfy the aesthetic standards of Viennese intellectuals.


can be found on our top list of theorists. He is one of the brightest thinkers around, an original bohemian, who deeply understands hypermedia. His language is a very unique & sophisticated mix of German and Latin. He publishes his texts in art magazines, books and recently in web pages as well. He cooperates with a group of artists, called "Kunstlabor", dedicated to ambushing the traditional Viennese gallery system. His weapon is language ! You can find some of his German texts on our homepage. We have collaborated with him since 1988, and continue a regular intellectual intercourse on the net. Check out SONEKA for that. If you cant read German, don't worry, here is his voice.(296k)


We want to present a young couple of hypermedia artists, Margarete Jahrmann and Max Moswitzer, working under the name of MaMax. Vienna is not exactly the place where digital zeitgeist blooms, so we appreciated their art a lot ! They live and work in in a small flat/studio in Vienna's red-light district. They have work together since 2 years or so, and have created already 3 CD-ROMs.

Stills from "Tod dem Fernsehen"CD-ROM.

Stills from "Golden Frisbee"CD-ROM.

Their edition of CD-ROMs is limited to some 200 copies, sometimes even 1 copy. They work fast. But they have to lose their touch of "Aktionismus", i.e. viennese sixties body art, which is too retro.

Check out their homepage , and order one of their hand made CD-ROMs.

Coming back to Germany

let us first tell you a thing or two about the vibe here.
Germany is, besides Italy, the European country with the smallest percentage of Internet users - little Austria has four or five times as many fully-wired Netheads !

There is one reason for Germany's cybercultural cultural backwardness, as we see it: there still is no evident way of making money with cyberspace. If we could record the conversations we have when we do lectures at conventions together with leading German businessmen, we could furnish megabytes of hilarious anecdotes concerning the point of view of these people. There is simply no apparent reason for Germans to get wired yet, even though Deutsche Telekom has more fiberoptic miles than anywhere else. Not enough money can be made ! The "underground" still is busy with commercializing Techno, so why should they care ? So be aware, Honourable Surfer, that independent artistic use of interactive media in Germany is a rare flower. Of course there are "institutes for the new media" popping up in every city here, but we went through and out of the academic scene back in Vienna. It's a good place to visit but maybe not so healthy place to live.

Talking about Europe

Digital culture will be very strong and original when it does emerge. That means creative ideas will come more out of Austria or other countries than out of Germany, but Germany is a very big capitalist country, which means stuff has to be sold here. And artists need to get paid. If each country contributes its unique resources, then maybe we can see a very new & cyberdelic cooperation. You have to hope for the best.

Anyway, everyone has to realize that a global culture really means diverse global art. Many artforms have to sprout besides the US version!

Lets take a look at Hamburg

which was one of the first places in germany to start with multimedia. We show you 2 guys who originally come from the art scene, too.They were sort of co-founders of digital world company. these guys are mad about computers and work in their studio all time. one is a good programmer for director, the other is great in premiere.


are two of the artists involved in the Netville server in Hamburg. The Netville server went online in 1994, after mainly the same crew had released two German CD-ROM magazines in 1993, called "World Clip" (a very commercial project), and "World Media interactive", an art mag on CD-ROM. They started to work with Director, Premiere and CD-ROM in 93, and on the Net later. Part of the time they work on the server together with a couple of other young programmers, part of their time they produce and create Premiere-videos and work on interactive art installations, which they display at art shows.

Arthur was attracted to interactive art due to its potential in involving the consumer. Originally a painter, who was influenced by masters like Kandinski, Tapies and Schuhmacher, he started exploring interactive surfaces. He recently focuses on interactive performance.Check out his homepage
Frank started his artistic career as sculptor. Like his colleague Arthur, he became interested in interactivity by expanding the expression of his sculptures. One of his recent interactive sculptures, "Cyber Braeu" (i.e. Cyber Brew), is an original piece of work indeed: after inserting coins into the slot machine, you choose your virtual bottle of beer, and empty it with sampled drinking noises from the sculpture. Prost. Check out his homepage !

Its not clear how they will develop their work in the future, but we are sure they stay tuned. digital media is their homeplace, too!

When they made products, it was CD-ROMs they made for other people most of the time. Besides their mag "World Media interactive", which isnt produced any more, cause it didnt sell (very german karma!) although it was the only one like that when they made it. We liked it and made contributions twice. Their products are still situated in the art context, which means they build interactive installations. And they work on their server .

So this was the first round trip

through the scene here. We hope more artists like MaMax, Frank, Arthur and Station Rose show up at the playfield.

Art is the most important thing in the world!

STR 95

New stuff coming soon !