Off the Records

Visual arts

Artist Werner Reiterer reveals what the public sphere usually does not get to see – things not yet disclosed, kept hidden by ORF broadcasting company staff.


What crude oil was for the 20th century, the information commodity is for the 21st – one of the most important and therefore globally contested products. Of particular interest in connection with this is the change of paradigm that takes place when a limited resource has to make way for one which is almost unlimited, one which is founded upon a historical legacy and is constantly becoming more extensive and complex. State-owned television and radio is a major administrator, filter and producer in this context.

In the course of the project, ORF staff were asked to write down something as yet unsaid, something kept secret – thoughts, messages, information, perhaps even secrets. Werner Reiterer writes the anonymised text material on the walls of the Funkhausgalerie with a special substance. This “ink”, however, is just like the real information itself – it is completely invisible to the human eye. While it is usually the media who bring information into the world, in “Off the Records” this is the task of the visitor. With blacklight lamps, the invisible texts can be translated into a wavelength visible to the human eye.

Co-produced by steirischer herbst & ORF Landesstudio Steiermark