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09/20/2022 EMAF 36 - Call for Entries

Emaf 36 Call For Entries Newsletter Gross

We invite media artists from all over the world to now submit their work to be selected for the European Media Art Festival 2023. The online platform at registration.emaf.de is now open. Works from the fields of film, installation, performance and expanded media can be submitted. All information and regulations can be found at our website. The deadline for submissions is 8 January 2023.

The submission of works is free of charge. Artist fees will be paid for all contributions selected for the festival.

The 36th European Media Art Festival will take place from 19 to 23 April 2023. For five days, Osnabrück will become an international and trend-setting platform for media art and a meeting place for artists, curators, researchers and students. The exhibition at the Kunsthalle Osnabrück will continue until 29 May 2023.

06/09/2022 Online Conversations

SavetheDate_2023

With the end of this year’s festival, preparations for next year start already. The EMAF 2023 will take place again in Osnabrück from 19 - 23 April.

To help you pass the time as well as possible, there is still a lot to listen to on our website. In addition to the complete Talks, you will find film talks on all the competition programmes, a number of feature films, thematic programmes as well as interviews with our Artists in Focus Emily Wardill and Beatriz Santiago Muñoz. We hope you enjoy listening and look forward to seeing you again next year.

You can find all the online material at: Online

05/31/2022 EMAF 35 - Successful End to 2022 Festival and Dates Announced for 2023

Live Performance ‘Mbaracás’ by Caetano in participation with Bear Bones, Lay Low at Kunsthalle Osnabrück
Live Performance ‘Mbaracás’ by Caetano in participation with Bear Bones, Lay Low at Kunsthalle Osnabrück
Photo: Angela von Brill

Some 13.000 visitors attended our film programmes, performances, and live talks, as well as the media art exhibition The thing is. With the exhibition at Kunsthalle Osnabrück closing on 29 May, the 35th European Media Art Festival draws to a successful conclusion. ‘This year saw a wonderful return to the classic on-site festival that we have been missing for two years, and we are highly relieved that everything worked out so well,’ says the managing director Alfred Rotert. ‘The number of accreditations was clearly above the level of the time before Corona, but there was still a certain reluctance on the part of the audience to rush into the festival as in the past. So we count the 35th EMAF as a great success and extend our sincere thanks to all of our sponsors.’

Feedback from international festival guests, participating students, and visitors has been uniformly positive, says Katrin Mundt, the festival direction’s Head of Film Programmes. ‘The 35th EMAF was marked by a very special atmosphere of lively interaction about media art—which is something we had hoped for, and also a sign of the festival’s quality.’ Mundt notes that many visitors took advantage of the beautiful weather, and of Osnabrück’s cosmopolitanism, to get together after the screenings and events and discuss what they had seen and experienced. ‘All this encourages us to start planning the next festival as an on-site event with even more energy.’

SAVE THE DATE!

The 36th EMAF will take place from 19–23 April 2023.

EMAF extends warm thanks to its funders, especially to nordmedia, the City of Osnabrück, the Sievert Stiftung für Wissenschaft und Kultur, the Stiftung Niedersachsen, the VGH-Stiftung, and the Landschaftsverband Osnabrücker Land e. V.

We cordially invite you to report on the European Media Art Festival and to join us again next year.

05/11/2022 EMAF 35 - The EMAF participates in the International Museum Day with a live performance

Live-Performance „The Life of a Self-Eating Table”, Valentina Karga
Live-Performance „The Life of a Self-Eating Table”, Valentina Karga

The European Media Art Festival (EMAF) invites you to the Kunsthalle Osnabrück on 15 May at 4 pm for International Museum Day. The artist Valentina Karga will present her live performance The Life of a Self-Eating Table (in English).

The life of a self-eating table invites us to an embodied session: We will be feeding ourselves simultaneously with the self-eating table, communing our bodies and its body through feelings and reflections on digestion processes, and we will ask: Which needs are substantial for life and which are not? What is there to learn from and with this friendly self-cannibal?

Valentina Karga’s work operates between art, design, research, and architecture. It draws together elements of socially engaged practices and speculative experiments that question the existing social and physical infrastructures within the realms of energy, economy, and sustainability.

Valetina Karga is also represented in this year’s EMAF exhibition with her installation The Table That Eats Itself. The exhibition The thing is occupies itself with the essence of ‘things’, the relationship between objects and people and their bodies, and questions of objectification.

In addition to the EMAF exhibition, the KOMPOST exhibition Try to describe a place can also be seen at the Kunsthalle Osnabrück until 29 May. Participation in the performance and admission to the Kunsthalle Osnabrück are free of charge. Drinks and snacks will be available during the performance.

We cordially invite you to join us on Sunday!

04/26/2022 EMAF 35 – The festival is over & Juries honour three trailblazing experimental films

FalseWife_Jamie Crewe
Filmstill “False Wife”, Jamie Crewe, UK 2022, 15'

After 5 eventful and exciting days, the 35th European Media Art Festival ended on Sunday. We look back with satisfaction on a successful festival. We would like to thank all the artists, curators, visitors and sponsors who made this possible and look forward to welcome you again next year.

The prizewinners of the 35th European Media Art Festival (EMAF) have also been announced: the EMAF Award for groundbreaking work in media art goes to the British artist Jamie Crewe (Glasgow) for her experimental film False Wife, which, in the style of a poppers training video, probes and discusses the boundaries between individuals, gender, and the mind. The prize is endowed with 3.000€. The Dialogue Award for the promotion of intercultural exchange goes to the Spanish-born artist Carlos Irijalba (Amsterdam) for his film Half Wet, which reflects on present-day consumer behaviour from the perspective of a future state of climate emergency. The prize is endowed with 2.000€. Home When You Return by the US experimental filmmakers Carl Elsaesser (New York) is honoured by the Media Art Award of the German Film Critics Association (VdFk). This contribution explores female role models, grieving, and loss through the projection of a historical melodrama on the walls of a filmmaker’s grandmother’s house. The prize is endowed with 2.000€. Moreover, the VdFk Jury has awarded an Honourable Mention to the Italian artist Chiara Caterina for L’incanto. The film undertakes a journey into the collective subconscious by linking the fates of five women.

The EMAF Award and the Dialogue Award were decided by a jury of media artists and curators, this year composed of Dušica Dražić (Serbia), Onyeka Igwe (Great Britain), and Erik Martinson (Canada). The film critics Esther Buss, Peter Kremski, and Jenni Zylka formed the jury for the EMAF Media Art Award of the VdFk.

The EMAF Award bestowed on Jamie Crewe’s False Wife goes to a ‘work that inventively combines layers of manipulated images, sounds, and text, bringing them to bear on the audience with immediacy at breakneck speed’, as the jury noted in their statement. ‘False Wife oscillates our boundaries between the individual and the collective, the body and the mind, the fixity of gender and the social contract of cinema.’ The Dialogue Award for Half Wet by Carlos Irijalba premieres the ‘subtle way in which the work points to a disjuncture between the short-sightedness of individualized environmentalism and the postcolonial realities of those already living in a class-based state of climate emergency’, as the jury explains its decision. The film, they note, immerses viewers in a world of everyday futility and the related humour.

With Home When You Return by Carl Elsaesser, the jury of the EMAF Media Art Award of the German Film Critics Association has singled out a ‘touching, intersubjective narrative about loss, grief, female role models, and the shadowy world of the domestic sphere’, as noted in the jury statement. ‘Toying with double exposures, blurring, intertitles and rolling titles, the soundtrack from the historical film, and also sounds from the here and now, Carl Elsaesser permits past and present, filmic reality and personal history, to interfuse in a masterly way—and on 16mm film.’ The film L’incanto von Chiara Caterina, with an honourable mention, connects ‘images and sounds that, though originally without any relation to each other, already possess a suggestive power of expression as individual elements—giving rise to a surreal synthesis of the arts’, as announced by the VdFk Jury.

The jury statements are available in full length at: Sections The exhibition of the 35th EMAF will remain on show at the Kunsthalle Osnabrück until 29 May.

The European Media Art Festival (EMAF) extends warm thanks to its funders, especially to nordmedia, the City of Osnabrück, the Sievert Stiftung für Wissenschaft und Kultur, the Stiftung Niedersachsen, the VGH-Stiftung, and the Landschaftsverband Osnabrücker Land e. V.

With kind regards from the EMAF 2022 team

04/19/2022 EMAF 35 - Free admission to the festival opening at Kunsthalle Osnabrück and media art exhibitions at Osnabrück locations

The European Media Art Festival (EMAF) starts tomorrow, Wednesday, April 20th, with a ceremonial opening at Kunsthalle Osnabrück and a series of media art exhibitions at other Osnabrück locations. The 35th edition of the festival will be presented by State Secretary Dr. Jörg Mielke and the festival management. The official media art exhibition of the festival, which will be on view until May 29, opens at 7:30 pm at Kunsthalle Osnabrück, Hasemauer 1, with the main theme The thing is about the complex relationship between humans and things. Admission is free. With the exception of a mask requirement at Kunsthalle, there are no further corona restrictions.

Also at 7:30 pm three further exhibitions of the festival section EMAF Campus open in the Neubau of the Kunsthalle, in the art space hase29 (Hasestraße 29/30) and at Haus der Jugend (Große Gildewart 6-9). During the festival period up to and including Sunday, April 24, further exhibitions, media art performances and numerous international film programs can be experienced at various Osnabrück venues. With more than 120 films from 30 countries, the EMAF presents its usual exciting, extensive and international film programme over four days.

Details on all offers can be found in the festival timetable at: www.emaf.de/en/timetable/

The 35th European Media Art Festival will conclude on Sunday, April 24, with the award ceremony at 5:30 pm in the Lagerhalle Osnabrück, Rolandsmauer 26, at which three groundbreaking media art works will be awarded jury prizes. All festival friends are cordially invited to visit the EMAF opening and the other events of the festival!

The European Media Art Festival (EMAF) expresses its gratitude to its sponsors, in particular to nordmedia, the City of Osnabrück, the Sievert Stiftung für Wissenschaft und Kultur, the Stiftung Niedersachsen, the VGH-Stiftung, and the Landschaftsverband Osnabrücker Land e.V.

Best regards from the EMAF 2022 team

04/13/2022 EMAF 35 - Festival Section Campus Showing Media-Critical Works from European Universities

Campus_EvaBruno
Video loop installation "Vorhang auf und zu", Eva Bruno, DE, 2022 , 4:3

Classes and subject groups at European academies and universities are presenting their current work in the festival section ‘EMAF Campus’ as part of the 35th European Media Art Festival (EMAF), held from 20 to 24 April at venues in Osnabrück and in certain cases online as well. Students from Vienna, Amsterdam, Halle an der Saale, Braunschweig, Bremen, and Osnabrück will be enlivening the festival cinemas and different sites in Osnabrück’s city centre both with their own film programmes and with a variety of exhibitions.

The programme AMATEURINNEN* (AMATEURS*) arose from collaboration between the Austrian Film Museum and the Department of Art and Digital Media at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna. On show are student-made films that explore the feminist political potential of works found in the inventory of the Austrian Film Museum. In the new study programme focused on Artistic Research in and through Cinema at the Netherlands Film Academy in Amsterdam, a focus is placed on research and debate, experimentation and processes: students present works dealing with personal memories, relations between the individual and the collective, and the dynamics of shifting perspectives. The Campus film programmes will be presented at the Filmtheater Hasetor.

The specialist Time-based Arts class at the Burg Giebichenstein in Halle uses various means and media to translate thoughts and content into narrative and experimental films and projects, sounds, built and media-situated spaces, bodies and movement, the material and the immaterial, developing a unique artistic language and approach in the process. The exhibition will be shown in the Neubau of the Kunsthalle Osnabrück.

At the heart of the Spatial Concepts class at Braunschweig University of Art is a political approach that is experimental at the very same time. The students enter a past archive with a sensory gaze, return to the political present with a critical view to the future, and create a speaking space of contemporary reflection. In addition to their exhibition at hase29, the students from Braunschweig are offering something special called #smalltalks on the EMAF website: during the festival, they will be talking about their work every day live online.

The class for Time-based Arts at the University of the Arts Bremen is exhibiting their work at the Haus der Jugend with an exploration of a world overwhelmed by visual and acoustic stimuli, while also exposing content factories and conceiving time as a fragile medium that gives rise to echo chambers. Moreover, the Institute of Art/Art Education at University of Osnabrück is participating with several works. In a robotics workshop featuring a telepresence robot called Double, for instance, new communication and exhibition concepts are devised. Also, in a project researching sound, a multichannel installation has been created for the former Wöhrl Parkhaus, interweaving various acoustic works into a collective space of resonance.

The detailed programme of the festival section ‘EMAF Campus’, with information about all exhibition sites and dates, can be found at the Timetable

We warmly invite you to our opening of the festival on 20 April at 7:30 pm at the Kunsthalle Osnabrück. We would also like to refer you to our Award Ceremony, which will take place on Sunday 24 April at 5:30 pm in the Lagerhalle Osnabrück.

The European Media Art Festival (EMAF) expresses its gratitude to its sponsors, in particular to nordmedia, the City of Osnabrück, the Sievert Foundation for science an culture, the Stiftung Niedersachsen, the VGH-Stiftung, and the Landschaftsverband Osnabrücker Land e. V.

04/04/2022 EMAF 35: The talks examine the meaning, use, and cost of things in relation to human and more-than-human worlds Kopie

Ausstellung_The Table That Eats Itself Karga
Living Sculpture "The table that eats itself", Valentina Karga, 2022

In the framework of this year’s edition of the festival from 20 to 24 April, the European Media Art Festival (EMAF) is presenting five discussion events, with theorists, artists and designers, in which the meaning, use, and costs of things is examined in relation to the complex relationship between human and more-than-human worlds. In the EMAF Talks, curated by Daphne Dragona, acknowledged speakers have an opportunity to discuss the connection between living and non-living worlds along with the audience. The EMAF Talks will take place in English. Three of the talks can be experienced virtually as an online event on the EMAF website, while the other two talks can be attended on site at locations in Osnabrück. The complete timetable for the festival with the EMAF Talks is now available online at emaf.de/en/timetable.

‘The EMAF Talks examine what it means to live with things, but also how various temporalities, ontologies, and views of the world assert their influence,’ as the EMAF curator has summarized. What is also central is the question of the role that art, design, or technology can play in the new creation of substantial relationships to the environment and to our planet. ‘Some of the topics addressed are: the challenges and possibilities of working and living with intelligent infrastructures, the acknowledgement of the agency of the living environment, and the circulation of matter’ says Daphne Dragona.

The EMAF Talk Personhood of a forest, moderated by the Berlin-based architect and curator Rosario Talevi, thus discusses how it is possible to understand ecosystems, forests, and rivers not as reified objects, but instead as persons with their own rights and possibilities. In it, the artists Ursula Biemann (Switzerland) and Caetano (Brazil), whose works are often related to forests, have a chance to speak, just like the international artist and activist collective ‘The Forest Curriculum’. In the EMAF Talk Smart things at work, the founder of the feminist organization ‘Superrr Lab’, Julia Kloiber, a specialist in public interest technology, talks with the researchers Alessandro Delfanti (University of Toronto) and Jenny Kennedy (Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology). It deals with the interrelations between people and machines, including in the field of artificial intelligence. The EMAF Talk titled Design for multiple worlds, with moderation by Valentina Karga, a professor at the University of Fine Arts Hamburg, is dedicated to the influence of object design on our thinking and existence, but also its possibilities to create new worlds. Also on the online podium are the designer and activist Nina Paim (Basel/Porto/Rio de Janeiro) and the researcher Dr Ahmed Ansari (New York).

The EMAF Talk Tranxxeno Becomings in Decolonial Speculative Futures: Amateur Lichenology on Friday, 22 April, at 4 p.m. at the Haus der Jugend deals with the symbiotic communities that lichens represent. The artist Adriana Knouf (the Netherlands /USA) discusses et al. what the symbiosis of mushrooms and algae, for instance, can teach us in an era of climate change.

In a live discussion on Saturday, 23 April, at 4 p.m. at the Kunsthalle Osnabrück, the media artist Valentina Karga presents her installation of a table that consumes itself—The life of a self-eating table. Along with the audience, she will address questions regarding needs, consumption, and digestion in connection with meeting the challenge of our time: What do we really need for a frugal life and what not?

The complete programme of the 35th European Media Art Festival (EMAF), including the talks, is now available online at emaf.de.

The European Media Art Festival (EMAF) expresses its gratitude to its sponsors, in particular to nordmedia, the City of Osnabrück, the Sievert Foundation for science an culture, the Stiftung Niedersachsen, the VGH-Stiftung, and the Landschaftsverband Osnabrücker Land e. V.

We warmly invite you to report on the festival and to be part of the 35th European Media Art Festival.

03/16/2022 EMAF 35: The Film Programme Presents 115 Films from Thirty Countries in Cinemas in Osnabrück

“Home When You Return” by Carl Elsaesser, US, 2021
Filmstill “Home When You Return” by Carl Elsaesser, US, 2021

In this year’s programme, which deals with our entanglement in the world of things under the motto, The thing is, the 35th European Media Art Festival (EMAF) is presenting a total of 115 films from thirty countries. After a forced two-year break, this year’s edition of the festival is once again taking place as an on-site event in cinemas and numerous exhibition venues in Osnabrück. ‘In the past two years, there has again and again been speculation regarding what role cinema will perhaps play when we are once again able to gather outside our own four walls in order to watch films together,’ says Katrin Mundt, a member of the EMAF management team and the person responsible for the film programme. ‘For festivals like EMAF, the cinema has always been important as a place for encounters and direct exchange between artists and spectators. We would thus like to celebrate our return to the festival cinemas with you with a diverse, sensual, and ambitious programme.’

The eight programmes of the international competition provide an overview of the diversity and current developments in the field of experimental and artistic short films. They take a critical look at the built and natural spaces in which we live and trace the stories embedded in them. In Untitled Fragments #6, the Serbian duo Doplgenger (Isidora Ilić & Boško Prostran) thus presents an historical moment again: the confrontation between Serbian and Croatian football fans at the Maksimir Stadium in 1990. A premonition of the collapse of Yugoslavia is hinted at in the choreographed-seeming advances and retreats of the security personnel recorded for television. Half Wet by Carlos Irijalba imagines the lush landscape of Oaxaca, Mexico, as a place in the future where life is barely still possible. Long after the disappearance of the last tourists, a man there unperturbedly performs an old ritual of his ancestors: the cleaning of swimming pools.

A series of films interleaves personal memory, narratives, and music to sketch a new, multifaceted picture of our present time. How to Improve the World by Nguyen Trinh Thi, a Vietnamese artist and participant of documenta fifteen, shows the coexistence of traditional knowledge and current changes in how indigenous communities live together, which is also reflected in speaking and listening, singing and dreaming. Some works play with film as a medium of illusion and spectacle and experiment with its material characteristics and narrative possibilities. Using the means of experimental film, melodrama, and home movies, in Home When You Return, Carl Elsaesser reconstructs the anatomy of an unoccupied house. The memory of his deceased grandmother seems to be reflected in the psychologically charged spaces. At the same time, the filmic space is also intimated as a space of shared sensory experiences.

The six feature films in the programme of the 35th EMAF each have their own content-related and formal focuses, but share an interest in the complex relationship between the body and politics. In By the Throat, Amir Borenstein & Effi Weiss examine the human voice as well as possibilities to express one’s own identity in and through language, to elude ascriptions from the outside, or to gain political attention. In Rampart by Marko Grba Singh, a recurring dream becomes the occasion for tracing a history whose political upheavals can still be felt in the present in VHS videos of his family. Last but not least, Shall I Compare You to a Summer’s Day by Mohammad Shawky Hassan is an exuberant, polyphonic, queer new version of 1001 Nights, which, based on the filmmaker’s love journal, blurs the boundaries between personal and collective experience, narratives, and memory.

Artists are ever more frequently choosing documentary means to address the political and social reality of the present or the pictures and narratives of the past. This is also reflected in the film selection for EMAF. In the series Implication. On Documentary Ethics, we would like to address some of the ethical questions that arise when working with documentary material. For this, four artists from the international competition were invited to choose films that shed light on the topic from various perspectives and to discuss them with the audience. It is thus about working with and appropriating found material, depicting closeness and intimacy, dealing with politically motivated censorship, and questions relating to releasing and/or distributing sensitive, lost, or intentionally expropriated material. Alejandro Alvarado & Concha Barquero, Jamie Crewe, and Alaa Mansour present and discuss films by Fernando Ruiz Vergara, Yulene Olaizola, and Jayce Salloum & Elia Suleiman with the audience.

Further highlights of the film programme include the screening series on the festival topic It’s rather a verb, which was put together by Sirah Foighel Brutmann & Eitan Efrat, and the films of the two Artists in Focus, Beatriz Santiago Muñoz and Emily Wardill. Artist talks and live discussions round off the programme.

The European Media Art Festival (EMAF) expresses its gratitude to its sponsors, in particular to nordmedia, the City of Osnabrück, the Sievert Foundation for science an culture, the Stiftung Niedersachsen, the VGH-Stiftung, and the Landschaftsverband Osnabrücker Land e. V. All the presentations and events will be published on our homepage, on 18 March. Registrations for accreditation are already now possible on the website.

03/12/2022 +++ Exhibition ‘The thing is’— A Brief Insight +++

Forest Law_Biemann&Tavares
Video installation “Forest Law” by Ursula Biemann & Paulo Tavares

In this year’s EMAF exhibition, the curator Inga Seidler has dedicated herself to the essence of ‘things’. A central component is thus, among other things, dealing with this essence and how it influences the environment.

The artist Ursula Biemann and the Brazilian architect and spatial planner Paulo Tavares examine the possibilities of nature as a legal entity. Their video installation Forest Law takes a look at this negotiation based on spatial politics and the indigenous resistance in the Amazon region.

The artist Valentina Karga pursues a different approach. With her living sculpture, she takes a look at the decomposition of things, which is important for an intact life cycle. The table that eats itself is an object with a planned obsolescence; it enriches the life cycle as it satisfies our need to acquire newly designed things.

Further information about the programme is coming soon.

02/25/2022 EMAF 2022: The exhibition 'The thing is' can be seen at the Kunsthalle Osnabrück from 20 April to 29 May

Installation “Synthetic Seduction” Stine Deja & Marie Munk
Installation “Synthetic Seduction” by Stine Deja & Marie Munk

The media art exhibition in this year’s European Media Art Festival (EMAF), which is taking place at the Kunsthalle Osnabrück from 20 April to 29 May, occupies itself with the essence of ‘things’, the relationship between objects and people and their bodies, and questions of objectification.

The exhibition titled The thing is presents installations, sculptures, and video works by international media artists. ‘The artworks not only examine what constitutes a thing, but also pose questions regarding the point at which we can draw the line between lifeless things and living beings based on quasi-objects and hybrids’, says the curator Inga Seidler, who is responsible for the EMAF exhibition this year. ‘At the same time, things embody, for instance, interests or needs and allow statements about how we live with others and in our surroundings—as becomes clear when the composition, production conditions, meanings, functions, and design of things are examined.’

The video installation Jerricans to can Jerry by the Berlin-based artist Leon Kahane focuses on the container known as a ‘jerrycan’, which the Brose company developed for the German Wehrmacht starting in 1936, and produced as its first mass product in a series. The work spans a large spectrum, from the production conditions under the exploitation of Soviet forced labourers to the heritage of the company’s involvement in the National Socialist regime, which the Brose family continues to deny today. In Kahane’s work, such a container is brought to life as the figure ‘Colonel Canister’, who from its perspective as a contemporary witness reports on the developments and violent events that can be retold based on this object’s history and shifts in meaning.

In their work, the Danish artist duo Stine Deja and Marie Munk examine the emotional relationship between people and nonhuman objects and hybrids like AIs, robots, or avatars. With Synthetic Seduction, they present a setting that seems like a kind of futuristic laboratory. How can the pulsing, flesh-like sculptures be categorized: as things or as living beings? And how do robots that approach each other romantically complicate our view of these machines?

The transdisciplinary artist RA Walden contemplates the fragility of the body and the relationship to the things in its surroundings from a queer, disabled perspective. Crip Ecologies consists of dozens of glass vessels and petri dishes. Found in the vessels are various natural materials such as soil, stones, seeds, or fluids in different colours. Some of the labels on the vessels bear the names of people or streets. RA Walden thus poses questions like: What value do objects have when they are more difficult to access? And in what relationship does the fragility of the human body thus stand to the fragility of our ecosystem?

Further information about these and other works in this year’s EMAF exhibition The thing is can be found on our website.

We warmly invite you to be part of the EMAF in 2022!

02/23/2022 Artist in Focus - Emily Wardill

Filmstill „Night for a Day"
Filmstill „Night for a Day“, Emily Wardill, 2020
Courtesy die Künstlerin und Carlier Gebauer, Berlin und Altman Siegal, San Francisco

Emily Wardill, whose film Night for Day was awarded the EMAF Media Art Prize last year, is returning with an overview of her moving image works of the past fifteen years. The starting point for Wardill’s films are often historical events or individuals, around which she develops sensual, psychologically charged narratives, in which the instability of language and consciousness, the spectres of technology, and the materiality of memory are recurring themes. Juxtaposing scholarly studies and absurdist puns, political analysis and playful allusions, Wardill creates films that speak a language as suggestive as it is self-willed.

Inspired by medieval church windows and their function as communication media in a largely illiterate society, Sick Serena and Dregs and Wreck and Wreck (2007) stages a story about desire, possession, and existence, spectacularly fragmenting it in an improvised-seeming set. Wardill’s first feature-length film, Game Keepers without Game (2009), transposes a piece by Pedro Calderón de la Barca to the London of the present. Against a brilliant white background, the story of a girl who is cast out of her parents’ home unfolds as a sequence of alienated encounters, isolated objects, and transgressive gestures. In I Gave My Love a Cherry that Had no Stone (2016), the foyer of the Museu Calouste Gulbenkian in Lisbon serves as a stage for a choreography in which body, space, and camera are immediately related to each other. In the flowing shifts between pursuing, concealing themselves from, and transforming into one another, the human body is haunted by its doubles—and the museum by the spectres of its future.

Emily Wardill (born 1977) lives and works in Lisbon, Portugal and Malmö, Sweden. She has had solo exhibitions at Secession, Vienna; Bergen Kunsthall; Salzburger Kunstverein; National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen; The Badischer Kunstverein, Karlsruhe; De Appel, Amsterdam; MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge. Group exhibitions include the 19th Biennale of Sydney; Tate Britain, London; Tate Modern, London; MUMOK, Vienna; The Venice Biennale; MOCA, Miami; Kunsthalle Basel; Kunstverein Stuttgart; ICA, London, among others. She currently undertakes a practice led PhD at Malmö Art Academy.

02/21/2022 Artist in Focus - Beatriz Santiago Muñoz

Otros usos
Filmstill „Otros usos“, Beatriz Santiago Muñoz, 2014

EMAF is honouring the work of selected artists whose moving image works provide important impulses in contemporary media art with a new programme strand. ‘Artist in Focus’ is also intended to facilitate encounters with authors and their works that have received international attention in the visual arts, but have hitherto had less presence in the festival world.

Beatriz Santiago Muñoz will present an extensive selection of her moving image works, including her debut feature film Oriana (2022), for the first time in Germany. Her works bring together documentary, fictional, and performative elements so as to shed light on the natural and political landscapes of the Caribbean, the history and present of anticolonial movements, and the aesthetically and socially subversive power of feminist storytelling.

Otros usos (Other Uses, 2014) was filmed on the island of Vieques, which once served as a base for the U.S. armed forces in Puerto Rico. The film simultaneously reveals and conceals, documents and fragments this landscape—thanks to an optical device that the artist developed especially for the film. La cueva negra (The Black Cave, 2012) revolves around the material and spiritual history of the ‘Paso del Indio’, where archaeologically significant traces of early indigenous settlements were found, but then literally entombed under a motorway project. Two young men give voice and expression to the location. Finally, Oriana (2022), inspired by Monique Wittig’s experimental novel Les Guerillères (1969), is an audio-visual improvisation on sensuality and solidarity, on bodies in flux and bodies in resistance, and on the possibilities of a different language. In its open structure, the film echoes the processes of collective study and experimentation which are central to Santiago Muñoz’s working method.

Beatriz Santiago Muñoz (born 1972) lives and works in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Recent solo exhibitions include: Oriana in PIVO, São Paulo, the 34th São Paulo Biennial, the Momenta Biennale in Montréal, and Gosila in Der Tank, Basel. Her work is part of public and private collections such as the Museum of Modern Art, Kadist and Guggenheim, among others. She has received a Creative Capital grant, a USA Fellowship, a Herb Alpert Award in the Arts, and the 2021 Artes Mundi Prize, shared among all seven nominees.

02/18/2022 Accreditation

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Registration for accreditation is now possible on our website at registration.emaf.de/en/. The accreditation allows free access to the filmprogrammes, the exhibition and the congress of the EMAF. The deadline for accreditation is 13 April. Further information can be found at service.

01/27/2022 The thing is - Talks 2022

Daphne Dragona
Daphne Dragona

Things have always supported or testified to interests, needs and actions. Having their own life cycles, they gain or lose significance depending on the particular cultural contexts. The talks curated by Daphne Dragona explore what it means to live with and take care of things from the perspective of different temporalities, ontologies, and worldviews. They examine the role of art and design in creating, appropriating or calling off things in order to maintain or restore substantial relationships to the environment and the planet.

Daphne Dragona is a curator and writer based in Berlin. Her topics of interest include the promises of the commons, the instrumentalisation of play, the problematics of care technologies, and the impact of technological infrastructures on the planet. Her exhibitions and events have been hosted at Onassis Stegi, Laboral, Aksioma, NeMe, EMST, Akademie Schloss Solitude, Alta Tecnologia Andina, and Le Lieu Unique. Dragona worked as a curator for the transmediale festival from 2015 to 2019. She holds a PhD from the Faculty of Communication & Media Studies of the University of Athens.

01/24/2022 The thing is - Film Programme "It´s rather a verb"

Sirah Foighel Brutmann & Eitan Efrat
Sirah Foighel Brutmann & Eitan Efrat
Photo: Yaqine Hamzaoui

In seven film screenings and a performance, It’s rather a verb, curated by Sirah Foighel Brutmann and Eitan Efrat, celebrates the relational aspects of the moving image. The programme calls attention to the movements within positions, and to the verbs that support nouns. It highlights works that utilise and perform non-linear processes, as the interaction with things – such as stones, historical objects, mothers and cars – becomes audio-visual.

Sirah Foighel Brutmann & Eitan Efrat have been working collaboratively for several years and creating works in the audiovisual field. They live and work in Brussels. Sirah and Eitan’s practice focuses on the performative aspects of the moving image. In their work, they aim to mark the spatial and durational potentialities of reading images - whether moving or still -; the relations between spectatorship and history; and the temporality of narratives and memory and the material surfaces of image production.

01/19/2022 The thing is - exhibition 2022

Inga Seidler
Inga Seidler

The exhibition curated by Inga Seidler examines objects of our present time, of everyday life and speculative design. In installations, sculptures, and video works, it asks what constitutes a ‘thing’, and takes a look at quasi-objects and hybrids. Starting from the fact that we are enmeshed with the world of things, the artistic works investigate the nature, production conditions, meanings, functions and design of objects. It thus becomes visible that things facilitate and embody statements about our way of living with others and our environment.

Inga Seidler lives and works as a curator and cultural producer in Berlin. She has developed, produced, and curated exhibitions, performances, discourse programmes, and digital projects. After several years as a curator of the transmediale festival, she directed the web residency programme at Akademie Schloss Solitude. As part of the curatorial collective connected with the independent project space ACUD MACHT NEU, she initiated the programme COLLECTIVE PRACTICES, which addressed questions regarding collective knowledge production, cultural creation, and organisation. She has curated the EMAF exhibition at the Kunsthalle Osnabrück since 2020.

01/12/2022 The EMAF Theme for 2022: The thing is

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A new year, and a new attempt at moving things and keeping them in motion: following two online editions, EMAF is looking at a new year of the festival with cautious optimism. After retreating into the private sphere, a programme for the public sphere is once again planned: a programme that can be experienced live and also enjoyed in parts digitally. The festival theme will again be central to the programme.

Artistic works and theoretical contributions dealing with our enmeshment in the world of things are brought together under this year’s motto: The thing is. The aim is to explore how our shared reality arises from the interplay, the friction and resistances between bodies and things. Since as long as personal relationships are increasingly experienced as disembodied and abstract - not only due to the pandemic - and as long as the ever more complex relationships between people and devices continue shifting the boundaries between the animate and the inanimate and the material foundations for our existence on this planet are at stake, we are confronted with the question of how we can live with things better and perhaps also learn from them.

12/16/2021 EMAF Events in December - Short Film Day & Lichte Momente (Light Moments)

“Garden City Beautiful”, Ben Balcom
Ben Balcom - “Garden City Beautiful”
Filmstill

We are happy to announce two events in December! For the Short Film Day on December 21, 2021, the EMAF will present short films from the programme of the past two years in the Lagerhalle Osnabrück at 7:30 pm. Furthermore, the project Lichte Momente (Light Moments) will present performative video art in Osnabrück’s historic centre, freely accessible until December 31, 2021.

On the shortest day of the year, short film will be celebrated in all its diversity, creativity and joy of experimentation in one hundred cities across Germany. With Revisited: Short Films from the EMAF Programmes 2020 and 2021, the EMAF, together with the Lagerhalle Osnabrück, is once again participating in the nationwide Short Film Day this year.

The programme provides a unique opportunity to experience films on a big screen that could only be watched online as part of the last two EMAF editions. They take us from the Brazilian Amazon region to Hong Kong and from Japan to the American Midwest. They tell of people whose stories were almost forgotten and come to us anew. They portray places that are reminiscent of our present and yet could just as well have been dreamt. They also point to a future in which the past lives on. On view are works by Ana Vaz, Simon Liu, Zachary Epcar, Shinya Isobe and Ben Balcom. More about the programme at: www.emaf.de/en/projects/

Tickets are available online through the website of the Lagerhalle Osnabrück

For the fourteenth time, the project Lichte Momente (Light Moments) will take place in the Heger Tor district, providing its audience with barrier-free and cost-free access to contemporary video art. The curators Monika Witte and Joran Yonis have invited three artists with a total of five works. What the video works of the internationally exhibiting artists Julia Charlotte Richter, Yvon Chabrowski and Zoyeon, art student at the HBK Braunschweig, have in common is that they deal with the experience of power structures and the feeling of powerlessness. Much of this is acquired and we take it for granted. Some of it we rebel against or challenge.

In addition, students of the Institute of Art History at the University of Osnabrück, under Prof. Dr. Helen Koriath, have developed new formats for communicating media art in public spaces in collaboration with the curators and will implement them during the public tours.

12/02/2021 35th EMAF Presents the International Film Programming Team

Film-Auswahlkommission EMAF No 35
Mason Leaver-Yap (Photo: R. Hall), Tinne Zenner, Viktor Neumann, Philip Widmann

The viewing of submissions for the 35th European Media Art Festival (EMAF) is in full swing! We are very pleased today to be able to present the selection committee that will put together the competition and feature film programmes for the festival and present them to the public in April 2022. This international team of artists, curators, and filmmakers consists of Katrin Mundt, who is responsible for the film section of EMAF, Mason Leaver-Yap from Glasgow, Tinne Zenner from Copenhagen, and Viktor Neumann and Philip Widmann, both from Berlin.

Films, installations, performance projects, and works from the field of expanded media can still be submitted until 7 January 2022 via the online portal https://registration.emaf.de/en/.

We look forward to receiving your works!

From 20 to 24 April 2022, EMAF will once again become an international and trendsetting platform—on site and online—for media art and a meeting place for artists, researchers, and students. It will also be possible to see the exhibition of the festival at the Kunsthalle Osnabrück until 29 May 2022.

Mason Leaver-Yap works with artists to produce texts, exhibitions, and events. They have recently been working with Ingrid Pollard, Renée Green and Free Agent Media, Renèe Helèna Browne, Onyeka Igwe, Lin+Lam, Uri Aran, Evan Ifekoya, Oreet Ashery, Laura Guy, Sunil Gupta and the Estate of Tessa Boffin, Sharon Hayes and Mathew Parkin, Lucy McKenzie, Iman Issa, Wendy Jacob, Alejandro Cesarco, Jimmy Robert, Rachel O’Reilly, Andrea Büttner, Kat Anderson, Jamie Crewe, and Beatrice Gibson. They are based in Glasgow.

Tinne Zenner is a visual artist, filmmaker and programmer based in Copenhagen. Her films have been shown at a number of international film festivals including NYFF, CPH:DOX, Courtisane, Oberhausen, EMAF, Rencontres Internationales Paris/Berlin, Image Forum Tokyo and EXiS, and her installation work exhibited at museums and galleries internationally. Zenner is a co-founder and member of Sharna Pax (formed in 2013), a film collective based in London/Copenhagen working between the fields of anthropology, documentary and visual arts. She holds an MFA from The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts and is currently engaged in a multifaceted research-collaboration with visual artist Eva la Cour.

Viktor Neumann has curated exhibitions and projects for institutions such as the Whitney Museum, New York, Bildmuseet Umeå, Kunstmuseum Bonn and NCCA Yekaterinburg. He was co-curator of Bergen Assembly 2019 and of the transnational Parliament of Bodies, Curatorial Assistant for documenta 14 and Assistant Curator of the 3rd Moscow Biennale for Young Art. Currently, he is co-curating exhibitions for the Württembergischer Kunstverein Stuttgart and Total Museum, Seoul, and is co-curator of the project reboot: at Kölnischer Kunstverein and Kunstverein für die Rheinlande und Westfalen, Düsseldorf. He was curatorial fellow of the Gebert Stiftung für Kultur and Guest Professor at HfG Karlsruhe.

Philip Widmann makes films, texts, and film programmes. His film and video work has been shown in film festivals and art spaces, among them the Berlinale, IFF Rotterdam, Views from the Avantgarde, Yamagata International Documentary FF, FID Marseille, CPH:DOX, Visions du Réel, Wexner Center for the Arts, KW Berlin, Videonale / Kunstmuseum Bonn. He has selected film programmes for Arkipel Jakarta, Image Forum Tokyo, Kassel Dokfest, and others.

Press

Press contact:
 
Katharina Lohmeyer
+49 (0)541 / 2 16 58
presse@emaf.de

09/20/2022 EMAF 36 - Call for Entries

Media artists from all over the world can now submit their work to be selected for the European Media Art Festival 2023. The online platform at registration.emaf.de is now open. Works from the areas of film, installation, performance and expanded media can be submitted. The deadline for submissions is 8 January 2023. A selection committee and a team of curators will compile programme contributions for the upcoming festival from the submitted works.

The submission of works is free of charge. Artists’ fees will be paid for all contributions selected for the festival.

The 36th European Media Art Festival will take place from 19 to 23 April 2023. The exhibition at Kunsthalle Osnabrück will continue until 29 May 2023.

About the Festival: The EMAF is internationally regarded as one of the most influential forums for contemporary media art. Every year it offers its visitors an overview of current artistic productions through film programmes, exhibitions, performances and hybrid formats. Guest-curated projects and retrospectives provide in-depth insights into historical positions and contexts. Every year, around 14,000 international artists, curators, researchers, students and people interested in film and art meet at the EMAF.

05/30/2022 EMAF 35 - Successful End to 2022 Festival and Dates Announced for 2023

‘Op-Film: An Archaeology of Optics` by Louis Henderson & Filipa César
EMAF Exhibition ‘The thing is`, Installation: ‘Op-Film: An Archaeology of Optics` by Louis Henderson & Filipa César
Photo: Angela von Brill

Some 13.000 visitors attended our film programmes, performances, and live talks, as well as the media art exhibition The thing is. With the exhibition at Kunsthalle Osnabrück closing on 29 May, the 35th European Media Art Festival draws to a successful conclusion. ‘This year saw a wonderful return to the classic on-site festival that we have been missing for two years, and we are highly relieved that everything worked out so well,’ says the managing director Alfred Rotert. ‘The number of accreditations was clearly above the level of the time before Corona, but there was still a certain reluctance on the part of the audience to rush into the festival as in the past. So we count the 35th EMAF as a great success and extend our sincere thanks to all of our sponsors.’

Feedback from international festival guests, participating students, and visitors has been uniformly positive, says Katrin Mundt, the festival direction’s Head of Film Programmes. ‘The 35th EMAF was marked by a very special atmosphere of lively interaction about media art—which is something we had hoped for, and also a sign of the festival’s quality.’ Mundt notes that many visitors took advantage of the beautiful weather, and of Osnabrück’s cosmopolitanism, to get together after the screenings and events and discuss what they had seen and experienced. ‘All this encourages us to start planning the next festival as an on-site event with even more energy.’

SAVE THE DATE!

The 36th EMAF will take place from 19–23 April 2023.

EMAF extends warm thanks to its funders, especially to nordmedia, the City of Osnabrück, the Sievert Stiftung für Wissenschaft und Kultur, the Stiftung Niedersachsen, the VGH-Stiftung, and the Landschaftsverband Osnabrücker Land e. V.

We cordially invite you to report on the European Media Art Festival and to join us again next year.

04/25/2022 EMAF 35 – Juries honour three trailblazing experimental films

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Filmstill “False Wife”, Jamie Crewe, UK 2022, 15'

The prizewinners of the 35th European Media Art Festival (EMAF) have been announced: the EMAF Award for groundbreaking work in media art goes to the British artist Jamie Crewe (Glasgow) for her experimental film False Wife, which, in the style of a poppers training video, probes and discusses the boundaries between individuals, gender, and the mind. The Dialogue Award for the promotion of intercultural exchange goes to the Spanish-born artist Carlos Irijalba (Amsterdam) for his film Half Wet, which reflects on present-day consumer behaviour from the perspective of a future state of climate emergency. Home When You Return by the US experimental filmmakers Carl Elsaesser (New York) is honoured by the Media Art Award of the German Film Critics Association (VdFk). This contribution explores female role models, grieving, and loss through the projection of a historical melodrama on the walls of a filmmaker’s grandmother’s house. Moreover, the VdFk Jury has awarded an Honourable Mention to the Italian artist Chiara Caterina for L’incanto. The film undertakes a journey into the collective subconscious by linking the fates of five women.

The EMAF Award and the Dialogue Award were decided by a jury of media artists and curators, this year composed of Dušica Dražić (Serbia), Onyeka Igwe (Great Britain), and Erik Martinson (Canada). The film critics Esther Buss, Peter Kremski, and Jenni Zylka formed the jury for the EMAF Media Art Award of the VdFk.

The EMAF Award bestowed on Jamie Crewe’s False Wife goes to a ‘work that inventively combines layers of manipulated images, sounds, and text, bringing them to bear on the audience with immediacy at breakneck speed’, as the jury noted in their statement. ‘False Wife oscillates our boundaries between the individual and the collective, the body and the mind, the fixity of gender and the social contract of cinema.’ The Dialogue Award for Half Wet by Carlos Irijalba premieres the ‘subtle way in which the work points to a disjuncture between the short-sightedness of individualized environmentalism and the postcolonial realities of those already living in a class-based state of climate emergency’, as the jury explains its decision. The film, they note, immerses viewers in a world of everyday futility and the related humour.

With Home When You Return by Carl Elsaesser, the jury of the EMAF Media Art Award of the German Film Critics Association has singled out a ‘touching, intersubjective narrative about loss, grief, female role models, and the shadowy world of the domestic sphere’, as noted in the jury statement. ‘Toying with double exposures, blurring, intertitles and rolling titles, the soundtrack from the historical film, and also sounds from the here and now, Carl Elsaesser permits past and present, filmic reality and personal history, to interfuse in a masterly way—and on 16mm film.’ The film L’incanto von Chiara Caterina, with an honourable mention, connects ‘images and sounds that, though originally without any relation to each other, already possess a suggestive power of expression as individual elements—giving rise to a surreal synthesis of the arts’, as announced by the VdFk Jury.

The jury statements are available in full length at: www.emaf.de/en/sections/ The exhibition of the 35th EMAF will remain on show at the Kunsthalle Osnabrück until 29 May.

The European Media Art Festival (EMAF) extends warm thanks to its funders, especially to nordmedia, the City of Osnabrück, the Sievert Stiftung für Wissenschaft und Kultur, the Stiftung Niedersachsen, the VGH-Stiftung, and the Landschaftsverband Osnabrücker Land e. V.

04/21/2022 EMAF 35 – Festival Opened with over 600 Visitors at the Kunsthalle Osnabrück

The thing is opened!” With these words from State Secretary Dr Jörg Mielke, Head of the Lower Saxony State Chancellery , the 35th European Media Art Festival (EMAF) was successfully opened at the Kunsthalle Osnabrück yesterday. Under the festival theme The thing is, the world of things and its complex relationship to humans are the focus of numerous media art installations at various Osnabrück venues and in over 120 films from more than 30 countries, on show through this Sunday in the Lagerhalle Osnabrück and at Filmtheater Hasetor. The EMAF exhibition at the Kunsthalle Osnabrück is open to visitors until 29 May.

Emphasizing the special significance of this year’s on-site festival, alongside the festival directors Katrin Mundt and Alfred Rotert, were Dr Tabea Golgath, Art and Museums Advisor of the Stiftung Niedersachsen, and Volker Bajus, Representative of the Mayor of the City of Osnabrück, considering that EMAF had to be held online for two years in a row due to the pandemic. The over 600 visitors in attendance were greeted at the opening by Anna Jehle and Juliane Schickedanz, Directors of the Kunsthalle Osnabrück. Also opened yesterday were three other exhibitions of the festival section EMAF Campus in the Kunsthalle’s new building, in the art space hase29, and in the Haus der Jugend. During the festival, which runs through 24 April, further exhibitions, media art performances, EMAF talks with international activists and experts, and numerous film programmes can be experienced. Details on the full range of activities are available in the festival timetable at: Timetable.

35th European Media Art Festival will come to a close on Sunday, 24 April, with the Awards Ceremony at 5:30 p.m. in the Lagerhalle Osnabrück. Three groundbreaking works of media art will be honoured with jury prizes.

The European Media Art Festival (EMAF) extends warm thanks to its funders, especially to nordmedia, the City of Osnabrück, the Sievert Stiftung für Wissenschaft und Kultur, the Stiftung Niedersachsen, the VGH-Stiftung, and the Landschaftsverband Osnabrücker Land e. V.

04/13/2022 EMAF 35 - Festival Section Campus Showing Media-Critical Works from European Universities

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Video loop installation "Vorhang auf und zu", Eva Bruno, DE, 2022 , 4:3

Classes and subject groups at European academies and universities are presenting their current work in the festival section ‘EMAF Campus’ as part of the 35th European Media Art Festival (EMAF), held from 20 to 24 April at venues in Osnabrück and in certain cases online as well. Students from Vienna, Amsterdam, Halle an der Saale, Braunschweig, Bremen, and Osnabrück will be enlivening the festival cinemas and different sites in Osnabrück’s city centre both with their own film programmes and with a variety of exhibitions.

The programme AMATEURINNEN* (AMATEURS*) arose from collaboration between the Austrian Film Museum and the Department of Art and Digital Media at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna. On show are student-made films that explore the feminist political potential of works found in the inventory of the Austrian Film Museum. In the new study programme focused on Artistic Research in and through Cinema at the Netherlands Film Academy in Amsterdam, a focus is placed on research and debate, experimentation and processes: students present works dealing with personal memories, relations between the individual and the collective, and the dynamics of shifting perspectives. The Campus film programmes will be presented at the Filmtheater Hasetor.

The specialist Time-based Arts class at the Burg Giebichenstein in Halle uses various means and media to translate thoughts and content into narrative and experimental films and projects, sounds, built and media-situated spaces, bodies and movement, the material and the immaterial, developing a unique artistic language and approach in the process. The exhibition will be shown in the Neubau of the Kunsthalle Osnabrück.

At the heart of the Spatial Concepts class at Braunschweig University of Art is a political approach that is experimental at the very same time. The students enter a past archive with a sensory gaze, return to the political present with a critical view to the future, and create a speaking space of contemporary reflection. In addition to their exhibition at hase29, the students from Braunschweig are offering something special called #smalltalks on the EMAF website: during the festival, they will be talking about their work every day live online.

The class for Time-based Arts at the University of the Arts Bremen is exhibiting their work at the Haus der Jugend with an exploration of a world overwhelmed by visual and acoustic stimuli, while also exposing content factories and conceiving time as a fragile medium that gives rise to echo chambers. Moreover, the Institute of Art/Art Education at University of Osnabrück is participating with several works. In a robotics workshop featuring a telepresence robot called Double, for instance, new communication and exhibition concepts are devised. Also, in a project researching sound, a multichannel installation has been created for the former Wöhrl Parkhaus, interweaving various acoustic works into a collective space of resonance.

The detailed programme of the festival section ‘EMAF Campus’, with information about all exhibition sites and dates, can be found at the Timetable

We warmly invite you to our opening on 20 April at 7:30 pm at the Kunsthalle Osnabrück. We would also like to refer you to our Award Ceremony, which will take place on Sunday 24 April at 5:30 pm in the Lagerhalle Osnabrück.

The European Media Art Festival (EMAF) expresses its gratitude to its sponsors, in particular to nordmedia, the City of Osnabrück, the Sievert Foundation for science an culture, the Stiftung Niedersachsen, the VGH-Stiftung, and the Landschaftsverband Osnabrücker Land e. V.

04/04/2022 EMAF 35: The talks examine the meaning, use, and cost of things in relation to human and more-than-human worlds

Ausstellung_The Table That Eats Itself Karga
Living Sculpture "The table that eats itself", Valentina Karga, 2022

In the framework of this year’s edition of the festival from 20 to 24 April, the European Media Art Festival (EMAF) is presenting five discussion events, with theorists, artists and designers, in which the meaning, use, and costs of things is examined in relation to the complex relationship between human and more-than-human worlds. In the EMAF Talks, curated by Daphne Dragona, acknowledged speakers have an opportunity to discuss the connection between living and non-living worlds along with the audience. The EMAF Talks will take place in English. Three of the talks can be experienced virtually as an online event on the EMAF website, while the other two talks can be attended on site at locations in Osnabrück. The complete timetable for the festival with the EMAF Talks is now available online at emaf.de/en/timetable.

‘The EMAF Talks examine what it means to live with things, but also how various temporalities, ontologies, and views of the world assert their influence,’ as the EMAF curator has summarized. What is also central is the question of the role that art, design, or technology can play in the new creation of substantial relationships to the environment and to our planet. ‘Some of the topics addressed are: the challenges and possibilities of working and living with intelligent infrastructures, the acknowledgement of the agency of the living environment, and the circulation of matter’ says Daphne Dragona.

The EMAF Talk Personhood of a forest, moderated by the Berlin-based architect and curator Rosario Talevi, thus discusses how it is possible to understand ecosystems, forests, and rivers not as reified objects, but instead as persons with their own rights and possibilities. In it, the artists Ursula Biemann (Switzerland) and Caetano (Brazil), whose works are often related to forests, have a chance to speak, just like the international artist and activist collective ‘The Forest Curriculum’. In the EMAF Talk Smart things at work, the founder of the feminist organization ‘Superrr Lab’, Julia Kloiber, a specialist in public interest technology, talks with the researchers Alessandro Delfanti (University of Toronto) and Jenny Kennedy (Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology). It deals with the interrelations between people and machines, including in the field of artificial intelligence. The EMAF Talk titled Design for multiple worlds, with moderation by Valentina Karga, a professor at the University of Fine Arts Hamburg, is dedicated to the influence of object design on our thinking and existence, but also its possibilities to create new worlds. Also on the online podium are the designer and activist Nina Paim (Basel/Porto/Rio de Janeiro) and the researcher Dr Ahmed Ansari (New York).

The EMAF Talk Tranxxeno Becomings in Decolonial Speculative Futures: Amateur Lichenology on Friday, 22 April, at 4 p.m. at the Haus der Jugend deals with the symbiotic communities that lichens represent. The artist Adriana Knouf (the Netherlands /USA) discusses et al. what the symbiosis of mushrooms and algae, for instance, can teach us in an era of climate change.

In a live discussion on Saturday, 23 April, at 4 p.m. at the Kunsthalle Osnabrück, the media artist Valentina Karga presents her installation of a table that consumes itself—The life of a self-eating table. Along with the audience, she will address questions regarding needs, consumption, and digestion in connection with meeting the challenge of our time: What do we really need for a frugal life and what not?

The complete programme of the 35th European Media Art Festival (EMAF), including the talks, is now available online at emaf.de.

The European Media Art Festival (EMAF) expresses its gratitude to its sponsors, in particular to nordmedia, the City of Osnabrück, the Sievert Foundation for science an culture, the Stiftung Niedersachsen, the VGH-Stiftung, and the Landschaftsverband Osnabrücker Land e. V.

We warmly invite you to report on the festival and to be part of the 35th European Media Art Festival.

03/15/2022 EMAF 35 - The Film Programme Presents 115 Films from Thirty Countries in Cinemas in Osnabrück

“Home When You Return” by Carl Elsaesser, US, 2021
Filmstill “Home When You Return” by Carl Elsaesser, US, 2021

In this year’s programme, which deals with our entanglement in the world of things under the motto, The thing is, the 35th European Media Art Festival (EMAF) is presenting a total of 115 films from thirty countries. After a forced two-year break, this year’s edition of the festival is once again taking place as an on-site event in cinemas and numerous exhibition venues in Osnabrück. ‘In the past two years, there has again and again been speculation regarding what role cinema will perhaps play when we are once again able to gather outside our own four walls in order to watch films together,’ says Katrin Mundt, a member of the EMAF management team and the person responsible for the film programme. ‘For festivals like EMAF, the cinema has always been important as a place for encounters and direct exchange between artists and spectators. We would thus like to celebrate our return to the festival cinemas with you with a diverse, sensual, and ambitious programme.’

The eight programmes of the international competition provide an overview of the diversity and current developments in the field of experimental and artistic short films. They take a critical look at the built and natural spaces in which we live and trace the stories embedded in them. In Untitled Fragments #6, the Serbian duo Doplgenger (Isidora Ilić & Boško Prostran) thus presents an historical moment again: the confrontation between Serbian and Croatian football fans at the Maksimir Stadium in 1990. A premonition of the collapse of Yugoslavia is hinted at in the choreographed-seeming advances and retreats of the security personnel recorded for television. Half Wet by Carlos Irijalba imagines the lush landscape of Oaxaca, Mexico, as a place in the future where life is barely still possible. Long after the disappearance of the last tourists, a man there unperturbedly performs an old ritual of his ancestors: the cleaning of swimming pools.

A series of films interleaves personal memory, narratives, and music to sketch a new, multifaceted picture of our present time. How to Improve the World by Nguyen Trinh Thi, a Vietnamese artist and participant of documenta fifteen, shows the coexistence of traditional knowledge and current changes in how indigenous communities live together, which is also reflected in speaking and listening, singing and dreaming. Some works play with film as a medium of illusion and spectacle and experiment with its material characteristics and narrative possibilities. Using the means of experimental film, melodrama, and home movies, in Home When You Return, Carl Elsaesser reconstructs the anatomy of an unoccupied house. The memory of his deceased grandmother seems to be reflected in the psychologically charged spaces. At the same time, the filmic space is also intimated as a space of shared sensory experiences.

The six feature films in the programme of the 35th EMAF each have their own content-related and formal focuses, but share an interest in the complex relationship between the body and politics. In By the Throat, Amir Borenstein & Effi Weiss examine the human voice as well as possibilities to express one’s own identity in and through language, to elude ascriptions from the outside, or to gain political attention. In Rampart by Marko Grba Singh, a recurring dream becomes the occasion for tracing a history whose political upheavals can still be felt in the present in VHS videos of his family. Last but not least, Shall I Compare You to a Summer’s Day by Mohammad Shawky Hassan is an exuberant, polyphonic, queer new version of 1001 Nights, which, based on the filmmaker’s love journal, blurs the boundaries between personal and collective experience, narratives, and memory.

Artists are ever more frequently choosing documentary means to address the political and social reality of the present or the pictures and narratives of the past. This is also reflected in the film selection for EMAF. In the series Implication. On Documentary Ethics, we would like to address some of the ethical questions that arise when working with documentary material. For this, four artists from the international competition were invited to choose films that shed light on the topic from various perspectives and to discuss them with the audience. It is thus about working with and appropriating found material, depicting closeness and intimacy, dealing with politically motivated censorship, and questions relating to releasing and/or distributing sensitive, lost, or intentionally expropriated material. Alejandro Alvarado & Concha Barquero, Jamie Crewe, and Alaa Mansour present and discuss films by Fernando Ruiz Vergara, Yulene Olaizola, and Jayce Salloum & Elia Suleiman with the audience.

Further highlights of the film programme include the screening series on the festival topic It’s rather a verb, which was put together by Sirah Foighel Brutmann & Eitan Efrat, and the films of the two Artists in Focus, Beatriz Santiago Muñoz and Emily Wardill. Artist talks and live discussions round off the programme.

The European Media Art Festival (EMAF) expresses its gratitude to its sponsors, in particular to nordmedia, the City of Osnabrück, the Sievert Foundation for science an culture, the Stiftung Niedersachsen, the VGH-Stiftung, and the Landschaftsverband Osnabrücker Land e. V. All the presentations and events will be published on our homepage, on 18 March. Registrations for accreditation are already now possible on the website.

We warmly invite you to report on our film section and to be part of the 35th European Media Art Festival.

02/24/2022 EMAF 35 - The exhibition ´The thing is` can be seen at the Kunsthalle Osnabrück from 20 April to 29 May

Installation “Synthetic Seduction” Stine Deja & Marie Munk
Installation “Synthetic Seduction” by Stine Deja & Marie Munk

The media art exhibition in this year’s European Media Art Festival (EMAF), which is taking place at the Kunsthalle Osnabrück from 20 April to 29 May, occupies itself with the essence of ‘things’, the relationship between objects and people and their bodies, and questions of objectification.

The exhibition titled The thing is presents installations, sculptures, and video works by international media artists. ‘The artworks not only examine what constitutes a thing, but also pose questions regarding the point at which we can draw the line between lifeless things and living beings based on quasi-objects and hybrids’, says the curator Inga Seidler, who is responsible for the EMAF exhibition this year. ‘At the same time, things embody, for instance, interests or needs and allow statements about how we live with others and in our surroundings—as becomes clear when the composition, production conditions, meanings, functions, and design of things are examined.’

The video installation Jerricans to can Jerry by the Berlin-based artist Leon Kahane focuses on the container known as a ‘jerrycan’, which the Brose company developed for the German Wehrmacht starting in 1936, and produced as its first mass product in a series. The work spans a large spectrum, from the production conditions under the exploitation of Soviet forced labourers to the heritage of the company’s involvement in the National Socialist regime, which the Brose family continues to deny today. In Kahane’s work, such a container is brought to life as the figure ‘Colonel Canister’, who from its perspective as a contemporary witness reports on the developments and violent events that can be retold based on this object’s history and shifts in meaning.

In their work, the Danish artist duo Stine Deja and Marie Munk examine the emotional relationship between people and nonhuman objects and hybrids like AIs, robots, or avatars. With Synthetic Seduction, they present a setting that seems like a kind of futuristic laboratory. How can the pulsing, flesh-like sculptures be categorized: as things or as living beings? And how do robots that approach each other romantically complicate our view of these machines?

The transdisciplinary artist RA Walden contemplates the fragility of the body and the relationship to the things in its surroundings from a queer, disabled perspective. Crip Ecologies consists of dozens of glass vessels and petri dishes. Found in the vessels are various natural materials such as soil, stones, seeds, or fluids in different colours. Some of the labels on the vessels bear the names of people or streets. RA Walden thus poses questions like: What value do objects have when they are more difficult to access? And in what relationship does the fragility of the human body thus stand to the fragility of our ecosystem?

Further information about this year’s EMAF exhibition, The thing is, can be found on our website.

We warmly invite you to be part of the EMAF in 2022!

02/17/2022 EMAF 35: Artist in Focus & Accreditation

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A new EMAF programme strand honours two international moving image artists

EMAF is honouring the work of selected artists whose moving image works provide important impulses in contemporary media art with a new programme strand. ‘Artist in Focus’ is also intended to facilitate encounters with authors and their works that have received international attention in the visual arts, but have hitherto had less presence in the festival world. The series will open with Beatriz Santiago Muñoz and Emily Wardill.

Beatriz Santiago Muñoz will present an extensive selection of her moving image works, including her debut feature film Oriana (2022), for the first time in Germany. Her works bring together documentary, fictional, and performative elements so as to shed light on the natural and political landscapes of the Caribbean, the history and present of anticolonial movements, and the aesthetically and socially subversive power of feminist storytelling.

Otros usos (Other Uses, 2014) was filmed on the island of Vieques, which once served as a base for the U.S. armed forces in Puerto Rico. The film simultaneously reveals and conceals, documents and fragments this landscape—thanks to an optical device that the artist developed especially for the film. La cueva negra (The Black Cave, 2012) revolves around the material and spiritual history of the ‘Paso del Indio’, where archaeologically significant traces of early indigenous settlements were found, but then literally entombed under a motorway project. Two young men give voice and expression to the location. Finally, Oriana (2022), inspired by Monique Wittig’s experimental novel Les Guerillères (1969), is an audio-visual improvisation on sensuality and solidarity, on bodies in flux and bodies in resistance, and on the possibilities of a different language. In its open structure, the film echoes the processes of collective study and experimentation which are central to Santiago Muñoz’s working method.

Emily Wardill, whose film Night for Day was awarded the EMAF Media Art Prize last year, is returning with an overview of her moving image works of the past fifteen years. The starting point for Wardill’s films are often historical events or individuals, around which she develops sensual, psychologically charged narratives, in which the instability of language and consciousness, the spectres of technology, and the materiality of memory are recurring themes. Juxtaposing scholarly studies and absurdist puns, political analysis and playful allusions, Wardill creates films that speak a language as suggestive as it is self-willed.

Inspired by medieval church windows and their function as communication media in a largely illiterate society, Sick Serena and Dregs and Wreck and Wreck (2007) stages a story about desire, possession, and existence, spectacularly fragmenting it in an improvised-seeming set. Wardill’s first feature-length film, Game Keepers without Game (2009), transposes a piece by Pedro Calderón de la Barca to the London of the present. Against a brilliant white background, the story of a girl who is cast out of her parents’ home unfolds as a sequence of alienated encounters, isolated objects, and transgressive gestures. In I Gave My Love a Cherry that Had no Stone (2016), the foyer of the Museu Calouste Gulbenkian in Lisbon serves as a stage for a choreography in which body, space, and camera are immediately related to each other. In the flowing shifts between pursuing, concealing themselves from, and transforming into one another, the human body is haunted by its doubles—and the museum by the spectres of its future.

Biographies

Beatriz Santiago Muñoz (born 1972) lives and works in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Recent solo exhibitions include: Oriana in PIVO, São Paulo, the 34th São Paulo Biennial, the Momenta Biennale in Montréal, and Gosila in Der Tank, Basel. Her work is part of public and private collections such as the Museum of Modern Art, Kadist and Guggenheim, among others. She has received a Creative Capital grant, a USA Fellowship, a Herb Alpert Award in the Arts, and the 2021 Artes Mundi Prize, shared among all seven nominees.

Emily Wardill (born 1977) lives and works in Lisbon, Portugal and Malmö, Sweden. She has had solo exhibitions at Secession, Vienna; Bergen Kunsthall; Salzburger Kunstverein; National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen; The Badischer Kunstverein, Karlsruhe; De Appel, Amsterdam; MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge. Group exhibitions include the 19th Biennale of Sydney; Tate Britain, London; Tate Modern, London; MUMOK, Vienna; The Venice Biennale; MOCA, Miami; Kunsthalle Basel; Kunstverein Stuttgart; ICA, London, among others. She currently undertakes a practice led PhD at Malmö Art Academy.

Accreditation

Registration for accreditation is now possible on our website at registration.emaf.de/en/. The deadline for accreditation is 13 April.

01/12/2022 EMAF 35: The call has ended & Theme 2022

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The period for submitting entries for the upcoming edition of EMAF has now ended. Due to the continuing difficult situation, we would like to express our particular gratitude to the artists, distributors and producers who have entrusted their works to us. We look forward to viewing the entries in the weeks to come! The final selection for the film programme, exhibition, performances, and expanded projects will be announced in mid-March.

The EMAF Theme for 2022: The Thing Is

A new year, and a new attempt at moving things and keeping them in motion: following two online editions, EMAF is looking at a new year of the festival with cautious optimism. After retreating into the private sphere, a programme for the public sphere is once again planned: a programme that can be experienced live and also enjoyed in parts digitally. The festival theme will again be central to the programme.

Artistic works and theoretical contributions dealing with our enmeshment in the world of things are brought together under this year’s motto: The Thing Is. The aim is to explore how our shared reality arises from the interplay, the friction and resistances between bodies and things. Since as long as personal relationships are increasingly experienced as disembodied and abstract - not only due to the pandemic - and as long as the ever more complex relationships between people and devices continue shifting the boundaries between the animate and the inanimate and the material foundations for our existence on this planet are at stake, we are confronted with the question of how we can live with things better and perhaps also learn from them.

The exhibition curated by Inga Seidler examines objects of our present time, of everyday life and speculative design. In installations, sculptures, and video works, it asks what constitutes a ‘thing’, and takes a look at quasi-objects and hybrids. Starting from the fact that we are enmeshed with the world of things, the artistic works investigate the nature, production conditions, meanings, functions and design of objects. It thus becomes visible that things facilitate and embody statements about our way of living with others and our environment.

In seven film screenings and a performance, It’s rather a verb, curated by Sirah Foighel Brutmann and Eitan Efrat, celebrates the relational aspects of the moving image. The programme calls attention to the movements within positions, and to the verbs that support nouns. It highlights works that utilise and perform non-linear processes, as the interaction with things – such as stones, historical objects, mothers and cars – becomes audio-visual.

Things have always supported or testified to interests, needs and actions. Having their own life cycles, they gain or lose significance depending on the particular cultural contexts. The talks curated by Daphne Dragona explore what it means to live with and take care of things from the perspective of different temporalities, ontologies, and worldviews. They examine the role of art and design in creating, appropriating or calling off things in order to maintain or restore substantial relationships to the environment and the planet.

The curators: Inga Seidler lives and works as a curator and cultural producer in Berlin. She has developed, produced, and curated exhibitions, performances, discourse programmes, and digital projects. After several years as a curator of the transmediale festival, she directed the web residency programme at Akademie Schloss Solitude. As part of the curatorial collective connected with the independent project space ACUD MACHT NEU, she initiated the programme COLLECTIVE PRACTICES, which addressed questions regarding collective knowledge production, cultural creation, and organisation. She has curated the EMAF exhibition at the Kunsthalle Osnabrück since 2020.

Sirah Foighel Brutmann & Eitan Efrat have been working collaboratively for several years and creating works in the audiovisual field. They live and work in Brussels. Sirah and Eitan’s practice focuses on the performative aspects of the moving image. In their work, they aim to mark the spatial and durational potentialities of reading images - whether moving or still -; the relations between spectatorship and history; and the temporality of narratives and memory and the material surfaces of image production.

Daphne Dragona is a curator and writer based in Berlin. Her topics of interest include the promises of the commons, the instrumentalisation of play, the problematics of care technologies, and the impact of technological infrastructures on the planet. Her exhibitions and events have been hosted at Onassis Stegi, Laboral, Aksioma, NeMe, EMST, Akademie Schloss Solitude, Alta Tecnologia Andina, and Le Lieu Unique. Dragona worked as a curator for the transmediale festival from 2015 to 2019. She holds a PhD from the Faculty of Communication & Media Studies of the University of Athens.

If you would like to receive portraits of the curators, please contact us. We are also at your disposal for other questions and interviews.

09/17/2021 EMAF 35: Call for Entries – Festival 2022

Emaf35 Call For Entries Newsletter

Media artists from around the world can now submit their works at the European Media Art Festival 2022.

The online platform https://registration.emaf.de/en/ is now open. Works from the fields of film, installation, performance and expanded media can be submitted. The deadline for submissions is 7 January 2022.

The 35th European Media Art Festival will take place from 20 to 24 April 2022. For five days, Osnabrück will become an international, trend-setting platform for media art and a meeting place for artists, curators, gallery owners and students. The exhibition at the Kunsthalle Osnabrück will also be on view until 29 May 2022. For more information about the festival, please visit our homepage.

We are pleased to be at your disposal for further questions and interviews.

05/31/2021 EMAF 34: Balance/Festival Date 2022

“Scenes from Trial and Error” (Tekla Aslanishvili)
EMAF Ausstellung: Tekla Aslanishvili - "Scenes from Trial and Error"
Dokumentarfilm
Angela von Brill

Film programmes as streaming, live talks in online format - and finally in-person visits to the media art exhibition in the Kunsthalle Osnabrück: yesterday, 30 May, the extraordinary hybrid festival edition of the 34th European Media Art Festival (EMAF) came to a successful close. The festival organisers now draw a positive balance.

“This year we had to be very flexible and very fast,” as EMAF Managing Director Alfred Rotert summed up the situation. “At the start of the festival, an opening of the cinemas was not foreseeable, but shortly before the end we were able to open the EMAF exhibition to festival visitors”. The festival team is very happy because interest did not fail to materialise despite the unfamiliar festival format. “Our hearts were lifted up when the installations curated around the central theme of “Possessed” could be experienced in person by numerous festival visitors at the Kunsthalle Osnabrück after all”, said Alfred Rotert. The new streaming service emaf.cinemlovers.de and the virtual EMAF Talks on the festival homepage were used very intensively throughout the entire period. “The festival edition was a resounding success despite the circumstances”, Rotert added.

Artist talks, the EMAF Talks and other specials on the website at Extras provide a retrospective on the festival. A special insight into the exhibition is provided by filmmaker Tim Kaiser’s documentary on the festival’s homepage.

As soon as we can guarantee more planning security for indoor and outdoor events, the EMAF will provide information about catch-up dates for the film programme and other festival events.

Save the Date: The new festival date for the 35th European Media Art Festival (EMAF) has been set. From 20 to 24 April 2022, the EMAF festival team hopes to welcome audiences on-site once again. We anticipate that the exhibition will be on view until 29 May 2022. As one of the most influential forums for contemporary media art, the 35th EMAF will therefore once again be a field of experimentation and a laboratory in which international artists, curators, researchers, students, and film and art enthusiasts will meet and dialogue.

The European Media Art Festival (EMAF) extends its thanks to its sponsors, in particular nordmedia, the City of Osnabrück, the Goethe-Institut, the German Foreign Office, the Foundation of Lower Saxony, the VGH Foundation and the Landschaftsverband Osnabrücker Land e.V.

05/20/2021 EMAF 34 - Exhibition opens to visitors/short documentary offers cinematic impressions

Installation: „Babylonian Vision” (Nora Al-Badri), Photo by Angela von Brill
Nora Al-Badri - „Babylonian Vision”
Installation
Angela von Brill

With the relaxations passed today by the City of Osnabrück due to the lowered 7-day incidence, the Kunsthalle Osnabrück will open starting tomorrow, Friday 21 May, enabling in-person visits to the 34th European Media Art Festival’s (EMAF) “possessed” exhibition. The exhibition, which has so far only been accessible virtually and was put together by EMAF curator Inga Seidler, can now be opened up to the festival public for the first time and is planned to remain on view at the Kunsthalle Osnabrück until 30 May. Some special rules apply in the Kunsthalle: for instance, a maximum of 25 persons may enter the Kunsthalle at the same time, and visitors may stay only for a maximum of 1.5 hours. No previous registration is necessary for a visit. Guided tours are also not permitted. All visiting regulations, such as access restrictions and compulsory masks in the Kunsthalle, can be found here: https://kunsthalle.osnabrueck.de/de. At the same time, a short documentary by filmmaker Tim Kaiser on the EMAF exhibition “possessed” is now available for viewing. The atmospheric images offer impressions of the installations and exhibition elements as well as their positioning in the Kunsthalle’s exhibition space. The film is accessible on the EMAF homepage and on Vimeo at: https://vimeo.com/552862866

We wish everyone with an interest a thought-provoking and enjoyable visit to the exhibition!

04/26/2021 EMAF 34 – The Award Winners

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Emily Wardill- "Night for Day" (PT/AT 2020)
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The EMAF juries distinguish three groundbreaking experimental films

The 34th European Media Art Festival (EMAF) have been announced: The EMAF Award for a groundbreaking work in media art goes to the British artist Emily Wardill for her experimental film “Night for Day”, which discusses the dialectic of utopian thinking as exemplified by a mother-son relationship in Portugal.

The Dialogue Award for the promotion of intercultural exchange goes to Ana Vaz, Vera Amaral and Mário Neto for their film “13 Ways of Looking at a Blackbird”, in which they explore the essence of cinema through their own observations.

Michael Ironside and I” by German artist Marian Mayland wins the Media Art Award of the Association of German Film Critics (VdFk). The essay film critically investigates film and television history via media images of masculinity in the 80s and 90s.

All award-winning films, as well as the entire film programme of the 34th EMAF, can be seen on the streaming platform www.emaf.cinemalovers.de up to and including 2 May.

The EMAF Award and the Dialogue Award are presented by a jury of media artists and curators, which this year includes Christina Li, Nour Ouayda and Claudia Slanar. The film critics Dunja Bialas, Tina Waldeck and Jan Künemund make up the jury for the EMAF Media Art Award of the VdFk.

The EMAF prize is awarded to “a poignant work that explores the power of cinema as a tool to time travel, and to create imaginary kinship across generations”. “Almost as a counterpoint to the precision afforded by current image technology, Wardill expertly employs light and shadow as a filmic device that points to the opaque and fractal nature of historic narratives as well as present realities.”

The EMAF Awards jury extends an honourable mention to “Happy Valley” by Chinese-American director Simon Liu: „A collage of surreal and material observations of the city, set against a soundscape of 80s Hong Kong pop songs and soap operas, it evokes a deep sense of longing for a common experience, and is a celebration of a survival instinct that is fundamentally human and universal”.

The Dialogue Award for “13 Ways of Looking at a Blackbird” by Ana Vaz, Vera Amaral and Mário Neto distinguishes “…a remarkable exercise in unschooling founded upon intergenerational rapport and curiosity, where they jointly explore ways of seeing beyond sight. By doing so, filmmaking becomes a performative and sensory practice that involves the entire body. The film’s evocative soundscape and use of multi-vocality adds to the layered texture of the film that is underpinned by the present discourses of care and generosity, as we witness these young filmmakers investigate the relations between the visible and invisible, the sensible and insensible facts that will constitute how they view the world”, thus the jury.

The experimental film “Letter From Your Far-Off Country” by Indian-American filmmaker Suneil Sanzgiri receives an honourable mention from the Dialogue Award jury. The work evokes “the power of communication through letters that connects the protagonists of emancipatory struggles in India through almost half a century. In ‘Letter From Your Far-Off CountrySuneil Sanzgiri explores how historic events can be turned into performative gestures which then inform present and future tactics in fighting oppression and censorship. He follows the images and sounds of revolutionary moments by bringing different sources such as analogue video, 16mm footage and digital renderings together thereby not only destabilizing a linear historic narration but also blurring the boundaries of experimentation in cinema”.

With “Michael Ironside and I” by Marian Mayland, the EMAF Media Art Awards Jury of the Association of German Film Critics distinguishes “a complex essayistic examination of film and television history. In the flowing montage of found genre images, traces of toxic masculinity become visible that do not permit nostalgic transfiguration. Nonetheless, the author’s cinephile sensitivity remains the fuel of (self-)reflection”.

The full-length jury statements as a video are available at: https://emaf.cinemalovers.de/en/navigation/awards

Written information can be found at: https://www.emaf.de/en/timetable/

All award winners can be seen until 2 May at: https://emaf.cinemalovers.de/en/navigation/film

We offer our sincere thanks to our sponsors, in particular nordmedia, the City of Osnabrück, the Goethe-Institut, the German Foreign Office, the Stiftung Niedersachsen, the VGH-Stiftung, and the Landschaftsverband Osnabrücker Land e. V.

Best regards from the EMAF team 2021

presse@emaf.de

04/09/2021 EMAF 34 - Talks & Campus

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Josephin Hanke - „fermented prospects 2021“
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In this year’s hybrid version of the European Media Art Festival (EMAF), the Talks and Campus sections feature a series of media art discussions on the festival’s focus “Possessed”, as well as a selection of current works in which specialised media art groups from European art academies present their perspectives. You can engage with the programmes for the most part on the streaming platform emaf.cinemalovers.de, but they will also be shown in the windows of exhibition venues in Osnabrück’s old town, depending on current Corona pandemic regulations.

The Talks at this year’s European Media Art Festival (EMAF) address the question of what “ownership” and “possession” mean in today’s world and investigate their potential interrelationships. “The speakers will discuss issues of ownership and control in the context of land, identity and information,” explains curator Daphne Dragona, who is responsible for the talks programme. “In the process, they also address the power of belief systems, customs and dominant narratives. At the centre of the programme is the connection between today’s forms of extractivism and exploitation - whether of mineral resources, human labour or data - and the colonialism of the settlers, racialised capitalism”.

In six virtual discussion rounds, the participating theorists, artists and activists will discuss, among other things, the similarities between economies based on the burning of fossil fuels and colonial plantations, technoheritage and cultural dispossession, today’s hidden workforce and slavery, digital habits and collective trauma. Special emphasis is placed on the incessant struggle of resistant networks and ecologies. Artists Nora Al-Badri and Lerato Shadi, among others, discuss strategies for countering cultural dispossession.

Regine Rapp and Heather Davis take up the role of plastic in our lives today. The binaries of human/machine and race/subjugation are central to the discussion by Dr Ramon Amaro and Maya Indira Ganesh. Ariana Dongus and Tiara Roxanne examine data colonialism. Black ecology and the connections between climate change and colonialism are the topics in the talk by Jacqueline Brown and Sria Chatterjee. And Liam Young joins us on a science fiction safari through an imaginary city made up of the earth’s entire population.

“By reflecting on ancestral and contemporary technologies and cultural practices, the EMAF 2021 Talks programme underscores the continuing need for a differentiated perception of the world that will enable us to inhabit this planet in a different way,” says curator Daphne Dragona.

The entire EMAF Talks programme is available at www.emaf.de.

The festival section EMAF Campus is once again offering a platform to classes and specialist groups from European academies and universities in this festival year. Due to Corona, these will feature for the most part on the streaming platform emaf.cinemalovers.de, but also on-site in Osnabrück in the windows of the hase 29 art space, in the windows of the Institut für Kunst|Kunstpädagogik /Institute for Art/Art Education in the Seminarstraße and in the window of the bbk art quarter.

The classes of Julika Rudelius from the Hochschule für Kunst Bremen and Candice Breitz & Eli Cortiñas from the Hochschule für Bildende Kunst Braunschweig will present installations, performances and videos, while the class of Katarina Zdjelar from the Piet Zwart Institute in Rotterdam will be represented with a video programme. The Institut für Kunst|Kunstpädagogik /Institute for Art|Art Education at the University of Osnabrück will also feature videos from the modules of Bettina Bruder and Barbara Kaesbohrer, and the Osnabrück University of Applied Sciences will present apps and videos from the Media & Interaction Design course, supervised by Christoph Mett, Hannes Nehls, Björn Plutka and Michaela Ramm.

We offer our sincere thanks to our sponsors, in particular nordmedia, the City of Osnabrück, the Goethe-Institut, the German Foreign Office, the Stiftung Niedersachsen, the VGH-Stiftung, and the Landschaftsverband Osnabrücker Land e. V.

03/18/2021 EMAF 34 - Film Programme

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Dani Gal - „Three Works for Piano“ (DE/AT 2020)
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A total of 110 films from 31 countries will be presented by the 34th European Media Art Festival in this year’s programme, titled “Possessed”. However, in view of rising infection figures and considerable travel restrictions for our international participants and guests, the film programmes will be held as an online-only event. The exhibitions in the Kunsthalle and other venues will be set up as planned and, depending on circumstances, will also be open to the public.

The streaming offer will be online from 21 April - 2 May and will include conversations with artists, live talks and insights into the exhibitions, in addition to the film programmes. “As soon as public screenings are possible, we will present a number of films once again in physical form,” says Katrin Mundt, member of the EMAF management team.

With over 2,600 submissions, more artists than ever before applied for inclusion in the EMAF programme; 31 films were selected for the competition. “Many of these films deal with landscapes marked by the traces of historical occupations or current conflicts,” says Katrin Mundt, who is in charge of the film programme. “The artists’ stance can be very critical, but also very personal. And often they are looking for alternatives: for other models of the world and new forms of community life.” Marwa Arsanios’ Who Is Afraid of Ideology? Part 3: Micro-Resistances (2020), for example, tells of the struggle for land and mineral resources in Colombia and the empowerment of indigenous women through the dissemination of ecological knowledge. Simon Liu’s Happy Valley (2020) combines traces of the protests in his home city of Hong Kong into a melancholic tour through a city in the process of disappearing. He works with images and sounds that seem like distant memories.

Other works revolve around the close connection between body, place and identity. In Daddy’s Boy (2020), Renèe Helèna Browne examines the role of father figures in finding one’s own identity. The Hollywood classic Jurassic Park provides Browne with arguments for a different, “monstrous” way of being in the world. And Marian Mayland’s Michael Ironside and I (2020) also searches the film sets of 1980s and 90s sci-fi productions for notions of a technologically expanded masculinity that materialise in them.

Sharing and passing on experience, communicating across cultural boundaries and geographical distances is another focus of the competition. For instance, 13 Ways of Looking at a Blackbird (2021) is the result of a collaboration between the artist Ana Vaz and two students from Lisbon, Vera Amaral and Mário Neto. Their film asks fundamental questions about how we make sense of the world by seeing and filming, and how we locate ourselves in relation to others. In Three Works for Piano (2020), Dani Gal combines two very different narrative levels: three piano performances and the account of a former soldier in the Israeli army. Both illuminate different dimensions of speaking and silence, of memory and stage-setting.

The festival theme “Possessed” is spotlighted by a series curated by Anja Dornieden and Juan David González Monroy (Berlin). Titled “The Unpossessable Possessor”, it focuses on the cinematic apparatus: how is it connected to us humans, how it takes possession of us - be it as a machine that mediates between us and reality, as a producer of a quasi-ritual immersion or as an adversary whose control over us has to be artfully undermined? “The originally planned analogue film projections and performances will initially be moved to digital space in excerpts. We hope to be able to present the complete programme later in the year,” explains Katrin Mundt. With works by Eva C. Heldmann, Zelimir Zilnik, Amy Halpern, Ruy Guerra, Alee Peoples & Mike Stoltz and others.

Artist and curator Nour Ouayda (Beirut) presents a series on the history and present of video art in Lebanon. In Show Us the Money and We Will Resist, she traces the role that the resources and networks of Lebanese television played in the development of video art in the 1990s, and what new media infrastructures have taken their place to enable both artistic experimentation and intervention in society. With works by Akram Zaatari, Mohamed Soueid, Chantal Partamian, Lara Tabet and others.

With The New Death, the EMAF is resuming a programme that was produced for the last edition but could not be shown due to the festival’s cancellation at short notice: Artists Jaakko Pallasvuo (Helsinki) and Steve Reinke (Chicago) have selected films from the 1920s to the present day that propose alternative perspectives on the conventional dualism of life and death. With works by Leslie Thornton, Moyra Davey, Onyeka Igwe, Andrew Norman Wilson and others.

We warmly invite you to cover our Film Section, and hope you can join us in person at the 34th European Media Art Festival!

03/08/2021 EMAF 34 - Exhibition

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Patricia Domínguez - „Madre Drone“
Filmstill

The 34th European Media Art Festival will begin in Osnabrück in a few weeks. We are pleased to inform you today about the installations that will be on view from 21 April to 30 May at the Kunsthalle Osnabrück and other exhibition venues in the city. The exhibition, entitled “possessed”, is curated by Berlin curator Inga Seidler.

The exhibition thus takes up the theme of the 34th edition of the European Media Art Festival and - in keeping with the double meaning of the word “possessed” in its German translation - moves in the field of tension between the concepts of possession and obsession. The works on display address colonial and capitalist contexts of domination, control, ownership and property in a variety of ways. Particular attention is paid to the role of technologies. At the same time, the media art works counter them with new, alternative and indigenous visions of interaction and ownership.

The setting of the exhibition in the nave of the former Dominican Church creates aesthetically charged contrasts with the works on display: For instance, the altar-like video installation “Madre Drone” by the Chilean artist Patricia Domínguez fuses myths, symbols and rituals with images of extraction and indigenous land rights, cultural appropriation and the destruction of nature through industrialisation. Domínguez’s works aim to “exorcise the effects of late capitalism and ecological destruction in the physical and social body”. At the same time, she explores the emancipatory potential of the artistic imagination as a form of psychological emancipation and a way of healing our colonial trauma.

Nora Al Badri’s work, entitled “Babylonian Vision”, interrogates contemporary museum practices by using artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to generate synthetic Babylonian objects based on antiquities. “The resulting images of this techno-heritage are thus used as a means of reclaiming cultural datasets from the possession of Western museum collections,” explains EMAF curator Inga Seidler.

What it means to have no history and thus no future culminates in the video “Motlhaba Wa Re KeNamile”, which Lerato Shadi shot in her hometown Lotlhakane (Botswana): The work is reminiscent of the so-called slave masks that white slave owners put over the heads of their dehumanised workers to prevent them from swallowing soil and thus committing suicide — as a last gesture of resistance.

Pedro Neves Marquez examines histories of colonisation through the lens of biotechnology, pointing out how closely the colonisation of peoples is linked to the colonisation of land and to control over biological reproduction as a whole. In “YWY, the Android”, a female indigenous android, who we learn is a field worker, talks to a GMO corn plant about bodily rights, infertility, labour and monoculture. As a human, the viewer is unable to hear the voice of the maize and therefore perceives the dialogue as a strange monologue.

Vladan Joler explores and visualises a range of technical and social aspects of contemporary phenomena at the intersection of technology and society. His large-scale map of new extractivism presents old with new forms of colonialism and extractivism and reminds us how capitalism organises what is termed nature by discussing ongoing forms of exploitation between cultures, populations, countries and territories.

One of the theses that artist Johannes Paul Raether works with in the guise of “Protektorama, the World Healing Witch”, is that humanity, obsessed with the principles of capital, is mutating into a prosthetic of its own digital devices. With the world-healing forest, “Protektorama” constructs a ritual setting where we can separate ourselves from our smartphone fetish through de-rationalisation and communication via the senses.

We look forward to welcoming you to the opening of this year’s EMAF exhibition “possessed” on 21 April 2021 at the Kunsthalle Osnabrück. However, we cannot currently guarantee under which conditions a visit in person to the exhibition and the festival will be possible under the Corona guidelines in force at the end of April. We are therefore also preparing online formats that will enable a virtual visit to the exhibition. Up-to-date information on this will be published on our website.

02/18/2021 EMAF 34 - Online Programme

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Patricia Domínguez - "Madre Drone" (2020)
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Programme

Due to the ongoing Corona pandemic, the European Media Art Festival is adjusting the presentation of its programme to reflect current conditions. Large portions of our films, installations and talks will also be shown online starting 21 April - at emaf.cinemalovers.de. The online programme will be available beyond the duration of the festival until 2 May.

At present, thousands of visitors at a festival, as was usual at the European Media Art Festival before the Corona pandemic, is not even remotely conceivable. The EMAF curators are therefore planning various online formats in addition to the events and exhibitions in our real space. “The EMAF traditionally has a very international audience. Through the online programme, we can make as many films and contributions as possible accessible to a broad audience - without anyone having to get on a train or a plane”, says Alfred Rotert, member of the festival management.

In addition to the films in the International Competition, this year’s highlights surely include the film series curated by Anja Dornieden and Juan David González Monroy on the festival theme, “Possessed”. The series explores how the cinematic apparatus is bound up with us human beings and takes possession of us - in films by Ruy Guerra, Amy Halpern and Eva C. Heldmann, among others. In addition, the series “Show Us the Money and We Will Resist”, compiled by Nour Ouayda, focuses on the history of video art in Lebanon. Works by Akram Zaatari, Mohamed Soueid, Chantal Partamian and others illuminate the interrelationships between television, artistic experimentation and alternative media.

At Kunsthalle Osnabrück, curator Inga Seidler will present works that address colonial and capitalist impulses on the themes of domination, control, ownership and property in a variety of ways, taking a particular look at the role of technologies - for instance in Vladan Joler’s “New Extractivism” or Nora Al Badri’s “Babylonian Vision”. Patricia Dominguez’s altar-like video installation fuses myths, symbols and rituals with visions of extraction and indigenous land rights, cultural appropriation and nature destroyed by industrialisation.

Art and culture have not exactly been at the top of the priority list in the political sphere in recent months. But they are important elements of social discourse, creating meeting spaces and promoting social cohesion. With its programmes and themes, the EMAF 2021 stands for this aspect as well.

We warmly invite you to join us at the EMAF 2021, whether online or, if possible, on site!

01/12/2021 EMAF 34 - Special Focus: “Possessed”

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The deadline for submissions to the 34th European Media Art Festival closed on 31 December 2020. Our heartfelt thanks to all filmmakers, artists and distributors who submitted their works to us! At 2,600, the number was significantly higher than in previous years. “We are thrilled with the large number and diversity of forms of the works submitted to us for the 34th European Media Art Festival in Osnabrück. There is also a much broader geographical spread than in previous years”, says Katrin Mundt, head of the EMAF film programme and a member of the festival management.

This year’s EMAF theme “Possessed” focuses on questions of ownership and forms of possession. Films, installations, performances and lectures will be shown that explore how ownership determines our global present and future and how this is interwoven with our recent past. They show how objects, spaces or experiences can take possession of us, and in doing so facilitate alternative forms of being and acting together. And by experimenting with strategies of appropriation, distribution and withdrawal, the contributions propose new modes of presence and participation in the spaces and institutions of film and media art. While the exhibition, film programme and talks are each devoted to different aspects of the thematic focus, individual formats address their connections and interrelationships.

The exhibition curated by Inga Seidler takes ownership and colonialism, i.e. (racial) capitalism as its starting point. The selected works deal with inequalities that this system of ownership and property (rights) has produced: the expropriation and deprivation of land, subjectivity, histories, memories and rights. They shed light on the ways in which this continues in the digital realm and feeds back into the connection between technology and abstraction. The exhibition also presents works by artists and activists who imagine alternative forms of ownership, different models of communality without property, and changing social realities.

Curated by Anja Dornieden and Juan David González Monroy, the film programme entitled “The Unpossessable Possessor” considers the cinematographic apparatus as a living creature entangled in a complicated relationship with humans. Is its relationship with us parasitic or mutualistic? Are its intentions pure or corrupt? Are we its master or does it have reign over our selves? Is it human? Or something else? Does it love us? Clearly we have ceded a good part of our collective consciousness to the film machine. Perhaps it would be a good idea to find out who it is and what it wants.

Curated by Daphne Dragona, the talk programme explores what “possession” and “being possessed” mean in and for the contemporary world and how they are connected. Visual artists, filmmakers and theorists are invited to discuss property, control and sovereignty in the context of land ownership, identity and technology, and to explore how these are informed by old and new beliefs, rituals and habits. By focusing on historical and contemporary forms of colonialism and extractivism, the programme asks what it means to own, lose and reclaim one’s world/s, and explores forms of resistance, relationality and kinship.

Theme curators:

Inga Seidler
is a curator and cultural producer based in Berlin. Over the past years, she has developed, produced and curated large-scale exhibitions and performances as well as residency and publication projects. After several years as a producer and curator for exhibitions and performance projects at transmediale festival, she headed the digital program at Akademie Schloss Solitude. Questions of shared knowledges, cultural creation and organizing with the help of or in response to new technologies are also at the core of her current role at ACUD MACHT NEU programming the series COLLECTIVE PRACTICES.

Anja Dornieden & Juan David González Monroy
are filmmakers based in Berlin. They work together under the moniker OJOBOCA. Together they practice Orrorism, a simulated method of inner and outer transformation. They have presented their films and performances in a wide variety of venues and festivals worldwide, among them the Wexner Center for the Arts, Österreichische Filmmuseum, Anthology Film Archives, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Kunstverein München, Berlinale, International Film Festival Rotterdam and New York Film Festival. They are both members of the artist-run film lab LaborBerlin.

Daphne Dragona
is a curator and writer based in Berlin. Through her work, she engages with artistic practices and methodologies that challenge contemporary forms of power. She has collaborated with institutions such as the Onassis Stegi, EMST (National Museum of Contemporary Art Athens), LABoral (Gijón), Aksioma (ljubljana), NeMe (Limassol), and the Akademie Schloss Solitude (Stuttgart) for the curating of exhibitions, conferences and workshops. Dragona was part of the core curatorial team of the transmediale festival from 2015 until 2019. She holds a PhD from the Faculty of Communication & Media Studies of the University of Athens.

If you would like portrait pictures of the curators, please get in touch. We are also available for further questions and interviews. In addition, we invite you to join up with us in the coming months. The Covid-19 pandemic will surely keep us busy and demand new forms for meeting.

09/21/2020 EMAF 34 - Call for Entries

Call For Entries 2020

Media artists from around the world can now submit their works for screening at the European Media Art Festival 2021. The online platform https://submissions.emaf.de is now open. Works from the fields of film, installation, performance and Expanded Media can be submitted. The deadline for submissions is 31 December 2020.

The 34th European Media Art Festival will take place from 21 to 25 April 2021. For five days, Osnabrück will become an international, trend-setting platform for media art and a meeting place for artists, curators, gallery owners and students. The exhibition at the Kunsthalle Osnabrück will also be on view until 30 May 2021. For more information about the festival, please visit our homepage: www.emaf.de.

For your editorial use, we would be pleased to send you a logo and press photos of EMAF. Please do not hesitate to contact us for further information and interviews. Please send inquiries to presse@emaf.de.