In the mid Eighties at the German Film and Television Academy in West-Berlin, a second generation of video activism was growing up – mostly in night shifts at the school´s one and only 3/4 inch video editing studio, room “546”. For lack of appropriately schooled technical advisors on the brand new and very expensive editing machinery, the students working in this room became self taught editors – and a lot of their practice, aesthetics and theory was concerned with montage; even though – and just because – this was difficult to perform on analogue electromagnetic signal streams; (in spite of a beautiful new machine called “time base corrector”). While earlier video activists had cherished video as a medium of unbridled truth and unabridged presence – giving a voice to the marginalized and the outsiders, at demonstrations and performances – this second generation felt equally subversive, but no longer believed in the value of pure witnessing and then showing uncut material in small community circles. Inspired by the Californian “Artists Television Access” group, they instead wanted to claim Broadcast Television – both as their venue and as their material. They were as bored with too long black and white self representations as they were with pompous guitar solos, and their affiliation, rhythmically, was punk music. Their media philosophy was inspired by William Burroughs, and the aim of their montages was to deconstruct and decipher, rather than to trust “authenticity”.
Friederike Anders is a film editor and author, working mostly in documentary and essayist films. She studied performance and video at San Francisco Art Institute and film at German Film- and TV-Academy (dffb). From 1993 to 1998 she was artistic assistant of VALIE EXPORT, Rotraut Pape and Maria Vedder at Berlin University of the Arts (UdK). In 1990, she co-founded urbanfilm, a post-production studio for art and documentaries in Berlin. Her work and research are based on theories of montage, personal archives and the development of non-linear narratives – for cinematic and interactive use.