press release

Postmasters Gallery is pleased to announce the opening of “2004,” an exhibition of three new real time digital projections and a new pre-recorded video by Wolfgang Staehle. The show will be on view from September 10 until October 16, 2004.

"2004" will focus on the American landscape and the spectacle of seasonal transformation. There will be three live transmissions: a monumental vista from the Hudson River Valley in upstate New York, a view of the Grand Tetons mountain ridge from Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and a view of the urban landscape from midtown Manhattan. The pre-recorded video is a parallel landscape study of Niagara Falls.

Staehle's work explores the dynamics, sensations and implications of connectivity. Using contemporary technological resources, he creates a new understanding of landscape by taking the next logical step in the lineage of image making: painting, photography, film and video are now replaced by a real time digitally transmitted image. Staehle's interest in digital mediation of the landscape dates back to 1999. In "Empire 24/7," he took on Warhol's celebrated 8 hour film project. By foregrounding the transmission of the image, Staehle replaces WarholÕs excruciating monumentality of cinematic scale, with a completely new understanding of the problem of both physical and temporal scale. The next step in Staehle's investigations was his justly celebrated "2001," installed at Postmasters' during the month of September, 2001. In "2001" large-scale video projections were transmitted from three locations around the world: the television tower in Berlin, the medieval monastery of Comburg, and lower Manhattan. The events of September 11 were captured, transmitted and recorded in the fullness of their temporal and spatial context, at the scale of a world historical event. "The towers came down in real time and chilling slow motion, and what was intended as a form of contemporary landscape painting became a living history painting, a picture of history in the making." - Roberta Smith, New York Times, Sept. 19, 2001.

In "2004," technology is forced into a kind of self-transcendence by the simple act of utilizing the Internet as a data pipeline. The projections give a visceral experience of synchronicity, a silent unfolding of time itself. Non-relative terms like "here" and "now" attain a new meaning where the literal and the metaphorical converge. Against the grain of the frenetic networking of the globe where anything can be experienced anywhere anytime, Staehle offers the antidote of a reflective slowdown of beautiful images up close and far away, static and changing at the same time.

Wolfgang Staehle, widely recognized as one of the pioneers of internet art was born in Stuttgart in 1950 and has been living in New York since 1976. In 1991 he founded THE THING, an independent media project which began as a bulletin board system (BBS) and became one of the seminal online- and offline- forums for His works have been shown at Fondation Cartier in Paris, Gagosian Gallery in New York, Transmediale 02 in Berlin, Wood Street Galleries in Pittsburgh and at Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. In October 2004 Staehle will participate in the "Time Zones" exhibition at the Tate Modern in London.


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Wolfgang Staehle: “2004”