Reinhard Manz


Born 1951 in Biel. Lives and works in Basel. Co-founder of the Videogenossenschaft Basel, lecturer for video design at the FHNW Academy of Art and Design, documentary filmmaker and managing director of point de vue.

00:00: Start. 00:17: Born in Biel. 00:48: My parents. 02:25: Values. 03:15: School. 04:09: Our autonomous centre. 05:03: A school experiment. 07:15: Talent and encouragement. 08:01: First encounter with film. 09:21: Dreams about my career? 11:45: Trainticket to Berlin. 13:38: Joseph Beuys and May Day. 14:52: Berlin University of the Arts. 15:49: First encounters with video / Introduction by Gerd Conradt / Exercises for Actors / Inspiration from Dan Graham. 19:11: Video and counter-public / A street in transition. 21:02: Documenting street actions with video / Measuring life. 23:21: Departure from Berlin / I’m an art teacher now. 24:02: I continue my street actions in Basel / ‘Directions’, 1979. 25:24: A visual portrait of Lisbon by random principle. 26:23: How I handle video. 27:12: Foundation of the Videogenossenschaft Basel / Sus Zwick, Daniel Wiener, Urs Berger / Art and Politics. 28:14: Our first documentations – Only the pay is alternative / Autonomous Youth Centre (AJZ) Basel / Distribution of other videos / Cinema Fatamorgana. 29:35: A pool of equipment / Amateurs and professionals. 32:33: Networking with Medienwerkstatt Freiburg im Breisgau / Videoladen and Container TV / Action Stadtgärtnerei / Engaged documentaries. 34:14: New Music / Video art projects / Inlandarchiv by Erich Busslinger. 35:33: About progress. 36:25: What remains from independent video making? 37:05: Basel and the rise of video art in the 1990s. 37:46: Credits.

Transportgesichter Basel Aeschenplatz

Reinhard Manz and Videogenossenschaft

Basel 1980, 4 mins, ½ inch, black-and-white, orginal also online: Video collection «Stadt in Bewegung» (Schweizerisches Sozialarchiv and Memoriav).

On the video-editing device, the faces of people on the street or in the tram are being manipulated. An unusual documentation of everyday life.

Es herrscht wieder Frieden im Land


1981, 30 mins, ½ inch, black-and-white, 8 mins (excerpts), orginal also online: Video collection «Stadt in Bewegung» (Schweizerisches Sozialarchiv and Memoriav).

Documentary about the eviction of the Autonomes Jugendzentrum (AJZ; Autonomous Youth Center) in Basel. The last part depicts conflicts between the different youth scenes (activists vs. rockers).

Voices of young activists
A   What I wanted from the AJZ? To have a place where we could create something like a free state. A place without prescribed laws, where laws would have to be developed. And where laws would come about that would actually enable communal living.
B   That’s what I like about the AJZ, that you can really participate. There’s no boss on your case: You have to do this or that now and so on. And you can do whatever you like. You were free to do anything at the AJZ.
C   I don’t think it tailed off by the end, quite the opposite. True, maybe we had a clearer idea by then how things worked and were less euphoric. We saw how difficult it was. But on the other hand, the solidarity among the people who actively participated grew stronger.