Kulturstiftung des Bundes funds media art archive

The Kulturstiftung des Bundes sponsors the project "mediaartbase.de"

The European Media Art Festival (EMAF), the documenta Archiv Kassel and the Centre for Art and Media (ZKM) in Karlsruhe have joined forces to realise this forward-looking cooperative project. The pilot project aims to electronically process selected works held in these three unique collections and to make them accessible to the public. Funding amounting to €500,000 has been made available for this purpose.

The importance of the subject of archiving Media Art is continuing to grow among international experts. Over the past three decades, a large number of valuable artistic works have been created which, until now, have only rarely been recorded by existing archives. Saving and restoring these works is a key future task for this area of archiving, since not only video tapes, films, material on analogue media but also CDs und DVDs have a limited life expectancy.

One important element of this work is the development of an exemplary database, archive and presentation structure, which will enable even smaller archives and other institutions to dock onto it and process their own collections. The technology involved in "mediaartbase.de" should be mainly based on open source software, in order to create an inexpensive decentralised database and to enable new contents to be coupled with existing data material.

The aim of "mediaartbase.de" is also to preserve the works currently contained in the archive, and to make them accessible to a broad public. The digital archive serves as an interface to education, research and teaching in the field of audiovisual media and contemporary museums and galleries.

Furthermore, online research via the internet, independent of time and place, should be facilitated. For this purpose, the various types of media are to be made available under one "common roof". The resulting information network, with its manifold technical options and access to the meta-information, enables research to be conducted at a scientific level.

Within the context of the project, the project partners shall organise specialist conferences, at which they present their results to national and international audiences, and publish scientific articles in the specialised press.

The European Media Art Festival will be responsible for the project management. Alfred Rotert und Ralf Sausmikat from the EMAF are responsible for the content-related and scientific coordination. Cooperation partners are the documenta archive and the Kassel Documentary Film and Video Festival, which is responsible for the content-related development of the project and operative collaboration under the leadership of Karin Stengel. As a cooperation partner, the Centre for Art and Media (ZKM) is represented by Professor Ludger Brümmer and Dr. Achim Heidenreich from the Institute for Music and Acoustics.

documenta archive and the Kassel Documentary Film and Video Festival

The planned project Mediaartbase.de shall record the unique, historic material of all documenta exhibitions since 1955 and the extensive video material of the Kassel Documentary Film and Video Festival since 1989. Today, the documenta is the most important art exhibition for contemporary art worldwide. The documenta archive compiles information on the documenta exhibition as well as documents and material on the administration of the documenta, including correspondence with the artists, documents on the works of art and material on the exhibition setting (approx. 4,000 recordings).

In addition, there is also the material from the Kassel Documentary Film and Video Festival. Since 1989, the festival has been collecting the video material presented in the programmes of each festival edition (over 2,000 contributions). These include the works of renowned filmmakers and artists and those of young artists alike, classic documentaries and experimental films with a documentary approach.

European Media Art Festival

The EMAF has around 4,000 films, videos and documentations in its collection, including background texts, photographs and biographies. These works have been compiled in Osnabrück for over 25 years, separated according to years. The festival in Osnabrück, and therefore also its stock, is characterised by the existence of a large number avant-garde, experimental film, video art, film and video installations, performances, interactive and digital projects, even from the eighties and nineties, unmatched by any other institution. The planned construction of the archive shall initially concentrate on the most significant materials. The first stage will entail processing a collection of approx. 400 films and videos.

ZKM | Centre for Art and Media

The ZKM collections comprise the stocks of the producing institutes (Institute for Music and Acoustics and the Institute for Visual Media) at several institutional levels, as well as the archive housed in the ZKM. In the audiovisual area, there are 300 titles in the production archive for music, 200 works in the documentation archive for events, and 550 in the IDEAMA. The media centre includes 12,000 objects (video/audio). There collections also contain over 1,000 titles.

Your contact partners:

For the European Media Art Festival:
Alfred Rotert & Ralf Sausmikat
Festival management
Tel. 0541/ 216 58

For the documenta Archiv:
Karin Stengel
Head of archive
Tel. 0561/ 787 40 22

Kasseler Dokumentarfilm- und Videofest
Gerhard Wissner
Festival management

For the ZKM:
Prof. Ludger Brümmer
Head of Institute for Music and Acoustics
& Dr. Achim Heidenreich
Tel. 0721/ 81001600

basis 5, Kassel
Matthias Zipp
coordinator of projects:

For the Kulturstiftung des Bundes:
Friederike Tappe-Hornbostel
Head of Communication
Tel. 0345/ 2997 120