Raumsehen und Raumhören   Austria / Netherlands   1974


Raumsehen und Raumhören (Seeing and Hearing Space)

"The raw material is a single, periodically repeating tone, created with a synthesizer. It should not create the illusion of a sound source moving around in the room, rather of sound moving in an imaginary field of references according to the following scheme: Optical: CLOSE - Acoustic: LOUD and FAST SOUND REPETITION Optical: FAR AWAY - Acoustic: SOFT and SLOW SOUND REPETITION. The change of sides LEFT/RIGHT corresponds to a slight change in sound colour. When the image is divided, one hears two sound repetitions simultaneously. In the second part of the tape, the four different stages of apparent distance of the viewer to the represented object are, for psychological reasons, not revealed through differences in the sound level. Rather, each of the four first main sounds of the basic noise becomes particularly clearly audible through filtering." (Christian Mecheles on the video performance ?Raumsehen und Raumhören?)

In the words of VALIE EXPORT, the theme of ?Raumsehen und Raumhören? (?Seeing and Hearing Space?) is ?the body in space?. In contrast to the well known (photographic) ?Raumkonfigurationen? (?Space Configurations?) works, which were made around the same time (or somewhat earlier) in which the female body is situated simultaneously in geometric space and in the social environment, ?Raumsehen und Raumhören? treats the relationship between body and space more abstractly, as a structural study in the perception of parallel image and sound. (A process which is described in psychology as synaesthesia.) The video places a motionless figure in a space, four different camera positions and four different synthesizer tones in relation to each other. We see the artist standing calmly facing the cameras. Apparent movement is created through splitting the images, already created through the filming technique. The stasis of the body contrasts with the dynamic possibilities of the technical apparatus. The work is in the tradition (amongst others founded by EXPORT herself) of making the medium of video visible through its own determinants. What we see today is the conservation of a unique performance in Kölnischer Kunstverein (Art Association of Cologne), which had a clearly defined temporal outline. The locality itself seems less prominent at first. On closer inspection however, it moves into the foreground in its relevance to the theme ?the body in space?. What applies to the physical functions of the body, also applies to its social position. In the end, the social position of a body (of an artist) is also determined through a symbolic place, such as in the way it is represented by an art association.

(Patricia Grzonka translated by Sofia Hultén)


Projekt 74, 1974

Kölnischer Kunstverein, Köln, Germany


20h stereo bw PAL

Technical protocol

Sony U-matic Low (Recording; Master)

"Image - Video" - "Seeing Space and Hearing Space" - "Time Sculpture - Melody"; Videodocumentation of the video performance
performer: VALIE EXPORT

Produced together with

Christian Michelis (Sound)
Rotterdamse Sichting, The Netherlands (Photography)
Bernhard Riff (Videostill)


Rotterdamse Sichting / Projekt 74



Copy to see

Generali Foundation Wien

Zur Videoperformance Raumsehen und Raumhören / Text VALIE EXPORT