Peter Weibel (born March 5, 1944 in Odessa, USSR) is an artist, curator and theoretician.
Raised in Upper Austria he started to study French and cinematography in Paris. In 1964 he began to study medicine in Vienna, but changed soon to mathematics, with an emphasis on logic.
Peter Weibel’s oeuvre can be described in the following categories: Conceptual Art, Performance, Experimental Film, Video art and Computer art.
Starting from semiotic and linguistic reflections (Austin, Jakobson, Peirce, Wittgenstein, ...) as from 1965 Peter Weibel developed an artistic language, which led him from experimental literature to performance. In his performative actions he explores not only the "media" language and body, but also film, video, audiotape and interactive electronic environments. Critically he analyzes their function for the construction of reality. Besides taking part in happenings with members of the Vienna Actionism he develops as from 1967 (together with Valie Export, Ernst Schmidt jr. and Hans Scheugl) an "expanded cinema". It is inspired by the American Expanded Cinema and reflects the ideological and technological conditions of cinematic representation. Peter Weibel elaborates these reflections as from 1969 in his video tapes and installations. With his television action "tv und vt works", which is broadcast by the Austrian Television (ORF) in 1972 he transcends the borders of the gallery space and queries video technology in its application as a mass medium.
Peter Weibel follows his artistic aims using a large variety of materials, forms and techniques: text, sculpture, installation, film and video. In 1978 he turns to music. Together with Loys Egg he founds the band "Hotel Morphila Orchester". In the mid 1980s he explores the possibilities of computer aided video processing. Beginning of the 1990s he realizes interactive computer-based installations. Here again he addresses the relation between media and the construction of reality.
In his lectures and articles Weibel comments on contemporary art, media history, media theory, film, video art and philosophy. As theoretician and curator he pleads for a form of art and art history that includes history of technology and history of science. In his function as a university professor and director of institutions like the Ars Electronica, Linz, the Institute for New Media in Frankfurt and the ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe he influenced the European Scene of the so called Computer art through conferences, exhibitions and publications.
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—Robert Riskin (18971955)