Ira Schneider



Werk - ECHO
Artist / Artist group
Ira Schneider
installation, Video installation
Material / Technique
Closed circuit video installation (digital reconstruction), camera, flat screen, green screen, computer: PC, operating system: Ubuntu 16.04, programming language: C++ / CUDA / OpenCV
Dimensions / Duration
dimensions variable
ZKM | Center for Art and Media, purchased with the kind support of the Werner Stober Foundation

Beginning in 1969, artist Ira Schneider explored the possibilities of closed-circuit video installations. Video cameras, video players, and monitors were interconnected so that viewers could see each other live on the screens. From the outset, it was the possibility of time delay of the video image that aroused his special interest. In 1972, as a result of his experiments, Schneider discovered the visual equivalent of audio echoes and developed the participatory video installation »ECHO«.

A camera placed above a wall-mounted flat screen captures visitors interacting with the video installation in front of a green or blue back wall. They can view their movements in real time on the screen, overlaid with multiple recordings, each delayed by a few seconds. The screen is not only a mirror, but also an archive of the recent past.

A second screen – initially invisible to the participants outside the interaction space – shows the actions of the visitors in front of the camera, who believe they are unobserved. Only when leaving the interaction space is the second screen and its audience revealed to the participants.

The video installation »ECHO«, consisting of a camera, flat screen, green screen, and a computer, is a digital reconstruction realized in 2017 by the ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe. The original analog video installation was first exhibited at the Raindance Corporation loft in 1972 and shown at Synapse, Syracuse University’s student and community video center, in 1975.

Author: Lara Di Carlo

About the artist/s