1974, Colour, 8 minutes,
Music composed and performed by Simon Desorgher

Entering is a classic videotape, representing something of a milestone in British broadcasting and art history. It was the first independent “art” videotape and the first completely abstract work to be commissioned and broadcast nationally on television in the UK - in May 1974 in an Arts magazine programme hosted by Melvyn Bragg. And was selected as part of Tate Britain’s “Century of Artists Film in Britain” exhibition in 2003.

It was recorded by the BBC as an outside broadcast from the Royal College of Art television studio in Kensington, London on 15th April 1974. Pictures and sound were transmitted via a microwave link to the Television Centre at White City via the Crystal Palace transmitter on the other side of London (as no direct line of site was available between the two sites just two miles apart!)

The imagery and sound were performed and recorded by Donebauer and Desorgher “playing” together in real time with both participants having visual and aural feedback of each other’s transforming contributions as they affected the piece in real time and thus in turn their own continuing contributions. The tape represents the best early example of the visual techniques Donebauer had developed through access to the old ATV colour studio donated to the College by Lew Grade. These techniques involved manipulating the studio in ways for which it was never designed, enabling the development of a form of “Electronic Painting” equivalent to the “Electronic Music” that was being first developed around that time. The two went on to work together for several years with Desorgher providing and co-ordinating the sound elements through a mixture of traditional musical instruments and electronics.

The imagery is non-representational, and the tape’s theme is an allegory of the experience of birth in the physical sense and re-birth in the metaphysical sense. The tape’s structure is in three sections separated by moments of darkness. The first section suggests the security of a womb. The second section develops through a series of contractions leading to the expansion of birth itself. The final section suggests the quiescence of rest and sleep.


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