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monitor wall at the «Crazy Berlin» exhibition in the Haus am Lützowplatz, Berlin in 1964. Each screen was showing the same program, which was also running in undistorted form on a thirteenth television. The single «Auto-Vision» model was put together with designer perfection. It has a complete set of ‹spectacles› that can be changed, and in its day would have fitted in well with progressive home design à la Verner Panton. But Gerstner is not just interested in superficial effects. He explains in an elaborate film including a demonstration of the work that he sees his «direct program creation method» as a substitute for manipulating images digitally, which the computer could not do at that time. Two working examples of «Auto-Vision» have survived—unlike Paik's and Vostell's early TV works, which have disappeared—but they have been largely ignored in the history of video art.
As well as the pieces that integrate or manipulate the television as a functioning object, there are of course numerous examples of television appearing in painting or collages. I will just single out Paul Thek as a
representative; he painted perhaps the most lucid and radical picture of this kind in 1963 in his series «Television Analyzations,» in which the tube completely fills the canvas with a detail of a face. TV is a subject for photography as well. Also in 1963, the American photographer Lee Friedlander examined the relationship between the television and the domestic interior in a series of pictures. And in the same year the actor and artist Dennis Hopper photographed the «Kennedy Suite» series, which focuses even more sharply on the TV screen as a principal theme. Artists other than Vostell use television in action art, but like Wesselmann they use it as a natural feature of the interior. Gerhard Richter and Konrad Lueg staged «Leben mit Pop. Eine Demonstration für den Kapitalistischen Realismus» in a Düsseldorf furniture store in 1963. The artists themselves sit motionless on the available furniture «like sculptures on pedestals, their natural distances apart increased to give a sense of being on show.» The television is also on, showing the news punctually at 8 p.m., as the action begins. In the 1963 happening «Push and Pull,» Allan Kaprow also invites visitors into a furniture arrangement with a television showing a program in it,