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Zeittransgraphie, Videolabyrinth, and Gábor Bódy

Friederike Anders on the transformative electronic artworks of 1980s Berlin // published: 16.10.20

The following text (below the picture) is an excerpt from the article – it is the introductory part of it to Friederike Anders' text – published at

Please, serve yourself, follow the link to the article / essay at ...  You can choose English or German at the Upper-Right corner of the page ! :)

Just one more thing: there are videos embedded in the text of Gabor Bódy speaking at that seminar! :) So, it is a complex multimedia "document" and study straight from Berlin, and one layer of it, straight from 1985.

so, go to the article / essay:


Ásdis Thoroddsen (dffb class of 1983)  Photo: Friederike Anders.


this is the introductory text to Friederike Anders's reflective study/essay at

The German Film and Television Academy (dffb) was a lively center of artistic and intellectual discourse in the 1980s. Inspired by punk, students and professors experimented with new electronic media, which allowed them to slice up traditional narrative form to create works that entered the international art scene to great acclaim.

The dffb’s director, Heinz Rathsack, was eager to keep up with the times, and in a seminar in February 1985 invited the eminent Hungarian filmmaker Gábor Bódy to present his ideas on non-narrative work the future of the digital image. Inspired by Bódy’s often esoteric ideas, students created a series of projects called Zeittransgraphien—loosely “time transfigurations”—and later a series of three works (together titled Videolabyrinth) on interactive videodisc, a medium that had fascinated Bódy. In the middle of the production of the first works, Bódy died in mysterious circumstances, and the experiments with time sequencing gained an uncanny symbolism.


this is a still capture from Gabor Body's Occulta Philisophia (1985)

Friederike Anders, a student at the dffb at the time, recalls the development of these artworks against the backdrop of the development of the academy as well as global events. This vital record of the time is especially urgent given the lack of archival preservation of video works produced in the period—videos were never systematically cataloged, and many students left with the original copies of cassettes. Today, looking for Videolabyrinth, for instance, yields no entry in the dffb archive, and metadata is missing. Beyond the particular idiosyncracies of any institution, this lack of nearly a decade of findable electronic art from the dffb history points to a larger question about how to locate and catalog experimental media art, especially from turbulent times. Anders’ personal written story is therefore an urgent call for archival efforts and also constitutes an important piece of evidence itself.


go to the article / study: