newsletter 03-2009


In three weeks the 22nd European Media Art Festival will start with internationally renowned media artists and innovative works by new masters from the academies. Around 250 current contributions to all sections have been selected for this year's festival from a total of 2400 works submitted from around the world, offering you a comprehensive insight into the latest tendencies in Media Art.

Clorinde Durand:


This year`s film programmes demonstrate that even the journey to work can be adventurous, let alone the mysteries of an office or the rollercoaster rides on the stock exchange - and those who still have a job and time for their body at the end of the day can count themselves lucky. All in all, there is a strong tendency this year towards the performative, to the playful act and the interpretation of narrative substances. Grimonprez casts Alfred Hitchcock as a paranoid history professor, unwittingly caught up in a "Double Take" on the cold war period. The programme "Men at Work" reveals social, personal and general societal conflicts. "Femmes totales" shows perceptions of women: of girls, mothers, divas and dykes who refind themselves in and as images. A look behind the scenes of female multitasking. The programme "Arts Ltd." demonstrates that art is work, which needs to be structured - after all, artists want to live from it In the programme "Ideology and Agitation", functional and documentary elements are blended together. Of course we can't go without sex and crime: in "Exhausted", Kim Gok from Korea has created a post-industrial milieu study showing the dependent relationship between victim and perpetrator. In "Holland", Thijs Gloger, just turned 23, has made a wonderfully staged life study of young Dutch people in the northern Netherlands, showing in well composed images the misery of this middleclass everyday boredom, miles away from the centres of entertainment and diversion.

Mary Ellen Bute with her oscilloscope.
Courtesy of Cecile Starr and CVM, L.A.


The American filmmakers Jordan Belson and Mary Ellen Bute are presented in this year's retrospective. As with many of his experimental film colleagues, Belson began his career as a painter. From 1946 onwards, he increasingly devoted himself to the production of moving images, which he transformed into a psychedelic visual experience using a complicated work process. Mary Ellen Bute is a pioneer of visual music and electronic arts. In the 1930s and 1950s, she produced over a dozen short abstract animations. Her films are set to classical music and filled with colourful forms, elegant design and sprightly dance-like rhythms. Both programmes will be introduced knowledgeably and entertainingly by Cindy Keefer, Director of the Centre for Visual Music, Los Angeles.

Johanna Reich: "Front"


This year's Congress comments on a variety of themes. Important anchorage points are current events, such as the crisis in the banking and business world, or the conflict between Israel and Palestine. The author and journalist Stefan Heidenreich explores historical, theoretical and practical issues with regard to the financial crisis: does the economic context make new options and tasks available to artistic production? How do the roles of critics, curators or artists change? Furthermore, producer Osnat Trablesi (Tel Aviv) introduces the web and TV production "Gaza- Sderot: Life goes on", which was awarded the Prix Europe. Despite the daily threat of air raids and missiles, the people portrayed never stop working, loving and dreaming. Despite it all. Fittingly, the subject "Media Art and War" is taken up with the exhibition "Image Battles - 2000 years of news from the war" in mind. Participating artists will be presenting their works and opinions in lectures. A further focal area is dedicated to the chapter of media art archives. Under the title "From Archive to Living Database", various forms of conveyance of work in and with archives will be presented within the pilot project "mediaartbase". Prof. Oliver Grau advocates the documentation, collection and preservation of the evolutionary history of the audiovisual media and their inconsistencies.Dr. Achim Heidenreich from the Institute of Music and Acoustics at the ZKM talks about music as the memory of the film. Music and moving image have their own dramaturgy and their own criteria of perception. On this basis, the contribution deals with new dramaturgical problems and possibilities in combining music and moving image in the digital age.

Bubble Beatz


In its performance concert, the Duo "Bubble Beatz" from Switzerland brings hypnotic groove. Consisting of dented traffic signs, frying pans and petrol drums, the "trash machine" forms the centrepiece of their sweat-inducing show. Their sound somewhere between House, Industrial, 2 Step, Drum'n'Bass, Big Beat, Latin and Funk blended with solid bass lines and experimental sounds is a treat for the eyes and ears, guaranteeing the success of their live performances. Scanner, one of the most renowned audiovisual artists from Great Britain, is represented at the EMAF. His live performance "Raumgleiter", developed in collaboration with the Eastern German artist Maix Mayer, relates to the relationship between architecture, spaces and sound. "My works have always explored the relationship between sound and architectural spaces on the one hand and the space between information, history, and the disappearance of our own memories on the other." (Scanner)

Selene States: "User Guide to the Semiotics of the Kitchen"


The Media Campus will be presenting two exhibitions, as well as film and video programmes with works by students from all over Europe, the USA, Latin America and Asia. Exciting and informative specials will also be offered. A highlight in this year ist the workshop by and with the French artist Anne Roquigny. Together with students, she will be working on an live performance. The Macromedia Akademie der Medien Osnabrueck, offers a Flash seminar in which the students can learn how to produce creative Flash animations Students also have the opportunity to be taken on an exclusive guided tour of the exhibition "Image Battles" by the curator Hermann Noering.


The exhibition "Image Battles" shows for the first time how news from the war has been transmitted for 2000 years. The exhibition offers a compilation of exhibits from the areas of technology/media/art. Current Media Art brings attention to the consumptive and lifestyle character of war images. Many international artists at the exhibition explore the portrayal of war, which reaches our living rooms via the mass media. Some react analytically, others in a very personal way to the polished stage-setting by the media and the appeal of their violent images.


Hermann Noering, Alfred Rotert, Ralf Sausmikat.

We hope we've managed to arouse your curiosity, and warmly invite you all to visit the festival.

The Festival Team


à The next EMAF-Newsletter 04-2009 will tell you about the complete festival programme.



nordmedia - Die Mediengesellschaft Niedersachsen/Bremen mbH
City of Osnabrück
German Federal Ministry of Education and Research
German Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Embassy of Canada
EU Commission - MEDIA Programme, as well as funding from other sponsors.


le monde diplomatique




European Media Art Festival
Lohstr. 45 a
49074 Osnabrueck
Tel. 0541/ 21658
Fax. 0541/ 28327