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12 February 2020

Videoart feature
selection ColognOFF – brave new world

Although Wilfried was experimenting already at the end of 1999 with technology and how he could use it for his creative activities, when he started on 1 January 2000, it was the symbolical launch as a new virtual personality – Agricola de Cologne, and already the first project which he was simultaneously launching on the net, – A Virtual Memorial Foundation, was dealing with memory and identity – so to speak in order to initiate new memory for himself by referring at the same time to a PAST, which was unknown to him.

During the next 3 years, he published at first daily, later weekly a kind of diary dealing with the big questions of our time, at least from Wilfried’s point of view, by researching in the net for text and image material, he could use to be complemented by his own small animations related to the topics. This active research was very helpful for understanding the world he was born into, and like Micha told him, by doing so he was re-establishing also his former personality because obviously his positions and points of view from his former life turned out to be nearly the same, although the memory of the previous 50 years had been erased.

Micha told him, how happy he had been when he recognized that, and it was not necessary to get accustomed to a new personality first. So, by doing all this research, he returned also to the same topics which had marking his previous artistic and private life, however without their sides of traumatic experiences which Wilfried could not remember. Especially for Micha, who had experienced together with him many of the highly traumatic situations, it was strange to see that Wilfried followed the same path without the history of the past 50 years. In the beginning, Micha was really unhappy, because expressively all those commonly experienced traumata, which were connecting them so close to each other were erased, but he also recognized that the tide emotional and intellectual bond was existing nevertheless and probably even stronger before.

So, the discussion came up what memory actually is representing. Obviously, the construction of the human being had different memories, and one of them was genetically rooted, and another one based on experiences, thus a memory established through learning.

In Wilfried’s case, obviously only the memory was erased which was based on learning, but the genetically condition of the learning as such, was not erased, because the phase after the coma was marked by an incredible speed of learning, as if the big loss should be compensated in a most short time.

The project “ A Virtual Memorial” was an ingenious invention, because working on it had incredible effects in terms of stimulating the genetically rooted structures. One year after Wilfried had released this project on the net, Micha was surprised when he started on 2 January 2001, Wilfried’s 1st birthday after his re-birth on occasion of the celebration, the first philosophical discussion, he told Wilfried he could not believe, that Wilfried was speaking to him as if he had just finished his philosophical studies. He had no academic knowledge, but due to the intellectual ability to follow the philosophical ideas and draw the proper conclusions, Wilfried needed no academic studies, any more, and the question was allowed, how much of the learned memory becomes part of the genetically rooted memory.

Thus, A Virtual Memorial Foundation was Wilfried’s field of experimenting, this is particularly good for establishing social contacts resulting a network of collaborating instances.
His ideas to publish articles in a diary were not only including external sources like links or his own topic related animated art pieces, but he invited also the first artists to contribute to his weekly and monthly publications. He was establishing an exchange with other artists and he recognized the general need among the artists to establish such collaboration and exchange, as well.
Behind all was standing also the need to overcome his personal isolation after the coma, because besides his mother, living in another part of Germany it was primarily Micha as his partner who represented the only social contact for a long time.

So, Wilfried’s network started already during the 1st months of 2000, many years before Mark Zukerberg realized his ideas for Facebook. The difference with Wilfried ideas were obvious, because Wilfried did not want to make business, but keep his inititiative uncommerciallly and immateriallly, restricted to artists and the art world. That’s why Wilfried initiatives had “just” a limited, but nevertherless continuously growning number of followers – in the fields related to art.

A Virtual Memorial Foundation

a complementing video selection

Albert Merino (Spain) – Hidden Mud 2010, 7:42
Isabel Del Pulgar (Spain) – Ossum, 2014, 9:20
Karlos Alastruey (Spain) – Ada, 2011, 10′ 04″
Diego Pazó (Spain) – Mapas (Maps), 2015, 5’30”