The TV Tower of Berlin, member of the world federation of great towers. 1969 it started its career as "sozialistische Höhendominante", a symbol for the socialistic East Berlin, the Capital of the GDR (Former German Democratic Republic from 1949 - 1990) in the city centre on the Alexanderplatz, in an ensemble with the near by Palace of the Republic. This symbol of the east German technology could be seen far into the west, a promising futuristic tower. The TV Tower is today as popular as it used to be in the east, but different. Today it is a symbol for the new young international Berlin cultural scene in East Berlin.
The biggest attraction had always been the rotating restaurant in the top of the tower. Rotating with a speed of 1 h during the GDR times, it has been speeded up in the nineties, after the German Reunification in 1990, with the introduction of western capitalism and new values, to a 200% faster rotation, to 30 min. per turn. This upgrade is not only useful to gaze a quicker look on the city below but allows also a better extent of utilization of the cafe enterprise, because the average guest stays one turn on his seat.
For our video work Fernsehturm - Panorama Berlin, we filmed 1997 one rotation of the restaurant with a fixed camera. We extended the actual speed of 30 min. per hour back to 60 min., the original rotation speed of the TV/tower restaurant, before the fall of the wall.
The whole scenario of the cafe on a cloudy Berlin afternoon is passing by like in slow motion. No panorama view on the city, but on their citizens and visitors inside the cafe. It could be the imagination of a passed GDR, seen from the point of view of a speeded up society of the east.