Hans-Christian Dany, Stephan Dillemuth, Joseph Zehrer


(extract of UTV-concept, published as a Comic (Gramacy Hotel NY/NY, 1995) and in 'Control magazine', London 1996)

Interview with three Germans:

#One: The first TV emerged in our village. Somtimes 15 people gathered in front of the box at the end of the sixties. Soon the neighbours got jealous and bought their own TV. Suddenly one could see what else happens in the world and after that every door was locked.
#Two: One Day when I heard that my favorit programm, 'Jim Button and the wild 13', would be on air I dived happily into the snow so my head got stuck. Four years later, in 68, while we watched the streetfights on the news, my Daddy said: oh boy, if you are going to join them, I'll kill you.
#three: I started with watching 'Mutiny on the Bounty', but the film was always interupted for the latest information about the 'watergate-scandal' which came out that night. For the news I always had to leave the room and allowed back in when the film continued.

Chorus: That was yesterday, today we want to make our own TV.


In the early eighties the government started to share it's TV-monopoly on entertainment and information with the industry. To compensate the left critisism on this capitalisation of information, one single channel was made accessible for everyone.

1, 2, 3 think that you can have fun with public access and that it is necessary to keep it as a basis of a democratic pool, but it can not change (TV)reality, because:
-There is almost no programming structure to help the viewer finding what he is interessted in. Nobody is watching, the information stays marginalised.

-The user of the TV-social help, public access, has to exploit himself as a producer and affirms again the media-hierarchies.

By handing out the broadcasting-licences, providers have asigned to keep certain slots for something like high-level or non-commercial TV. So these little entrances are just an alibi in the field of financial interests. The slots are always pigeonholed as art, which means, don't take this serious.
With the french-german channel Arte we have a complete 'ghetto', in which they try to cultivate the TV-desert, but level it to a certain internationality, which will be standard in the 'fortress europe'.

We still think that these strategies of the early seventies are highly remarkabale, but the real effort to build a Video-network out of TV was not there. Archives, activist-groups and discussions which still exist should be involved with the idea of an autonomus TV-station.

How could a TV-station function, that would be independent of goverment-subvention, commercial advertising and sponsorship?
It is necessary to develop an economic structure, that circulates issues of viewers and producers more directly. The station should be financed by a public, that is not excluded from the production of the programm, but can contribute.

Like in other TV-stations, the only thing we can sell is time. But our idea is to sell it extremly cheap for private persons to offer, exchange or look for the things they need. That could be a job, an appartment, new trousers, old cars or companionship. The idea of magazines like Loot could be transfered to TV. A second on the air would cost less then one pound, it would be affordable for almost everybody. Also a one minute ad would be cheaper than a small ad in the newspaper. No doubt, you didn't have to walk into twenty appartments, if you took a short TV-peep before. The 10 hour programm would be structured by Show View-codes, so that it's easy to find what you need. On the other hand an economic system like this could reselut twenty times the budget a 'public access' station and finance an independent lowcost programm in the evening and at night.

Our proposal wants to take interactive TV as a promise. This could not mean offering a hand full of buttons for some click-clack. Interaction in one-way medium like TV can only mean, step to the other side of the screen. Not a TV by experts and journalism about .., but a TV from .. people who do TV as well and live the circumstance they talk about.

from the income of selling 10 hours of advertising day one could finace a programming structure which tries to coordinate contributions from all those who were excluded from TV so far, like political activists, grassroots organisations, artists and many more. The editorial collective would work on connecting different parts of the public and therefore is more a network than a broadcastmachine.