The computer animation that Swiss artist Alexander Hahn created in 1983 at the start of his career depicts a surreal country walk. After the main protagonist, a small blue man, is shot at by fish flying out of a cannon, he makes a bicycle for himself out of the cannon. He uses it to escape from the cannon, which has meanwhile turned into a biting, flashing monster. He is rescued via a UFO, which beams him up, leaving the furious, snorting monster behind.
The artist exhausts the limited representational possibilities of the IT Extended Basic programming language, which is based on computer games of Atari and Arcade era, in order to create an undefined and thus surreal visual space. The constant reappearance of the main protagonist from the left side of the screen as soon as he’s disappeared on the right results in an endless recoupling loop of left and right. As do the flying fish, who populate the entire screen and are intertwining bottom and top of the screen as soon as the cannon shoots them down from the center of the image. The simplistic computer game imagery of repetition becomes an agent of an ironically diverse narration.
(Text: Bettina Back)
Computer and video artist Alexander Hahn (*1954), Rapperswil, St. Gallen, Switzerland, one of Switzerland’s most successful video pioneers.
He works with – and continues to develop – the medium of computer and video as a platform for content and technical research, moving between image, animation and construction. Hahn lives and works in Zurich and New York.