Golem Is Alive 1988

In Prague there is a very old Jewish cemetery called "The House of Life". Golem, the common soul of the ghetto makes each aktinolit (gravestone) visible. The inscription becomes suddenly alive. The quadratic letters of the Hebrew alphabet fuse together with the symbol-images to a kind of letter-pictograms. The information in form of a letter formula makes Golem alive; the information, which needs to make a computer work seems to work on the same principle.

(Michael Bielicky)

In 1986 »Perpetuum Mobile« was one of Michael Bielicky’s first video works produced in Düsseldorf. Bielicky tried to reinvent his artistic practice along every major technical cornerstone, starting with Stop Motion, via U-MaticTime base correction with DOC (Drop-out compensator) to GPS, the Internet and real time data and provoked and documented the aesthetic errors of the specter in the machine, in parallel and in contradiction to the on-going technical refinement process of the media industry.

In the 1980s he developed techniques to creatively misuse the first digital video editing machines to alter, distort and rearrange his video material, akin to his mentor Nam June Paik's debut exhibition in 1963, where Paik used magnets to distort his own television-set-based exhibits. Works like Four Seasons (1984), Circulus Viciosus (1985) and Paik-Hat (1986) are disturbing linear narrative traditions through cutting techniques and stop motion alone, whereas Perpetuum Mobile (1986), Next Year in Jerusalem (1988) and Golem is Alive (1989) introduce digital editing techniques to create videos, that appear to be haunted by the specters of early East European media culture. In 1989, the same year Golem is Alive is released, Michael Bielicky expands the two-dimensional screen into the exhibition space.