artsat is in its last consequence a complete artwork of a new style, in definition the orbit as cultural area. representative for the citizens of the world an artist shook the cosmonaut`s hand in space via elektronics. the cosmonaut on his part sent after one full orbit a message to earth. A piano and a robotics were conducted by this message.
under this aspect of complete artwork artsat goes on with the artistic tradition to bring science, technic, technology and culture together again nearer with the aim to arise art to a norm of workaday.
after 30 years of soviet space flight there was the first time an art project involved into the space program, and so the specific part of austria in the dialogue with the nations of earth should be shaped out. so artsat got a symbolic role: the inescapable approach of the nations on a common cultural fundament.
6 October 1991, 11 a.m. CET: The radio contact to the public studio in Graz with the space station MIR was compounded, during the MIR was just above the Soviet capital. After a short introduction the artist Richard Kriesche shook symbolicly the hand of the Austrian cosmonaut. This hand appeared Franz Viehboeck a short time later on a video screen on the space station MIR.
From this moment on it took the space station about 60 minutes until it reached the radio reception area of Graz. During this time a multimedia-meditation with live performances to the theme cultural area space took place, with the Danube waltz as nonstop-background music. The time of the orbit was visual implemented with a grave of a burrow as quasi imaginary time sculpture.
As soon as Graz came into the reception area of the space station, the Austrian cosmonaut contacted the public through the amateur radio facility AREMIR. The cosmonaut`s message modulated and alienated the Danube waltz like an imaginary conductor`s hand. Simultaneous acoustic parameters from the alienate Danube waltz were won and recorded on a computer. The encrypted acoustic message was visualised on a special primed mute piano, as if the imaginary hand of the cosmonaut would play the piano.
After the space station left the reception area Graz after a few minutes, the recorded data were accepted by a robot, which was built of in front of the public studio. This robot welded the encrypted message in a high-grade steel plate with a diameter of about 3,5 m.
The amateur radio equipment AREMIR from the Austrian payload enabled the realization of this art project.
On 3 April 1992 a selected round assembled on the Grazer Schlossberg around the artwork: Next to the Federal Minister of Science and Research, the Styrian head of the provincial government and the Grazer burgomaster several other politician, representatives of the AUSTROMIR-project management and many onlookers came to the exposure of the steel-plate, in which the welding robot had shrink-wrapped the encoded message of the first Austrian scientific cosmonaut.
The glistening steel-rondeau on the Schlossberg, which had a special symbolic worth for the “space city Graz”, was not the last permanent memory of the oroject ARTSAT: the same data the welding robot got, were provided to nine Austrian computer musicians. The compositions were saved on CD. This CD is a part of the “ARTSAT- Package”, in which all to the project pertaining artistic activities were documented.
The event of “assistance” could be realized with the help of the experiment VIDEOMIR. The video image of the artist`s hand in Graz was broadcasted from the public studio of the Austrian broadcast over a radio link of the ORF to the AUSTROMIR-information center on the Institute for Communications Engineering and Wave Propagation at the Technical University Graz. There the video signal was transmitted with the communication satellite EUTELSAT-I-F2 to the radio control center in Kaliningrad near Moscow. Over this radio system of the radio control center finally the transmission to the space station MIR occured, where the hand appeared on a video screen.
When the space station MIR was above Graz, the Austrian cosmonaut contacted the public with the amateur radio facility AREMIR. The cosmonaut`s message modulated and alienated the Danube waltz like an imaginary conductor`s hand. Simultaneous acoustic parameters from the alienate Danube waltz were won and recorded on a computer. The encrypted acoustic message was visualised on a special primed mute piano, as if the imaginary hand of the cosmonaut would play the piano.
After the space station left the reception area Graz after a few minutes, the recorded data were accepted by a robot, which was built of in front of the public studio. This robot welded the encrypted message in a high-grade steel plate with a diameter of about 3,5 m. This process was projected over video on a big screen in the public studio. Current cross fadings of two camera images were made. One camera was on the arm of the weld robot and the second was mounted on a stand in front of the robot.
Prof. Richard Kriesche, Graz
o.Univ.Prof. Dipl.Ing. DDr. Willibald Riedler (institute manager)
Dipl.Ing. Dr. Gerhard Graber (project manager)
all: Institute for Communications Engineering and Wave Propagation, Technical University Graz