PAL ODER NEVER USE THE SAME COLOR

Film and installation with 25 monitors
1988
5:40 Min.
Camera: Stephan Simon
Edit: Martina Kaimeier
Music: Uwe Wiesemann, Gerhard Zillingen
Production: Museum Ludwig Köln, Germany

The superior system does not necessarily emerge as victor from the competition between new technologies – as evidenced by the enforcement of the VHS video standard. Maria Vedder examines the 'struggle' between two television transmission norms in this intensely coloured, highly varied video collage. It is based on a commission surveying the prize-winners of the German Photographic Society, to which Walter Bruch, father of the Euopean PAL television norm, once belonged. PAL's superior chromatic stability distinguishes it from the American NTSC system (initials people working in TV mockingly re-interpreted as 'Never The Same Colour'). Maria Vedder's ironical and visually opulent videotape, which as an installation used one of the early video-wall systems, runs through the technical conditions for the reproduction of electronic colours, deploying for demonstration purposes a German newsreader of the 1960s. Worlds of difference lie between red, green and blue, to which Maria Vedder also allocates symbolic values derived from mythical concepts in Indian Buddhism. In addition, a separate monitor, placed to one side in the installation, renders the individual pixels as three-dimensional building blocks of video imagery.

Rudolf Frieling