Black Gate Cologne

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Often cited as the first television programme made by artists. It was a live event involving films, light objects and the participation of the studio audience. A comparable event took place in New York City in 1967, the inter-media piece ‘Black Gate Theater’, which was now expanded by the possibilities of the new ‘Electronic Studio’ of WDR television, whose electronic video mixing facilities could now be creatively deployed for the first time. The close co-operation between artists and TV crew created a synthesis of live atmosphere, Light Art, experimental film and electronic image aesthetics. Two consecutive 45-minute broadcasts with different audiences were recorded in the studio, and then in part copied one on top of the other to intensify the transmitted product. Since the length of the broadcast was criticized ‘despite, or indeed perhaps because of, its confusing wealth of material’, WDR finally cut it to 23 minutes.