We warmly invite you to marvel at the productions of internationally renowned media artists and innovative works by young talented artists at the 21st European Media Art Festival. This year’s Media Art Festival is in search of individual identities in a globalised world. How do digital technologies change all areas of private and public life? The Congress takes up the subject of Identity and reflects in it its lectures. For instance, Prof. Norbert Bolz will talk about “Identity management” and Ralf Bendrath will lecture on “Digital Identity” and the forms and consequences of the increasing capture of private data and their commercial exploitation.

Around 300 current installations, films and videos were selected for the festival from a total of around 2200 works submitted from 50 countries. These works give a comprehensive insight into the tendencies of modern Media Art. The festival shows film as a contemporary work of art in cinemas and exhibitions, both performed and multimedia. In the film programme, numerous media artists not only deal with their own but also with society’s past – usually in search of their roots and the traditions and cultural routes of their home country. Excellent works by Fiona Tan, Hito Steyerl, Peggy Ahwesh and John Smith will be shown. Also feature films such as James Benning’s “RR”, Gus van Sant’s “Paranoid Park” and Guy Maddin’s “My Winnipeg” are the highlights of the film programme. The retrospective is dedicated to the Austrian avant-garde film-maker Kurt Kren.

This year’s exhibition is completely devoted to youth. It demonstrates attitudes towards and images of adolescent realities from a variety of continents and cultures. In their contemplations and subjective interventions, international media artists grapple with the world of youth in very different ways. Outstanding: the video panorama by AES +F, which deals with the last rebels.
The International Student Forum will present other media artworks at several locations. Three film and video programmes with works by students and the University Day are also scheduled. At this year’s University Day, selected projects of “digital sparks 08” competition will be presented. The digital sparks competition has been realised since 2001 by the MARSExploratory Media Lab of the Fraunhofer IAIS under the direction of Monika Fleischmann and Wolfgang Strauss.

"@C+Lia", one of the internationally most renowned AV groups of artists whose performances are characterised by the aesthetics of art work and in composition by their balance between minimalism and complexity, will also be presented at the EMAF. A further programme highlight is the performance “The Girlfriend Experience” by Martin Butler, where the subject of second life is explored from close up. Actors stand at the ready in a glass cage as avatars receive instructions from visitors, their ‘controllers’.
We are delighted that the festival is again under the patronage of the First Minister of the Federal State of Lower Saxony, Christian Wulff. We would also like to thank nordmedia, the EFRE programme, the City of Osnabrück, the EU programmes Media and Culture 2000 as well as the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research and the German Foreign Office.

We invite you to embark on a voyage of discovery through the varied programme of the EMAF!

The Festival Team