Trio Sonata in Video, Deutschland, Deutschland

The Trio Sonata in Video by the group telewissen is an early multichannel video installation in which three tapes of around twenty minutes each are shown in parallel on three screens. Labeled movements, the three tapes were shown on small television sets, directly referring to the television consumption dominant in everyday life. The first movement, called “Germans and their leisure time,” features scenes from a crowded party celebrating winning the World Cup in 1974, along with teenagers on bicycles, people gardening, bar scenes, dancing, and a band recording a song. The second movement (“Germans and their programs”) mainly shows a mixture of public television fragments (from sports, traffic reports, and news to cartoon segments and advertising), as well as policemen doing various activities. The third movement (“Germans and their work”) begins in a car plant (BMW), where workers are shown fitting side mirrors, polishing fixtures, installing engines, etc. After three minutes, a child is accompanied by the camera on his first day of school. Video stills show individual children standing around and waiting. Back to the workers in the car plant, followed by a cut to a protest march on its way to the city center. A sequence follows with shots from a children’s room, with kids playing and romping about. The filming of a role play exercise forms the conclusion; outside on the street, an old lady unsuccessfully objects to government plans to demolish her house to build a new road. The uncommented video recordings of everyday life are in telewissen’s own words used “to contribute to discovering new aspects of reality. With sequences that move, sound out, but are only mosaic-like details, we contribute to the scientific study of human beings. Raise consciousness for everyday life as an experience and make it visible as history. Create a basis for better communication.”