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Ponton/Van Gogh TV «Piazza virtuale»
Ponton/Van Gogh TV, «Piazza virtuale», 1992
© Ponton/Van Gogh TV
In the broadcasting studio in Kassel, all lines involved in the live program came together. The broadcast image was sent unchanged via a dedicated video connection to ZDF broadcasting station in Mainz and, via uplink, to the European Space Agency's Olympus satellites. During the 100 days of the documenta, 'Piazza virtuale' was broadcast twice a day on the station 3 sat and once after midnight via the Olympus satellites. 'Piazza virtuale' received up to 25,000 calls an hour and remains one of the world's most successful interactive television projects to date.

 Ponton/Van Gogh TV
«Piazza virtuale»

Artists and technicians from Austria and Germany have been working together as Van Gogh TV since 1986 in the Ponton European Media Art Lab. Some of their members developed joint projects from as early as 1979 in the Minus Delta T group. 'Piazza Virtuale' is an interactive television project that could be received all over Europe via 4 satellites for 100 days during documenta IX in 1992. Visitors to documenta could beam themselves in via videophones and cameras that had been permanently installed in Kassel and other European cities to the live broadcast called 'Piazza Virtuale'. It was possible to use telephone, fax or modem to dial into the broadcast from home. The aim of the project was to transform the mass medium of television into an interactive medium that reverses the relationship of one broadcaster and many receivers.