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Themesicon: navigation pathPhoto/Byteicon: navigation pathDocument and Abstraction
Who´s´Afraid of Blue, Red and Green? (Selichar, Günther), 1995

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public (mass media) space, was based on a simple puzzle that frequently appeared in European print media such as television program guides. In the ”spot the differences” game one is asked to compare an original image with one that includes ”mistakes” and to define the differences. These kinds of picture puzzles used to be drawn by hand; nowadays they mostly consist of photographs that have been digitally altered. It seemed to me that this popular puzzle was the right, simple metaphor for reception in connection with mass media, and so I decided to transfer it from the printed medium into a landscape setting where the public would be requested to interact. It was possible to work with the mass medium of television, and this led to a project that would otherwise correspond to the logistics of an advertising agency: there was an accompanying media campaign with commercials before the main evening news and clear instructions for a game with a chance of winning various prizes to be drawn on television when the game was over. The game and the accompanying contest consisted of participating in a media process in the sense of a joint looking, examining and documenting. Despite the


rather short playing period for a contest—two-and-a-half weeks—thousands of people visited the five locations, many of them actually participating in the picture puzzle game by filling out a contestant card. The large number of participants, however, was ambivalent; this efficiency was satisfactory in the sense of an artistic project, but also illuminating in the sense of its social significance for messages that are disseminated through the most important mass media. Manipulation by retouching is part of the history of mass media, in particular in photography. However, at least for specialists it used to be possible to detect such strategies on the image. In the meantime, under digital, microscopically pixeled conditions it has become impossible even for experts to see them. In 1996 I transferred the «Suchbild» model to another technology in public space and was able to realize the work «Suchbild—Who´s Afraid of Blue, Red and Green?» for the first time within the framework of the «Prospect» exhibition in Frankfurt’s Schirn Kunsthalle.

The technology I used was a three-sided, internally illuminated prism rotator. This equipment has three display sides that change in programmable intervals. A

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