Donebauer, Peter


  • Simon DesorgherDave Baker

  • This work is part of the rewind archive.

    Duration: 13m 52s

    Year: 1978

    Original formats:

    2" Quadraplex

    Media types:


    Type of work:


    Technical details: Realised in the Royal College of Art broadcast colour television studio using the Videokalos Synthesiser. The degree of complex real-time control available over the colours and forms was therefore hugely enhanced beyond that possible with the already stretched studio controls.

    Flyer for exhibition (Arts Council) 1980. pdf here.

    “Merging-Emerging is the first of Donebauer’s tapes to incorporate representational imagery. The title of the work refers to the emerging of the human form, initially unrecognisable but gradually emerging through the quality and nature of the movement, and finally through the slowly shifting focus of the cameras. Donebauer has often used defocused cameras in his work, a technique he found liberating.

    ‘One day when I was working in the studio at the Royal College, the cameras lost focus. I was transfixed. My whole world was changed – I never shot anything in focus ever again! When the cameras are severly out of focus, it creates a wonderful immediate form of abstraction. All these devices are so controlled to provide an accurate reproduction of what’s in front of them, suddenly to have that thrown off gives a huge burst of inspiration.’

    Peter Donebauer, in conversation with the author, 2 July 2000, Chris Meigh-Andrews, A History of Video Art. Berg, 2006.

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