[ STRICTLY PUBLIC ] was founded by artists in Dusseldorf in 1999 (the group first called itself ARTSCREEN). Their vision was to bring video art to the public in a variety of urban settings. Video screening boards used to display news, information and commercial advertisements in public places were the preferred medium of STRICTLY PUBLIC. The video billboards served the artists as a canvas for media art. They realised projects in Germany from 2000 till 2004. All projects involved collaborations with art institutions and were accompanied by events in these institutions.
The interweaving of commercial information with works of art accentuated the contrast between the two disciplines. The attentive viewer sensed the tension produced by the opposing types of content and experience an unexpected and unique visual quickening.
Each project was a collaboration between [ STRICTLY PUBLIC ] and various partners. Other artists were invited to share their art in this setting. The theme of each project, as well as the guest artists invited to participate, were selected, by taking into account the presentation medium, the local and the social setting.
The individual artists then faced the challenges of embedding their own art into the overlaying news, information and advertising programs, solve technical challenges such as limited time slots for video presentations or the restricted use of sound and ultimately strive to bring their own aesthetic interpretation of the projects components.
STRICTLY PUBLIC also aimed to break through the barriers of a medium that was developped for commercial and informative purposes. Mixing other elements into the common programs encourages new ways of visual thought and recognition.