Bild - VA Was das Valley denken nennt


HMKV im Dortmunder U | CINEMA, GROUND FLOOR And online
MI, 15th JunE 2022, 19 – 21 p.m.

Office medienwerk.nrwPanel Discussion

With Dr. Inke Arns, Prof. Dr. Adrian Daub und Jonas Lüscher
Moderated by: Dr. Iuditha Balint und Fabian Saavedra-Lara

The Cologne-born Germanist and literary scholar Adrian Daub is professor of comparative literature and German studies at Stanford University, where he is the director of the Clayman Institute for Gender Research.
He writes on topics such as early feminism, memory culture and 19th century German popular and musical culture. His book “What Tech Calls Thinking: An Inquiry into the Intellectual Bedrock of Silicon Valley” (suhrkamp, 2020) tells the story of Silicon Valley – a region that has risen to become the most powerful IT and high-tech location in the world over the last 70 years. In his book, Daub, who established his professional focus at Stanford in close proximity to the Valley, questions its self-staging by examining the rhetoric of entrepreneurs like Peter Thiel or Mark Zuckerberg and historically contextualising the ideology of the industry.

Jonas Lüscher is a Swiss-German writer and essayist. After studying philosophy, he did intensive research on the significance of narratives for the description of social complexity and in this context he had a scholarship from the Swiss National Science Foundation for a research stay at Stanford. His novella “Frühling der Barbaren” (2013) is about the importance of narratives in social contexts – in this book, Richard Rorty’s theories come to bear narratively. His novel “Kraft” (2017) tells about the mentality and rhetoric of Silicon Valley. As a socially and politically engaged essayist, Jonas Lüscher publishes on various topics such as economics and populism.

The talk “What Tech Calls Thinking – and how it is talk about” is being held in cooperation with the Fritz Hüser Institute for Literature and Culture of the Working World, the HMKV Hartware MedienKunstVerein and the Office at the Dortmunder U. The event is part of the programme accompanying the HMKV exhibition “House of Mirrors: Artificial Intelligence as Phantasm”. In the discussion, some thoughts from Adrian Daub’s and Jonas Lüscher’s texts will be brought into dialogue with the ideas and selected works in the exhibition.

More about House of Mirrors: Artificial Intelligence as Phantasm

The Talk will be held in German.
Admission is free, no registration required.
The event will also be broadcast via live stream.

Click here for the livestream of the event

Adrian Daub: © Cynthia Newberry
Jonas Lüscher: © Ulrike Arnold/Jonas Lüscher
Inke Arns: © Frank Vinken

Symposium „Digital Culture“ | NEXT LEVEL 2021

Event Grafik

Symposium „Digital Culture“ | NEXT LEVEL 2021

Hall 2, UNESCO-Welterbe zollverein, essen
saT-sUN, 27.-28. November 2021

Office medienwerk.nrwSymposium

The two-day symposium “Digital Culture” takes place within the scope of the NEXT LEVEL-Festival, on the UNESCO-Welterbe Zollverein in Essen and will offer various thematic forums, panels and presentations. Digital formats and concepts for performance and concerts will be presented and discussed, as well as live-act platforms and corresponding exploitation issues. The focus will be on projects and initiatives from NRW.

Listen to the recorded symposium here: Digital Arts in NRW

FORUM: Perspectives for the Digital Arts in NRW
Sunday, November 28th, 2021, 3-4:30 pm
What are the perspectives for the digital arts in NRW? What about the qualification of artists and what technical support is needed? Are the actors in the scene and their needs sufficiently involved? How should things continue now that deficits in the field of digitalisation have become obvious during Corona? How can the numerous digital experiments and virtual artistic formats that emerged during the Corona pandemic be further developed in the long term? These are the questions posed by a forum and panel organised as a cooperation between Office, NRW KULTURsekretariat and Regionalverband Ruhr as part of the “Next Level – Festival for Games 2021”.

Open talk moderated by Klaas Werner (Office

PANEL: Digital Arts in NRW. What has happened – where do we go from here?
Sunday, November 28th, 2021, 5-6 pm
A discussion panel with the artist duo Jana Kerima Stolzer & Lex Rütten, Jasmin Vogel (Kulturforum Witten), Brigitta Muntendorf (artist and composer), Fabian Saavedra-Lara (Office, Dr Christian Esch (NRW KULTURsekretariat). In cooperation between Office, NRW KULTURsekretariat and Regionalverband Ruhr, in collaboration with WDR 3. The panel will be recorded by WDR 3 for the programme “Forum” and broadcast at a later date.

Panel moderator: Fatma Idris (journalist)

For more than ten years, the “Next Level  –  Festival for Games” has been exploring interactive and participatory models of digital games culture and shedding light on their potential and perspectives. Like no other event in the field of tension between digital art forms and analogue experience formats, Next Level sheds light on exemplary media art in the games context and, in an exciting mix of performances and exhibitions, impulses and discussions, workshops and laboratories and workshops together with many partners, addresses different target groups who have one thing in common: an interest in games and in gaming at a high level. After three years in Cologne from 2010 to 2012 and three more in the Dortmunder U from 2013 to 2015, Next Level moved on to the NRW-Forum Düsseldorf from 2016 to 2018 and developed from a conference into a festival lasting several days. Since then, in addition to informational and discursive components, the focus has been on digital experience formats such as interactive installations or dance, theatre and music performances, but also artistically sophisticated and curated games courses. In 2019, the multi-day event took place for the first time at the UNESCO World Heritage Zollverein in Essen, where it successfully celebrated its tenth anniversary.

Further information at

WORKSHOP | Copyright in digital event formats

WORKSHOP | Copyright in digital event formats

THU, 28. october 2021, 4-6 pm

Office medienwerk.nrwWorkshop

Especially in digital event formats via internet-based channels, with a potentially unlimited public, organisers and seminar leaders are often unsure where their own liability for shown content begins and ends. What needs to be pointed out in advance? Which declaration of consent should be obtained in advance? Which content can be shown in which context without hesitation?

Within the two-hour online workshop, the speaker Dr. iur. Till Kreutzer will cover the following topics:

1 Basics of copyright: what is copyright, how does it come into being and how does it end?

2 Free uses in the context of culture and education: Quotations, satire, accessories, uses for teaching purposes (training, conferences).

3 Use of online content on platforms, social media and websites: Linking, embedding, sharing

4 Legally compliant use of open content: Creative Commons and the re-use of free images, texts, videos

After each part there is an open question and answer session.

We ask for your understanding that AN INDIVIDUAL LEGAL ADVICE CANNOT AND – for legal reasons – MUST NOT BE GIVEN WITHIN THE WORKSHOP. Such advice is only permissible within the framework of a lawyer’s mandate. Of course, the speaker will be happy to answer individual questions. However, questions related to specific individual cases (such as: “I have the following project, contracts are to be concluded there, how do I have to … formulate?“) cannot be answered during the workshop.

The workshop will be held in German.

Registration until 24. October 2021:
Interested (online) organisers and (online) seminar leaders can register until Sunday, 24. October 2021, by sending an email to, please mentioning your first and last name as well as your professional context. If you already have specific questions, you are welcome to include them in the registration email. Registration is free of charge but binding. The number of participants is limited.

Dr. iur Till Kreutzer is a lawyer, legal scholar and publicist. He is co-founder and managing partner of the law firm iRights.Law as well as co-founder and editor of, the internet portal for consumers and creatives on copyright in the digital world, which has won several awards (including the Grimme Online Award 2006). He is a frequent invited expert for governments and parliaments on copyright reforms in the information society, both at national and EU level. He teaches at a variety of institutions on IT, copyright and personal rights.

The Office is funded by the Ministry of Culture and Science of the State of NRW. The Office is located at Hartware MedienKunstVerein, Dortmund.

WORKSHOP | Technical realisation of digital event-formats

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WORKSHOP | Technical realisation of digital event-formats

tue, 13.04. / 20.04. / 27.04 2021, 5pm – 8pm

Office medienwerk.nrwWorkshop

Online workshop series in cooperation with the Landesbüro für Bildende Kunst NRW (LaB NRW): “Technical realisation of digital event-formats”, led by Jonathan Kastl & Mario Frank, for artists, event- or project managers and production staff

In this three-part online-workshop, the two video artists Jonathan Kastl and Mario Frank introduced into the technical and organisational basics of digital event-formats. They showed alternative scenarios for different artistic practices and answered questions from the participants.

The 1st workshop-block “Technical basics” took place on April 13th 2021 and offered artists, event managers, project managers and production staff an introduction into the technical realisation of live streams and online conferences. Using practical examples, the speakers demonstrated the functions, interaction-possibilities and limitations of streaming-software, platforms and tools for videoconferences. In addition, the participants were given an overview of the necessary components of audio- and video-technology.

On April 20th 2021 the 2nd workshop-block “Alternative virtual space scenarios” took place and presented various possibilities of how technical set-ups and platforms can be used non-intentionally and alternatively, for example to generate attention in social media or to achieve an interesting effect during an online-event. Extended and creative uses of software were discussed as well specialised apps for social gathering and games. Other topics were multi-channel playouts (livestream + video conference) and hybrid events.

In the 3rd workshop-block “Successful realisation of online-events” on April 27th 2021, the speakers focused on project- and resource-management. The question “How do I successfully implement an online event?” accompanied the participants through this last block of the three-part workshop series. Design concerns such as speech intelligibility, image detail, lighting, lecture structure and interactive design were discussed as well as concrete organisational questions about technical requirements, staff scheduling, resource planning and technical support.

MARIO FRANK is an integrated designer, photographer, videoartist, audioengineer and cultural activist. Music production and performance as “M.Funk”. Co-founder of the art and design collective „KOLLEKTIV33“ and artistic director of the musiclabel of the same name. Co-founder and chairman of the board of the non-profit cultural association “dreidrei e.V.”. Co-founder and board member of the literary initiative „Land in Sicht e.V.“. Co-initiator of the studio community “INSEL”. Lectureships at the Köln International School of Design, Kunsthochschule für Medien Köln and Bergische Universität Wuppertal. Further information at

JONATHAN KASTL is a visual and sound engineer, videoartist and musician. His artistic work includes media art, video and sound for theatre productions as well as various music projects. As a cameraman and image director, he creates recordings and live-streams for various clients. He also supports artists and institutions in the planning and realisation of hybrid and online-events. Further information at Jonathan Kastl and Mario Frank have been working together under the name frankaflux since 2021.

The office, the LaB K and the workshop were supported by the Ministry of Culture and Science of the State of NRW. The office is located at Hartware MedienKunstVerein, Dortmund.

Artist Talk with Holly Herndon | #TdM2020

Holly Herndon15

Artist Talk with Holly Herndon | #TdM2020

MOn, 28.09.2020

Office medienwerk.nrwArtist Talk

For the first time the office took part in the event “Tag der Medienkompetenz”. As a video contribution for the digital exhibition of the TdM2020, an artist talk between Fabian Saavedra-Lara (head of the office and the US-American media artist Holly Herndon was shown.

Under the motto “A Better Tomorrow! – Visions for a digitalised society“, the eighth Tag der Medienkompetenz took place on September 28th 2020 in the NRW-stateparliament. Together with citizens, players in media literacy education and representatives of NRW state politics, discussions were held on how the digital transformation can be shaped politically and what contribution each individual can make to a humane society. Due to the corona pandemic, the TdM2020 took place virtually and digitally. In the livestream, discussions and thematic forums encouraged participants to delve deeper into individual aspects of digital competence. At the “Town Hall Meeting”, the state’s politicians answered questions from the digital public live. And the central exhibition was also moved from the state parliament to the internet. Here, institutions from NRW showed their own visions for a digital future.

THE SOUND OF DATA: Artist talk & concert with Holly Herndon

Under the title “Every Step You Take – Art and Society in the Data Age“, the second conference took place on 12-15 November 2015, dealing with the debates surrounding Big Data, surveillance and data protection. In the locations of the Dortmunder U and the Schauspiel Dortmund, international positions from media art & digital culture met to question utopias and dystopias of our digital, networked media reality. In addition to an exhibition, numerous lectures, panel discussions, artist talks and film screenings, the programme also included a concert by US artist Holly Herndon.

In the Artist Talk with Fabian Saavedra-Lara, head of the office, the avantgarde musician talks about the love affair with her laptop and about “THE SOUND OF DATA”. Her music includes electronic sound collages with samples from everyday digital life as well as glitches, disturbances, errors in the system and expressions of media hyperactivity. The concert was accompanied by vocals by Colin Self and visuals by Mat Dryhurst.

Holly Herndon works between media art and electronic music. Her album “Platform” was released in 2015 and received international critical acclaim. It deals with the emotional relationship between man and machine. Alternative ideals of progress become palpable here: How could future technologies be used if they were open, accessible and free of economic or political interests? In the process Herndon always reflects on the constitution of those media she uses for her music production – in her songs software and laptops are portrayed as fragile actors that can transform from familiar devices of everyday use, creativity and social communication into apparatuses of surveillance and control at any time.


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MON, 08.06. – SUN, 31.08.2020

In form of a web residency, the performance- and media artists Louis Betong & Balz Isler worked on the website of the network for media art and digital culture

The original agreement between the artists and the office was to conceive several contributions for the Meta Marathon 2020 festival of the NRW-Forum Düsseldorf under the annual motto “Cyborgs” and to realise them on site in a time span of 42 hours. But – as everyone knows – everything turned out quite differently. The situation surrounding the outbreak of the coronavirus also had serious consequences for the cultural sector, resulting in the cancellation of all events in the physical space until at least summer 2020. For artists and many institutions of all disciplines, questions arose about securing their livelihoods as well as new forms of artistic production, presentation and exchange with the public in times of “social distancing” – beyond the purely documentary. The situation at that time was also a time of experimentation with the possibilities and limits of the digital as well as fundamental political debates – among other things about the world after the crisis, “system relevance”, solidarity and the importance of art and culture for an open society.

Louis Betong & Balz Isler’s interventions, which took place episodically in the digital space of the website, were attempts at artistic reflection on the new realities, ways of speaking and thinking, everyday and media worlds, adaptations and restrictions brought about by the coronacrisis, which brought people together worldwide in a state of waiting, hope, speculation and uncertainty. Isler & Betong call this state “covidity”. As self-proclaimed “covidity residents”, the two nested on the website and played with the artistic possibilities of the medium. Reflections on the location, individual experiences of presences and absences in now closed places as well as questions from previous events on the thematic field of “Body and Technology” served as source material.

The works could be experienced in the period 08.06.-31.08.2020 on the website of

About Louis Betong & Balz Isler:
The two are performers, artists and public thinkers in old and new space. They studied at the Hochschule für Bildende Künste Hamburg and work with time-related media. They live together in Europe. Isler & Betong move in the compositions of sound and space and in installations and performances. Within this they deal with communication, presentation methodology and today’s clip- and documentary culture. They collect, superimpose, rearrange and try to make new connections by means of different media and spatial levels, translating them into “real time” (Paul Virilio) in order to infer new movements if necessary.

The office nd the web residency were funded by the Ministry of Culture and Science of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia. The office is located in: Hartware MedienKunstVerein, Dortmund.

STAGING COMPLEXITY – A laboratory for art and theatre in the digital age

Staging Complexities
Staging Complexities
Staging Complexities
Staging Complexities

STAGING COMPLEXITY – A laboratory for art and theatre in the digital age

thu, 19. MÄRZ 2020, 11am – 5pm

Office medienwerk.nrwConference

The symposium was organized by Cheers for Fears in co-production with the Academy for Theatre and Digitality, the Dortmund Theatre and the Office

Due to the decisions of the City of Dortmund on the handling of COVID-19, the originally planned presence laboratory of several days was not possible. Therefore the potentials and limits of digitality were tested in a concentrated online symposium on March 19th.

Digital technologies have been changing the way we think, work, love, communicate and live together for a long time. Algorithms regulate the flow of traffic, social networks create new forms of relationships and management systems optimize workflows. Digitality thus also shapes artistic content, transforms established modes of representation and produces new art forms. How do theatre and art reflect and explore these profound changes?

The digital and networked present was analyzed in the context of a public online symposium. The potential, but also the limits of the digital in society, culture and art were questioned: How does digital change affect our everyday social practices? How it does influence artistic modes of narration and design? What does this mean for directors, video artists, actors or musicians? What for their audience? How do we experience art and cultural practices that do not only make use of individual technical aids, but are at home in computer-generated environments?

Online Symposium
Diana McCarty opened the online-symposium with the question of techno-feminist modes of action and organization, Anja Breljak dealt with the fact that computer technologies have become an integral part of our intimate sphere, Christian Sievers and Régine Debatty asked how artists react to dispositives of insecurity, control and precarization, and Philipp Jonathan Ehmann discussed how social networks and computer games change narratives in the performing and visual arts. Last but not least, the symposium created space for discussion and exchange about visions and fears in digital times.

To the technical program: On the day of the symposium, a link to participate in the symposium was posted at 10 a.m. Active participation via the browser and via the telecommunications provider Zoom was guaranteed. For active participation in the discussions, a computer with microphone and possibly webcam was required. Questions regarding content could be directed to Furthermore, a telephone number was published on the day itself, which could be used for technical questions.

Programme on Thursday, March 19th, 2020

10:30 a.m. Online symposium open for test runs

11:00 a.m. Welcome
Michael Eickhoff (Academy for Theater and Digitality, Theater Dortmund)
Sina-Marie SchnellerJascha Sommer (Cheers for Fears)
Klaas Werner (Office

11:30 a.m. Intervention I
Diana McCartyBe(coming) media – Techno feminist Pasts, Presents & Potentials, (ENG)
12:00 a.m. Discussion on Intervention I

12:30 p.m. Intervention II
Anja BreljakStaging Affect? Digitization as a socio-affective process

1:00 p.m. Discussion on Intervention II

1:30 p.m. Break

2:30 p.m. Tele-PanelArtistic approach to (post)digital challenges
Christian SieversTrackedness. The dream of control, dealing with
Insecurity – and what art makes of it (DE)

Régine DebattyWhere are the click-luddites? (ENG)

Philipp Jonathan EhmannMultimedia theatre – completely without media, completely without Theatre (DE)

4:00 p.m. Break

4:15 p.m. Discussion about the Tele-Panel

5:00 p.m. End

Further informations are available at:

The online-symposium Staging Complexity was organized by Cheers for Fears in co-production with the Academy for Theatre and Digitality, the Dortmund Theatre and the office (office hosted by: Hartware MedienKunstVerein). Supported by the Ministry of Culture and Science of the State of NRW and the Kunststiftung NRW.

KULTURKONFERENZ RUHR 2019 – Cultural potentials of technology

Meta Marathon 2019

KULTURKONFERENZ RUHR 2019 – Cultural potentials of technology

FRi, 13.09.2019

Office medienwerk.nrwConference

The Kulturkonferenz Ruhr 2019 was organised by the Regionalverband Ruhr and the Ministry of Culture and Science of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, in cooperation with

The digital transformation not only poses new challenges for communication and production processes. Cultural institutions and cultural practitioners must also develop strategies, responses and positions on digitalisation. The 8th Kulturkonferenz Ruhr in the Dortmunder U, which was fully booked with 400 participants, offered a top-class forum on the topic on September 13th 2019.

The programme of the Kulturkonferenz Ruhr 2019 was conceived by:

  • Dr. Inke Arns, director Hartware MedienKunstVerein e.V. (HMKV)
  • Alain Bieber, director NRW-Forum Düsseldorf
  • Stefan Hilterhaus, director PACT Zollverein
  • Stefanie Reichart, Head of Department Kultur Regionalverband Ruhr
  • Fabian Saavedra-Lara, director Office

Man and machine: in a mature industrial region like the Ruhr, this relationship has always been a special one and rarely a simple one.

The digital transformation is now taking this relationship to a completely new, unprecedented level. In many cases, fiction has long since become fact; nothing seems impossible, every idea technically realisable.

Digital technologies are changing our society and our urban structures to an almost incalculable extent – and are thus also influencing the role and self-image of art and culture in socio-political development.

On the other hand: technical overload, an oversupply of information, the dominance of a few commercial actors and new global (and often hidden) relations of exploitation.

How does an artist become and remain relevant here? What about ethical values, one’s own rights, responsibility, data sovereignty and existing power relations? Who benefits and who doesn’t? What educational models are needed? What archives? How does digital actually work? And is the longing for the analogue still legitimate? In short: What about the modern relationship between man and machine? And what does the machine have to say about it?

Cultural institutions and cultural practitioners are called upon to develop their own strategies and positioning in a process of change that dissolves temporal and spatial boundaries, that thinks in updates and global dimensions. Digitisation expands our world to include virtual realities, opens up markets, enables new artistic freedom and aesthetics. It makes art and culture ubiquitous, available at any time and generally accessible.

The 8th Kulturkonferenz Ruhr 2019 invited people working in the arts and culture to actively shape the debate on the digital transformation. It wanted to set impulses, make potential visible and strengthen it, explore and promote new alliances between art, culture, science and business.

The aim was to initiate a discourse on what role art and culture can play now and in the future in the discussion about technology and society, and what preconditions and cultural policy framework conditions should be created for this.

Festival: Blue Skies – Bodies in Trouble

Blue Skies 1
Blue Skies 2

Festival: Blue Skies – Bodies in Trouble

WED, 10.07.2019 – SUN, 14.07.2019

Office medienwerk.nrwFestival


With the growing impact of technology on life, our bodies, our communities and our environment are changing – what to do? How can we understand and shape this change together?

The unstoppable pace of technological change and the revolutionary developments in biochemical research are increasingly intervening in life itself: hybrids of machine and organism are emerging, technical interventions and substances are becoming one with the body. The latest developments in genetic engineering, however, promise to make humans modifiable even before birth. The foundations of our existence and of our social and public interaction are changing profoundly. In the promises of technological corporations, the power over completely modyfying our bodies, social dynamics and our environment sounds like a universal solution. Others fear a hopeless social scenario in which the individual’s power to act falls victim to extensive technological reductions, mathematical operations and filtered knowledge. But what might the critical overtones of these polarizing positions sound like?

The festival is the fifth conference of the office and at the same time the start of a new series of events by PACT Zollverein. In the coming years it will be dedicated to active and interdisciplinary work on urgent current issues in the field of tension between technology and society, new narratives, speculative visions of the future and alternative, empowering practices.

All information on the workshops can be found on the events page:

Festival Opening:
6.30 p.m.
Welcome, introduction & opening of the exhibition
9 p.m.
Munich Kammerspiele, Rimini Protokoll (Stefan Kaegi) and Thomas Melle: “Uncanny Valley

With contributions from:

Exhibition, Performances & Workshops
acting in concert, The Agency, Aliens in Green, Heather Dewey-Hagborg, FAM_, knowbotiq, labsa, Xavier Le Roy, Mary Maggic, Špela Petrič, Paula Pin, Johannes Paul Raether, Rimini Protokoll (Stefan Kaegi) & Thomas Melle, Silke Schönfeld, Nguyễn + Transitory and others

Marie-Luise Angerer, Madeleine Böckers, Astrid Deuber-Mankowsky, Gabriele Gramelsberger, Jens Hauser, Oliver Kuchenbuch, Justus Pötzsch, Luiza Prado de O. Martins, Kaushik Sunder Rajan, Tabita Rezaire, Emilia Sanabria, Paula-Irene Villa and others

Asita Shirali, COOL FOR YOU, Odete, tryniti, N!zza

You can find the complete programme on the PACT Zollverein website:

Admission to the talks, lectures and workshops only with registration. Free admission to the concerts, the exhibition and the party.

Tickets in advance for the performances “Medusa Bionic Rise” by The Agency and “Uncanny Valley” by Rimini Protokoll (Stefan Kaegi) can be ordered on the PACT Zollverein website.

Conference programme in english language.

Concept: Stefan Hilterhaus, Fabian Saavedra-Lara, Team Office Kirsten Möller, Nada Schroer, Mary Shnayien, Klaas Werner, Sonja Wunderlich 
In cooperation with: PACT Customs Union

Funded by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media as part of the alliance of international production houses.

The office of and the festival ‘Bodies in Trouble – Körper in Aufruhr’ were supported by the Ministry for Culture and Science of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia (Office hosted by: Hartware MedienKunstVerein, Dortmund). Supported by the “International Visitors Program” of the NRW KULTURsekretariat.

ON/LIVE – The theatre of the digital natives


ON/LIVE – The theatre of the digital natives

Fri, 10.05.2019, 7pm – Sun, 12.05.2019, 9:30pm

Office medienwerk.nrwSymposium

A cooperation between FFT Düsseldorf, Institute for Art and Art Theory, University of Cologne, City Libraries of the City of Düsseldorf, Office

In the near future there will be only one theatre: The theatre of the digital natives. It belongs to those who can no longer imagine a world without digital networking, smart devices and social networks. The symposium ON/LIVE brings together digital natives from art, science, schools and politics and asks how we will meet in the future – in theatre and in everyday life. Which narratives and modes of perception determine our present and how do we shape the future together? In lightningtalks, discussions, performances and workshops the FFT negotiates media practices in everyday life and the arts. Among other things, the FFT is dedicated to the net as a sphere of new gender configurations and to the game as a performative practice of the future.

Klaas Werner (Office Kpok) moderated the discussion.

Gaming & Escaping – The New Delight in Games
Saturday, May 11th, 2019, 12 am., FFT Juta. As part of ON/LIVE 2019 with: Dr. Stefanie Husel, Dennis Palmen, machina eX

Further informations on the website of the FFT Düsseldorf:

As part of the alliance of international production houses, supported by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and Media.


Meta Marathon 2019


Fri, 15.03. – Sun, 17.03.2019, 42 hours

Office medienwerk.nrwPanel Discussion

The META MARATHON 2019 was organised by the NRW-Forum Düsseldorf in cooperation with the tanzhaus nrw and the Filmmuseum Düsseldorf. The Office contributed the programme item “Robotic Swarm”.

42 hours non-stop living, loving, celebrating and working with robots: The META MARATHON 2019 is dedicated to the topic of robotics on March 15th – 17th, 2019. Visitors can not only take part in workshops, talks and performances, but also share their living space with robots, including the opportunity to stay overnight at the NRW-Forum and meet the probably currently most famous robot in the world, Sophia.

What happens when robots leave the industrial context and become part of our everyday life? What does society have to be prepared for when automated processes are carried out by machines and decisions are made without human intervention? How do robots change our actions and feelings? Are machines becoming more human-like or human emotions more machine-like? Can robots help us to relax and decelerate and what does a culture of intelligent robotics look like?

Programme item of the Office

Presentation & Talk with Katrin Hochschuh, Adam Donovan, So Kanno.

Moderation: Klaas Werner
Sunday, 17.03., 11:00 am

The artist duo Katrin Hochschuh and Adam Donovan have invented, developed and programmed non-humanoid swarm robots. In this event, presented by the office, the artists show how they work, both in the technical process and on a conceptual level, focusing primarily on their current work “Empathy Swarm”.

These were developed as antithesis or extension to humanoid robots like the famous “Sophia”. They want to show that non-humanoid robots can also learn and create a feeling of empathy and compassion. So Kanno, whose work “Lasermice” also deals with swarm behavior, joins the discussion.

Further informations about the META MARATHON 2019

The Office was funded by the Ministry of Culture and Science of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia. Office hosted by: Hartware MedienKunstVerein, Dortmund.

Screening and talk: BALLADE – Céline Berger

Meta Marathon 2019

Screening and talk: BALLADE – Céline Berger

Temporary Gallery
thu, 7.06.2018, 7pm

Office medienwerk.nrwScreening

Short film: BALLADE, 23 min, Céline Berger, 2017

A project manager, a personnel manager and a managing director wander through a barren landscape and talk about the constraints and fears of everyday working life and their longings for a different, better life. The screenplay for Céline Berger’s short film “Ballad” is based on recordings of coaching sessions at german business schools and deals with the handling of corporate strategies, management rhetoric and the potential use of labour as a human resource.

Céline Berger, born 1973 in Saint Martin d’Heres, France, is an artist and lives in Cologne and Rotterdam. Her work is concerned with the linguistic and visual world of today’s work and corporate structures. Before studying art at the KHM Academy of Media Arts in Cologne and the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam, she studied physics and materials science and worked as an engineer for semiconductor manufacturers. Berger is the winner of the NRW Scholarship for female media artists (2015).

Emmanuel Mir, born 1972 in Toulon, France, studied at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, art history at the University of Düsseldorf and received his doctorate on the function of art in private companies. Since 2017 he has been project manager of the LaB K State Office for Visual Arts NRW.

Further information is available at:

The office was funded by the Ministry of Culture and Science of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia. The office is supported by the Hartware MedienKunstVerein, Dortmund.

META MARATHON – Artificial Intelligence

Meta Marathon 2018

42 hours of non-stop talks, performances, films, concerts, exhibition and workshops on the subject of artificial intelligence: the META Marathon is a new type of technology festival that took place May 25th – 27th, 2018, at the NRW-Forum Düsseldorf. The participants create the festival themselves, change roles from experts to laymen and experiment with the new format – including overnight accommodation on site.

Invitated by the office, curator Michelle Kasprzak spoke on the topic: “Algorithms, trust, and politics: how everything old is new again“.

Further information is available at:

The office was supported by the Ministry of Culture and Science of the State of NRW. Office hosted by: Hartware MedienKunstVerein, Dortmund

Das Büro und die Veranstaltung wurden gefördert vom Ministerium für Kultur und Wissenschaft des Landes NRW. Träger des Büros: Hartware MedienKunstVerein, Dortmund

Short film programme “Working Life”

The Working Life - Still

Short film programme “Working Life”

SAT, 24.03.2018, 8PM

Office medienwerk.nrwScreening

A professional hypnotist shows us the labyrinth of our working life. During long coaching sessions three hikers move through a barren landscape. Former workers of the Moscow paper factory “October” reflect on the lost work and their current situation. Three very different situations, three artistic short films.

Along these stations, the office and the artist Céline Berger invited us on a complex and unusual journey into our working life. The event presented “Ballade”, a movie which emerged from the the NRW grant for female media artists (supervised by office

The Working Life, 9:50 min, Superflex, 2013
Ballad, 23:00 min, Céline Berger, 2017 (Premiere)
Recitando, 33:00 min, Romana Schmalisch & Robert Schlicht, 2010

Detailed information on the movies and artists:

FILM 1: The Working Life, SUPERFLEX

“The Working Life”, HD, 9:50 min, 2013, English

The Working Life is a 9:50-minute film that deals with working life from a therapeutic perspective. How should one behave as a “good citizen” when the central demand of an economy in crisis seems to be the individual willingness to work and at the same time the structural necessity of a certain percentage of unemployment to keep wages low? A hypnotist guides us through the labyrinth of working life – looking for relief or maybe even a way out, if there is one.

SUPERFLEX was founded in 1993 by Jakob FengerBjørnstjerne Christiansen and Rasmus Nielsen. Using a versatile and complex approach, SUPERFLEX questions the role of the artist in today’s society and explores the nature of globalisation and power structures. Their artworks, full of wit and subversive humour, are dedicated to serious social and cultural concerns. SUPERFLEX describe their works as instruments for pointing out numerous possible areas of application for their art.

FILM 2: Ballad, Céline Berger

“Ballad,” 2K, 23 min, 2017, sync. english

Based on real coaching conversations, Ballade examines the rhetoric and narrative strategies of business coaching.

A barren landscape. The wind is blowing. Three people, immersed in successive coaching sessions, are describing specific events from their working lives as project managers, personnel managers, managing directors. Banal words of regret, fears, dreams of an easier future resonate strangely in the minimal landscape.

Since 2009, Céline Berger has been developing artistic works that examine our working life, its language, routines and rituals. After studying physics and materials science, she worked as a project engineer in various large companies until 2008. Berger’s work is an attempt to artistically continue the dialogue which developed with her former colleagues – in search of new ways to question our daily professional life, beyond simplification, irony or fatalism.

FILM 3: Recitando, Romana Schmalisch & Robert Schlicht

“Recitando”, HD, 33 min, 2010, Russian with English subtitles

Recitando documents the encounter between workers in a moscow factory and two filmmakers from abroad. The cinematic production process is only made possible by the standstill of the machines. What at first looks like everyday work soon turns out to be theatre, simulation. The “October” (formerly “Red October”) factory, built in 1924, was one of the largest paper factories in Moscow. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, parts of the complex were converted into an art space.

Romana Schmalisch (Berlin) and Robert Schlicht (Berlin) have been working together since 2004 on projects at the interface between film and theory. Their main focus in recent years has been on the theme of work, for example in the performance series The Choreography of Labour (2013-15), the play All the best from Labour Power Plant (2017), the short film Top/Down (2017) and the feature film Labour Power Plant (in post-production).

All films are in english language

Afterwards: artist talk with Romana Schmalisch, Robert Schlicht and Céline Berger.
Organized by the office & Kino im U e.V.

The office and the event were supported by the Ministry of Culture and Science of the State of NRW. Office hosted by: Hartware MedienKunstVerein, Dortmund

ENJOY COMPLEXITY – Conference on digitality and theatre

Enjoy Complexity

ENJOY COMPLEXITY – Conference on digitality and theatre

FRi, 23.02.- Sun, 25.02.2018

Office medienwerk.nrwConference

A cooperation between Office, Schauspiel Dortmund, Academy for Digitality and Theatre, Hartware MedienKunstVerein (HMKV)

We were very pleased to accompany the initiative of our network partner, the Schauspiel Dortmund, regarding the foundation of an “Academy for Digitality and Theatre“. 

At the start of these activities, a “Conference on Digitality and Theatre” was held on February 23rd – 25th, 2018 under the title “ENJOY COMPLEXITY“.

On three days there were performances, exhibitions and workshops at the location of the newly founded academy in Dortmund.


Opening evening | Friday, February 23rd, 2018

5:00 pm: Exhibition and Lounge open

7:00 pm.: Official opening of the conference by the Minister of Culture and Science of North Rhine-Westphalia, Isabel Pfeiffer-Poensgen

Afterwards: Keynote by Marc Grandmontagne, Managing Director of the German Stage Association.

Afterwards: interactive dance performance CORPUS (PYGMALIO) by Chris Ziegler 

Workshop day | Saturday, February 24th, 2018

Morning: Self presentation of ten selected (international) projects and institutions working in the field between theatre and digitality.

Afternoon: Workshops and lectures, including on the following topics: Virtual Reality and Bertolt Brecht’s radio theory, Art and Theatre on the Net, Between Machine Learning, Nanotechnology and Body Enhancement, Montage techniques and complex narration between film and theatre, Digital movement architecture on stage through the use of generic technologies, Coding and movement, Augmented Reality and theatre, The media department of the future at theatre, Virtual Space, Industry 4.0 and Internet of Things

4:30 pm. – 6:00 pm. Panel discussion: The theatre of the future

With: Hubert Eckart and Wesko Rohde (Deutsche Theatertechnische Gesellschaft, DTHG), Kay Voges (director of the Schauspiel Dortmund) + N.N.(media artists). Moderation: Anne Schulz

The panel discussion was a cooperation with the office

Evening: 4.48 Psychosis by Sarah Kane (Director: Kay Voges

At night: concert by Moritz Simon Geist Sonic Robots.

Final day | Sunday, February 25th, 2018

10:30 am: Workshops

Followed by: large, concluding panel discussion.

The panel discussion was a cooperation with the office

2:30 pm.: Guided tour through the exhibition “Afro-Tech and the Future of Re-Invention” at the Hartware MedienKunstVerein (HMKV) in Dortmund U with Inke Arns (artistic director of HMKV) and Fabian Saavedra-Lara (director of office

6:30 am.: Flammende Köpfe (Director: Arne Vogelgesang) in the studio of the Schauspielhaus Dortmund.

Location: former primary school at Kleyer Weg 90, Dortmund

The office of is funded by the Ministry of Culture and Science of the State of NRW. Office hosted by: Hartware MedienKunstVerein, Dortmund

Workshop & presentation: Foolish Hackathon – Let’s create not-so-smart Homes

Meta Marathon 2019

Workshop & presentation: Foolish Hackathon – Let’s create not-so-smart Homes

SPeicher 100, Dortmunder Hafen
thu, 01.09.2018, 10am-4pm

Office medienwerk.nrwWorkshop

Are you looking for another hackathon where you can develop your next million dollar app and start your next start-up by the way? Then you are in the wrong place!

In our Foolish Hackathon we want to question things, identify the elementary functions of products – and remove it! We take a look at the components and try to make new combinations. In the end it should be senseless, useless and just crazy. 

On September 1st, 2018, we started at 10:00 a.m. with an intensive four-hour workshop. First we looked at the typical components of a future smart life. An automated cocktail machine served as the basis for this: we removed or replaced parts, reprogrammed the entire machine, but also arbitrarily and wildly added new functions.

Those one without any skills in programming, got the opportnity for a practice-oriented crash course in programming. So all participants were able to implement their own ideas on the cocktail machine or with their own prototype. Sufficient microcontrollers, sensors and actuators were provided for this purpose. In addition, there was plasticine and a 3D printer, for a quick implementation of large and small components. Afterwards from 2:00 p.m. the gadgets for a future not-so-smart Home were presented during a walk through the harbour. 

Invited were artistsactivists and all interested people – with and without previous knowledge.

Process Festival 2018 – Pre-Event
The Foolish Hackathon was organized by office in cooperation with the Process Festival and FabLab DEZENTRALE Dortmund, joint laboratory for future questions, a project of Fraunhofer UMSICHT. The event took place under the Process Festival motto “Man <> Machine” and was held with a small group of about 10 people who did not necessarily have to program.

Schedule: 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.: Workshop | 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.: Public presentation of the gadgets.

Further information:

The office of and the event were supported by the Ministry of Culture and Science of the State of NRW. Office hosted by: Hartware MedienKunstVerein, Dortmund

Workshop: Contemporary tactics for net-activism


Workshop: Contemporary tactics for net-activism

PACT Zollverein
thu, 05.07.2018, 10am-5pm

Office medienwerk.nrwWorkshop

#BlackLivesMatter and #Metoo are two examples of how digital public spheres can be used to highlight socio-political problems of discrimination and inequality. Often, physical and digital spaces are intertwined: protesting groups accure in urban space and images of these actions circulate in social networks around the world, generating attention for the shared concern.

At the same time, new, anarchic-libertarian and aggressive subcultures are also forming “on the other side” of the political spectrum on the Net, such as Alt Right in the USA and Identitäre in Europe, which are based on self-organization on the one hand and the contempt of all statehood on the other. They also produce strong images with the intention to have a social echo. The focus here is often on campaigns against individuals or public institutions, in which the appeal to lower emotions has replaced the rational exchange of arguments in favour of any construction of reality. The actors of these populist campaigns adopt the tactics of “counter culture” and turn them against the idea of a pluralistic, open society.

The one-day workshop, organized by the Landesbüro Freie Darstellende Künste and the office, aims to explore these contemporary dynamics of activism, in order to understand what role the strategy of border-crossing plays today, how the arts react to these developments, what the power of current movements on the net is – and where their limits might lie. Different forms of artistic action have tried to use similar strategies in recent years. After a short input at the beginning and the discussion of some current artistic projects, the participants looked for suitable ways of dealing with these phenomena themselves. The participants were also invited to bring their own concepts and material in order to refine existing approaches during the the workshop-day.

Since this year, Hans Bernhard and lizvlx have been the professor-team – called UBERMORGEN – for Networks at the Academy of Media Arts Cologne. They are currently researching and working in the field of “Binary Primitivism” and are interested in the Alt-Right movement and related right-wing net cultures globally. They are investigating what transhumanism has to do with gamification in social media systems; what kind of role games – as a “cold” medium – plays for unloved people and what all that have to do with the Right and its revolutionary potential.

Workshop direction: UBERMORGEN | Input: Fabian Saavedra-Lara (Office

UBERMORGEN: lizvlx (AT, *1973) and Hans Bernhard (CH/USA, *1971) are two artists, working with installation, video, code and performance: “doing strange things with software & hardware”. Their early works have been called ‘Media Hacking‘ and ‘Online Performances’. In 2000, the strategy behind the voting platform Vote-Auction was described by Libération as “un plan machiavélique”. In 2005, the NZZ described the “Google Will Eat Itself”-project as “factual and perverse” conceptual art.

The event took place within the framework of weiterkommen! – the qualification program of the NRW Landesbüro Freie Darstellende Künste. weiterkommen! was supported by the Ministry of Culture and Science of the state of NRW within the framework of the IKF (Individeuelle KünstlerInnenförderung).

The office and the event were supported by the Ministry of Culture and Science of the State of NRW. Office hosted by: Hartware MedienKunstVerein, Dortmund

Virtual Art – Forum Europe Ruhr

Bildschirmfoto 2021-05-06 um 12.44.09
Bildschirmfoto 2021-05-06 um 12.50.12
Bildschirmfoto 2021-05-06 um 12.50.12

Virtual Art – Forum Europe Ruhr

SA, 07.09.2017

Office medienwerk.nrwConference

Immersive technologies of augmented and virtual reality open up many new possibilities for actors in the cultural field. Especially artists and curators from media art and performance are currently questioning the opportunities and limits of the medium. To transcend the technology and to create new visual worlds and approaches is the claim and task of relevant contemporary art actors. Despite existing technical and financial hurdles, an impressive possibility of multisensory and multiperspectival art is now entering the field of the public. Artists are no longer alone, but surrounded by designers and programmers, or they become them.

In presentations and conversations, key European players talk about new modes of production, new modes of presentation, and changing modes of storytelling.

4x 15-minute presentations of the developed projects followed by a discussion.

Moderated by Klaas Werner (

Documentation on the forum

Block I – VR in the exhibition context

Tina Sauerländer (DE) – Curator of the exhibition “The Unframed World” at the House of Electronic Arts, Basel

Banz & Bowinkel (DE) – Media artists from NRW, working with VR technology

Block II – VR in interactive performances

Mona el Gammal (DE) – Theater maker and scenographer

Daniel Rammer, Lorenz Krautgartner (AT) – Collaborative VR-Videogame

Philosophical tour of Erwin Wurm – with Prof. Dr. Markus Gabriel


Philosophical tour of Erwin Wurm – with Prof. Dr. Markus Gabriel

Lehmbruck Museum
SAT, 08.07.2017

Markus Gabriel (University of Bonn) is the youngest professor of philosophy in Germany and also an excellent expert on Erwin Wurm’s work. In a tour of the exhibition, he talks in an entertaining and knowledgeable way about the everyday life and the special features of Erwin Wurm’s work.

Markus Gabriel caused a sensation as the founder and main representative of “New Realism”, a philosophical movement whose circle also includes the Berlin Poor Avanessian and Quentin Meillassoux. Their aim is to leave Kant’s theses behind by realizing that the world exists independently of the image and idea we have of it. Thus, Markus Gabriel sometimes makes bizarre statements such as that unicorns exist. Erwin Wurm’s fat car or his absurd looking mountain formations therefore become the starting point of a question about the world and its reality in this philosophical tour.

The event was a cooperation between the office and the Lehmbruck Museum, Duisburg. It took place in the broader context of the topic “Speculative Technologies” of

The office is funded by the Ministry of Culture and Science of the State of NRW. Office hosted by: Hartware MedienKunstVerein, Dortmund.

Afro-Ruhr Festival 2017 | “Afro-Tech” – movies about technology and science-fiction

Ausstellungsansicht „Afro-Tech
DREXCIYA – Detroit Techno, Aquanauten und die Politik des Dancefloors
Ausstellungsansicht „Afro-Tech
DREXCIYA – Detroit Techno, Aquanauten und die Politik des Dancefloors
Panel Afro Fest
Workshop „Afro-Tech

Afro-Ruhr Festival 2017 | “Afro-Tech” – movies about technology and science-fiction

FR, 23.07.2017, 8 pm

Office medienwerk.nrwScreening

A cooperation between Office, Africa Positive e.V., Hartware MedienKunstVerein, Interkultur Ruhr, Regionalverband Ruhr (RVR)

A space program in Zambia, speculations about the future of Zanzibar, a little boy in 1980s Burkina Faso dreams of superheroes, and a trip to the utopian island of Drexciya.

On June 23rd, 2017, the media-art-project Afro-Tech Fest was a guest at the Afro-Ruhr Festival 2017 (organizer: Africa Positive e.V.) and invited visitors to an evening of cinema with four short films, which gave a first insight into the discussed topics during an international exhibition and festival week in Dortmund at the end of October (opening Afro-Tech Fest: 20.10.2017). 

The film programme in June focused on stories about the future from a variety of african perspectives. What they all have in common is an independent view on technology and on various myths of popular culture, which challenges the ruling powers of interpretation. The film is understood as a medium in which one’s own utopias and dystopias can be created. 

The filmmakers, whose works have been shown, use such diverse and creative design possibilities to create these imaginary spaces: In her film, director Frances Bodomo, for example, adds a third actor to the well-known story about the race to the moon in the 1960s – a village community in Zambia which is building its own rocket. Simon Rittmeier tells of a future in which the current “refugee crisis” has turned into its opposite: In his film, it is people from Europe who embark on the perilous journey across the Mediterranean to seek refuge in the countries of Africa – and sometimes end up on a legendary island whose inhabitants have access to unknown, advanced technologies.

Alternative historiography meets speculation. Science fiction stories from the “global North” meet much older myths and legends in different regions of Africa, always starting from the very real social and political situations of the present.

The evening, curated by Alex Moussa Sawadogo (Afrikamera/Berlin), provides an insight into current film production in various african countries and aims to arouse curiosity about the numerous events and the exhibition in the context of the Afro-Tech Festival, which were presented later in 2017 in Dortmund by the cooperation partners Hartware MedienKunstVerein (HMKV), Interkultur RuhrAfrica Positive e.V. and office



Afronauts tells an alternative story of the race to the moon, based on true events. It is the night of July 16th, 1969, when the United States prepares to launch Apollo 11. At the same time, in the now independent Zambia, an inventive group of villagers builds a rocket to enter the “race into space”. As the launch date approaches, their astronaut – 17-year-old Matha Mwambwa – has to decide whether she wants to give her life to keep up the myths of her family …

Ghana/USA 2014, 14 min. engl. OF
Director: Frances Bodomo

Ghanaian filmmaker Frances Bodomo studied film at Columbia University and at the Tisch School of the Arts at NYU. Her first short film “Boneshaker” (with Oscar-nominee Quvenzhané Wallis) was screened at more than 20 festivals. “Afronauts” celebrated its world premiere at the Sundance Festival 2014. 


Burkina Faso is a country in transition in 1985. Manu, who has a passion for comics, and his big brother Albert grow up in a time when the impossible seems to be possible. When Albert one day decides to undergo a magical ritual designed to make him invisible, Manu realizes that there are real powers, which can compete with those of his superheroes.

Burkina Faso/France 2013, 31 min / Original with English subtitles
Director: Cédric Ido

The Burkinabè Cédric Ido works as a scriptwriter, director, actor, musician and draftsman. In 2008 he appeared as an actor in Spike Lee’s film “Miracle at St. Anna“. As a director he is responsible for the television documentary “Un ‘Stains’ de musique” (2009) and the short film “Hasaki Ya Suda” (2011).


Mbwana and his best friend Juma are two young men from Zanzibar with big dreams. These dreams seem to come true when they photograph a giant fish jumping out of the water and their small town becomes a tourist hotspot. But the sensational discovery not only puts the relationship of the two friends to the test, it also changes their formerly sleepy hometown.

Tanzania/Great Britain 2013, 17 min / English OF
Director: Kibwe Tavares

British Sundance winner Kibwe Tavares realised his award-winning film “Robots of Brixton” while he was studying architecture. Together with Jonathan Gales and Paul Nicholls he founded the production company Factory Fifteen, with which he also created the special effects for “Jonah“. He combines his knowledge in architecture with storytelling and animation to create futuristic animated 3D live-action movies. 


Simon Rittmeier’s short film is inspired by the afro-futuristic myth of the place “Drexciya” – a “black Atlantis”. Europe has gone under long ago. A young man tries to bring european refugees – in the hope of a better life in Africa – in boats across the Mediterranean Sea. One day his boat sinks and he is the only survivor to be stranded on the African coast. Alone, he sets off for the next big city – Drexciya.

Germany/Burkina Faso 2012, 27 min. / English OF
Director: Simon Rittmeier

The filmmaker Simon Rittmeier studied fine arts and film at the Academy of Fine Arts in Hamburg and at the Academy of Media Arts in Cologne. He often uses archive images to explore the power and political influence of the moving image. His films, both experimental and essayistic, question social conventions and classical narratives about history.

The films are subtitled in English or in English. Introduction by Alex Moussa Sawadogo in German. Handouts with short descriptions of the films in German will be available in the evening.

The entire film programme of the Afro-Ruhr Festival took place on 22 and June 23rd, 2017, at the cinema in the U (Dortmund). Concerts, parties, lectures and discussions of the Afro-Ruhr Festival could be experienced from June 30th – July 2nd, 2017, in the Dietrich-Keuning-Haus (Dortmund) (

Film programme Afro-Tech curated by: Alex Moussa Sawadogo

Organizer of the film program: Office (Office hosted by: Hartware MedienKunstVerein)
Partner Film Programme: Afrikamera – Current Cinema from Africa, Kino im U, Africa Positive e.V.

Cooperation partner Afro-Tech Fest: Hartware MedienKunstVerein, Interkultur Ruhr, a project of the Regionalverband Ruhr (RVR), Africa Positive e.V., Office

The exhibition was sponsored: in the TURN Fund of the Federal Cultural Foundation; by the Ministry of Culture and Science of the State of NRW

The project week was supported: by the Federal Agency for Civic Education; by the Ministry of Culture and Science of the State of NRW
from the cultural office of the city of Dortmund

Main conveyor HMKV: Dortmund U

Discourse programme of the Videonale. 16 (in cooperation with


Discourse programme of the Videonale. 16 (in cooperation with

FR, 17.02.- SA, 17.02.2017

Office medienwerk.nrwPanel Discussion

The office cooperated with the long-standing network partner Videonale e.V.. Together, the two partners organised – as part of the discourse programme of the Videonale. 16 – two panels for the opening weekend (February 16th – 19th, 2017), during which there were also many other performances, lectures and guided tours:

Panel: The artist is (not) present – Live performances and their representation in media art 
Impulse lecture by André Eiermann: Postspectacular performance, talk with: Doplgenger (artist duo, Belgrade), André Eiermann (dramaturge, theatre scientist, Cologne), Wermke/Leinkauf (artist duo, Berlin), Moderation: Katrin Mundt (freelance curator, author, Bochum). In english language.

The panel discussed the theoretical and aesthetic framework of performances – those one which are performed live and also the one which are preserved in video. The starting point was the thesis that performances do not depend on the joint physical presence of performers and audience, but rather involve a mediating third party.

The panel was a cooperation with the office 

Panel: Performativity of digital media – on action and participation everywhere 
Talk with: Dries Depoorter (media artist, Gent), Stefan Panhans (artist, Berlin), Julia Scher (artist, professor for multimedia/performance, Cologne), Moderation: Felix Hüttemann (PhD student, Bochum). In english language.

In the constant battle for attention, regarding to the flow of digital image overload, there are usually no winners or losers. Despite constantly optimised methods of self-presentation, it remains unclear who is performing for whom and who is seen by whom. The panel reflects on other (subversive) strategies to react to the ubiquitous retrievability of the unique.

The program of the Videonale and the opening weekend can be found at:

The office was funded by the Ministry of Culture and Science of the State of NRW. Office hosted by: Hartware MedienKunstVerein, Dortmund

Dowse-Workshop with Jaromil – an artistic Design&Hack-Workshop

Dowse WS
Dowse WS 2
Dowse WS 3

Dowse-Workshop with Jaromil – an artistic Design&Hack-Workshop

wed, 27.09.2017

Office medienwerk.nrwWorkshop

“We should be able to manner your devices behaviour – but first you need to be aware of what they do!” (Jaromil)

In the context of its workshop series Speculative Technologies, the office invited students, artists, hackers and makers to take part in a one-day workshop on concrete hardware- and software-solutions for alternative ideas of technology.

The series Speculative Technologies opened a space for the discussion of technoimaginations beyond commercialization and control. The focus was on strategies from digital culture and media art, which understand technology as principles of open systems, accessibility, changeability, versatility, emancipation and self-empowerment. The aim was not just to consume a perfectly designed product, but to convey a creative approach to technology and the knowledge of how it works. Speculative Technologies asked which “other” technologies are conceivable.

The workshop in September was aimed at artists and designers who, for example, want their installations to react to network traffic and allow things to communicate with each other in real time; and it was aimed at hackers who work with open source, cryptography and intelligent proxies, and many others who are interested in a critical, artistic and creative approach to technology. The workshop will be led by italian media artist and researcher Jaromil ( With his independent software company, Jaromil has developed, among other things, a device which is able to track the activity in our networks, share resources with friends and neighbours – and finally to protect our own LAN: DOWSE is an invention based on open source and open hardware principles which can be set up on a low-cost board (like a Raspberry Pi or an OlinuXino). Jaromil helped workshop participants to create their own box and to work together on ideas for artistic applications. Further information:

The workshop took place in the workroom Rekorder II, Scharnhorststraße 68, in Dortmund.

The workshop was organized by the office and is part of the workshop series “Speculative Technologies”. The workshop was funded within the framework of the Individual Artists’ Funding (IKF) of the Ministry of Culture and Science of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia. The office is funded by the Ministry of Culture and Science of the State of NRW. Office hosted by: Hartware MedienKunstVerein, Dortmund.

Virtual Desires

DREXCIYA – Detroit Techno, Aquanauten und die Politik des Dancefloors
Ausstellungsansicht „Afro-Tech
DREXCIYA – Detroit Techno, Aquanauten und die Politik des Dancefloors

Virtual Desires

Universität Witten/Herdecke
FR, 30.07. – SUN, 02.07.2017

Office medienwerk.nrwWorkshop

The office and super_filme e.V. invited students, prospective (media-)artists and scientists to take part in a two-part workshop on technoimagination, exploring the subversive potential of the virtual and alternative formations of gender and desire. The workshop was led by Anneliese Ostertag, member of the warehouse project ( With Rahel Spöhrer and Samira Elago.

The first block (June 30th – July 2nd, 2017, in german language) dealt with new technologies, texts and artistic positions, which put the virtualization of desires and post-internet intimacy at the disposal of the audience. This block was accompanied by Rahel Spöhrer, co-founder of the performance collective THE AGENCY.

The second block (July 15th – 16th, 2017, in english language) focused on subversive media practices. Togehter with the finnish-egyptian artist Samira Elagoz ( the participants explored intimacy relationships and structures of desire in new media. Furthermore they tested some formats through which the virtual space can be (re)conquested for artistic production.

The workshop took place at the University of Witten/Herdecke (Bahnhofstraße 48, 58452 Witten). After the workshop, an online publication of the artistic and scientific results appeared.

The workshop was organized by super_filme e.V. and the office and was part of the workshop series “Speculative Technologies” (office as well as the curatorial online/offline project “warehouse” (super_filme e.V.).

The workshop was funded within the framework of the Individual Artists’ Funding (IKF) of the Ministry for Family, Children, Youth, Culture and Sport of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia. The office was supported by the Ministry for Family, Children, Youth, Culture and Sport of the State of NRW. Office hosted by: Hartware MedienKunstVerein, Dortmund.

Cold bodies, warm machines – art and technology after human being

Cold Bodies

Cold bodies, warm machines – art and technology after human being

FR, 09.11. – SUN, 11.11.2016

Office medienwerk.nrwConference

Based on current concepts in digital technologies such as “affective computing”, utopias of the cybernation of the body as well as tendencies in artificial intelligence research, the conference “Cold bodies, warm machines – art and technology after human being” (organized by the office focused anwew on the relationship between human being and machine: What are the current boundaries which shift between the sphere of the living and the sphere of the artificial? Various of these phenomena were explored and discussed in lectures, talks, artistic contributions and a film programme. What would change if we developed machines with an increasingly sensitive sensorium which “understand” and classify us and our emotional movements – new actors who learn and act – while we increasingly see our own biological bodies as a resource which can be optimized and programmed?

The conference based on an interdisciplinary approach: it brought together scientists, artists and interested citizens in order to proactively accompany the far-reaching social changes – which has already started – and to conduct intensive futurology for three days using the means of art and exchange.

With: Ramon Amaro, Inke Arns, Alain Bieber, Andreas Broeckmann, Melanie Bühler, Ami Clarke, Sidsel Meineche Hansen, Laura Hille, Erich Hörl, Felix Hüttemann, Cathrine Kramer, Tasja Langenbach, Kevin Liggieri, Robert M Ochshorn, Luciana Parisi, Sascha Pohflepp, RYBN.ORG, Alexander I. Stingl, Markus Tillmann, Michael Wheeler, Inigo Wilkins


In the light of the general cybernetisation of existence modes and the development of environmentalism as a form of government implemented by media technology, the lecture presented Félix Guattari as a pioneer of the new, namely techno-ecological culture of meaning which emerges in the process. Special attention was paid to the critical range of Guattari’s concept of integrated world capitalism, which had to be reprioritized with regard to the environmentalist transformation.

Machines occur in many different ways and have been defined in many different ways. Throughout the last century, the term has been used to describe a polar, if not antagonistic, relationship between humans and technology. The lecture discussed various concepts of machines and proposed a diagram according to which “the machine” can be understood as the expression of a technological paradigm, that projects not so much posthuman as entirely human desires.

A prototype is both, provisional and exemplary, and refers to a reality which has not yet been implemented. Just as people create tools and techniques and are in turn created by them, software prototypes must be understood as crude Frankenstein sketches of a new person. Does this person have certain abilities? A body? Is a “symbiosis” with the computer possible, and if so, could it provide insights into artificial and statistical intelligence? Considerations and evidence about and in the media/voice prototypes of the speaker.


Error-Correction: An Introduction to Future Diagrams (Take 7) is part of an ongoing series of research on diagrams, which take up and process thematically relevant texts, contemporary commentaries, news and anecdotal traces to culminate in a mutual convergence of many interwoven threads, whereby the voice, using language, is constituted “between another person’s thoughts and the paper”. Based on Jonah Peretti, the founder of BuzzFeed, and his book Capitalism and Schizophrenia: Contemporary Visual Culture and the Acceleration of Identity Formation/Dissolution, Take 7 is primarily interested in materiality, algorithms and an evolving subjectivity. Low Animal Spirits by Ami Clarke and Richard Cochrane is an algorithm for high frequency trading, fed in real time with news from around the world.


The film programme on “Cold bodies, warm machines” expanded the discourse space of the conference into the moving image and showed artistic film- and video-works that depicted various facets of the man-machine relationship and questioned them, usually critically. What in early science fiction films still seemed like distant utopias of possible android life forms is today a natural part of our reality. The progressive merging of human being, machine and technology in everyday life as well as the increasing control of our living environment through data flows and computer-controlled aids is reflected in the moving image then and now. In contrast to then, the artists today do not rely on utopias, but on the latest scientific findings and research as well as on personal everyday experiences. The film programme showed a selection of works from 2007-2015, which deal with the status quo of the human-machine-relationship through experimental documentary formats, found-footage collages and performative interventions.

Curated by Tasja Langenbach (Videonale, Bonn)


7:30 P.M.
(Ruth Schiffer, Ministry for Family, Children, Youth, Culture and Sport of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia; Alain Bieber, NRW-Forum Düsseldorf; Fabian Saavedra-Lara and Klaas Werner, office)

8:00 P.M.
Keynote I: Erich Hörl
Techno-ecological culture of meaning (after Félix Guattari)”

9:30 – 10:00 P.M.
Film programme – first part


11:00 A.M.
Keynote II:
Andreas Broeckmann “Love of machines and sibling struggle. On the relationship between humans and technology

12:15 P.M.
Artistic keynote: Robert M Ochshorn Prototypes

2:15 P.M.
Panel 1: Machines which think and want: Neural networks, behavioral modeling and computer models of cognition (in cooperation with Goldsmiths, University of London)

4:00 P.M.
Film programme – second part

5:30 P.M.
Panel 2: Neural networking – Communication with machines

7:00 P.M.
Performance by Ami Clarke

SUNDAY, SEPT. 11TH, 2016

11.30 A.M.
Panel 3: The posthumanist threshold or: On the possibility of thinking one’s own end (in cooperation with the Mercator Research Group “Spaces of Anthropological Knowledge, Ruhr-Universität Bochum)

2:00 P.M.
Film programme – third part

3:30 P.M.
Panel 4: Man as machine – phantasms of the optimization of mind and body

5:15 P.M.
Talk between Inke Arns (Hartware MedienKunstVerein, Dortmund) and Sascha Pohflepp (artist, Berlin/US)

6.00 P.M.
End of event

Organizer: Office
Office hosted by: Hartware MedienKunstVerein (HMKV)
Project Team: Program Director Fabian Saavedra-Lara (, Program and Organization Klaas Werner (, Curator Film Program Tasja Langenbach (Videonale, Bonn)
cooperation partners: NRW-Forum Düsseldorf; Goldsmiths, University of London; Mercator Research Group “Spaces of Anthropological Knowledge”, located at the Ruhr-University Bochum

The conference and were sponsored by the Ministry for Family, Children, Youth, Culture and Sports of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia.

Further funding: British Council

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Every Step You Take – Art and Society in the Data Age

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Every Step You Take – Art and Society in the Data Age

FR, 12.11.- SA, 15.11.2015

Office medienwerk.nrwFestival

A project of, organized by: Office, Hartware MedienKunstVerein, Schauspiel Dortmund, Dortmunder U – Zentrum für Kunst und Kreativität, Kino im U e.V., Heimatdesign, Fraunhofer UMSICHT

The second international conference of, titled “Every Step You Take – Art and Society in the Data Age”, dealt with the utopias and dystopias associated with new technologies of automated collection, storage and analysis of data. Numerous feuilletonist, scientific and artistic positions are currently articulating an uneasiness about latest developments in our digital and networked media reality. The public debates on “Big Data”, surveillance, transparency and data protection, but also individual user behaviour on social networks, are characterised by a profound ambivalence: the promises and temptations of technological progress – security, predictability, optimisation, comfort – are accompanied by social as well as private consequences, which often remain unmanageable and abstract in their complexity.

The conference Every Step You Take presented positions from media art, media theory and digital culture, which reacted to these technological and social developments. Following question was of particular interest: in which way are contemporary artistic strategies able to make invisible (immaterial) and highly complex processes visible, describe current technological change and make its consequences comprehensible? A second focus was on the social, economic and political ideas, which have inscribed themselves into the modes of operation of the new media: How do these ideas and logics reproduce themselves in everyday use? And what scope remains for critical debate and emancipation in the digital space?

Besides lectures, panels and artist talks, the program included a concert with the artists Holly Herndon (music) and Mat Dryhurst (visuals), a film programme curated by Florian Wüst, a screening of the live movie Minority Report (R: Klaus Gehre), a reading with the writer Leif Randt (novel Planet Magnon) and workshops in cooperation with Fraunhofer UMSICHT and the Dortmunder U. HMKV showed the group exhibition (Artificial Intelligence) Digital Dementia at Dortmunder U, curated by Thibaut de Ruyter.

With contributions from: Inke Arns, Kim Asendorf, Dirk Baecker, Alain Bieber, Mercedes Bunz, Niels van Doorn, Cécile B. Evans, Paul Feigelfeld, Matthew Fuller, Gemma Galdon Clavell, Louis Henderson, Holly Herndon, Felix Hüttemann, Alexander Kerlin, Ignas Krunglevičius, Constanze Kurz, Brigitta Kuster, Koen Leurs, Boaz Levin, Joanne McNeil, Jennifer Lyn Morone, Luciana Parisi, Peng! Collective, Maral Pourkazemi, Leif Randt, Hans Ulrich Reck, Manfred Schneider, Nishant Shah, Christian Sievers, Christoph Wachter & Mathias Jud, Jennifer Whitson, Pinar Yoldas and others

Film-programme with contributions from: Nadav Assor, Jürgen Brügger & Jörg Haaßengier, Bureau of Inverse Technology, Emma Charles, Hellmuth Costard & Jürgen Ebert, Norman Cowie, Stéphane Degoutin & Gwenola Wagon, Omer Fast, Harun Farocki, Walter Koch, Steffen Köhn, Jen Liu, Christian Niccoli, Ridley Scott

Film programme was curated by Florian Wüst

Concept & Programme Management: Fabian Saavedra-Lara
Concept & Program: Judith Funke
Projectmanagement: Annette Bohn

Sponsored by:
Ministry for Family, Children, Youth, Culture and Sport of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia
Federal Agency for Civic Education
Cultural Office City of Dortmund

Under false flag? Crossing genres and boundaries in contemporary art

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Under false flag? Crossing genres and boundaries in contemporary art

PACT Zollverein
FR, 26.06. – SUN, 28.06.2015

Office medienwerk.nrwConference

From June 26th to 28th, 2015, the 1st conference of the office took place at PACT Zollverein (Essen) on the topic “Crossing Branches and Borders in Contemporary Art“. Artists, curators and scientists from the fields of media-, performance- and visual art examined current artistic practices in lectures and panels. The focus was on positions, which leave their traditional representation in favour of other presentation-contexts; and those ones, who change the experience of spatial and temporal structures at their performance venues and blur the boundaries between the various artistic disciplines.

The focus of the discussion was the recurring convergence of traditional artistic disciplines such as film, visual arts, performative arts and media art, in which the classical boundaries between the genres seem to dissolve once again.

In four panels – two on Saturday and two on Sunday – various aspects of this development were discussed with experts and the interested public. The conference was opened with a keynote speech on Friday. This was followed by a lecture-performance by Swedish artist Erik Bünger (“The girl who never was“). In addition, some artistic positions could be seen at various locations of PACT Zollverein – by Cécile B. Evans, Balz Isler, Erik Bünger and Laura Brechmann, Dwayne Holiday, Tania Reinicke, Stephanie von Gelmini, Anne Weyler (EIN collective).

The current interest of visual-art-institutions in the ephemeral, in artistic strategies, which rely on situativity, fleetingness and experience, seems to be symptomatic of new alliances, shifts of responsibilities and changes of perspective in contemporary art based on over 40 years of avantgarde developments. In this context, the conference asked on which medial constitutions and social developments artists react today when they change their context and make disciplinary boundaries permeable.

At the beginning of the conference the following questions have been formulated: How will the transfer of forms between disciplines influence the practice and self-image of artists and institutions? How do artists and curators interact between disciplines today? How do recipients, visitors and spectators deal with the trend towards the dissolution of traditional disciplinary boundaries?

TALKS AND LECTURES with Inke Arns, Hans Bernhard, Nadja Elia-Borer, Melanie Bühler, Dieter Daniels, André Eiermann, Cécile B. Evans, Paul Feigelfeld, Judith Funke, Stefan Hilterhaus, Michelle Kasprzak, Daniel Kötter, Serge Laurent, Kirsten Maar, Jessica Nitsche, Manuel Pelmus, Laurence Rassel, Sabine Maria Schmidt, Jörn Schafaff, Bettina Steinbrügge, Vivian Ziherl

ARTISTICAL CONTRIBUTIONS by Erik Bünger, Cécile B. Evans, Balz Isler and Laura Brechmann, Dwayne Holiday, Tania Reinicke, Stephanie von Gelmini, Anne Weyler (EIN collectively)


Friday, June 26th, 2015

7:00 p.m., opening of the exhibition-rooms (Erik Bünger, Balz Isler, Cécile B. Evans, EIN collective)

7:30 p.m., welcome, big stage

8:00 p.m., Keynote: Vivian Ziherl (If I Can’t Dance, I Don’t Want To Be Part Of Your Revolution, Brisbane/Amsterdam), big stage, in english language

9:15 p.m., Lecture-Performance: Erik Bünger (Berlin, “The girl who never was“) small stage, in english language with German subtitles

10:15 – 11:00 p.m., exhibition rooms opened

Saturday, June 27th, 2015

12:30 pm, opening of the exhibition-rooms

1:30 – 3:00 p.m., Panel 1: Historical perspectives of the border-crossing (with: Jessica Nitsche [moderation], Dieter Daniels, André Eiermann, Nadja Elia-Borer, Sabine Maria Schmidt)

3:45 – 5:15 p.m., Panel 2: Border-crossing and the question of temporalities (with: Judith Funke [moderation], Daniel Kötter, Kirsten Maar, Manuel Pelmus, Laurence Rassel), in English

5:30 – 6:30 p.m., conversation with Serge Laurent (Curator Centre Pompidou, Paris), in English

7:00 – 10:00 p.m., Get-together

Sunday, June 28th, 2015

12:30 p.m., opening of the exhibition-rooms

1:30 – 3:00 p.m., Panel 3: Digital (de-)limitation (with: Melanie Bühler [moderation], Hans Bernhard, Cécile B. Evans, Paul Feigelfeld, Michelle Kasprzak), in English

3:45 – 5:15 p.m., Panel 4: Cross-disciplinary curating (with: Jörn Schafaff [moderation], Inke Arns, Stefan Hilterhaus, Bettina Steinbrügge)

6:00 p.m., end of the conference

Projectmanagement and concept: Fabian Saavedra-Lara, Klaas Werner

The office and the conference were supported by the Ministry for Family, Children, Youth, Culture and Sports of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia. Office hosted by: Hartware MedienKunstVerein, Dortmund.




HMKV Hartware MedienKunstverein
FR, 16.10.2015, 6PM

Office medienwerk.nrwArtist Talk

In his creative work Bürger deals with participatory design-practices on the net. For example, he designed the publication Digital Folklore, on which the exhibition is based, and was also working on design for the media art festival transmediale (Berlin). The short presentation and discussion focused on the current interests in the field of digital culture and on the amateur cultures of the early 1990s internet: What has changed since then, what has been lost? Apparently, the web-services and -tools of the time offered more scope for individual design and thus enabled a wider range of aesthetics as well as a lively user-culture, which has disappeared in recent years in favor of uniform templates as the web has become increasingly commercialized. The discussion with Dr. Inke Arns (HMKV) and Fabian Saavedra-Lara (Büro deals with the old ideals of DIY-culture on the Net; and furthermore: what could we as today’s users learn from it in retrospect, and how the Net-aesthetics of that time, which from today’s perspective seem “retro”, influenced today’s design-practices as well as artistic practices (“post-internet”).

With: Manuel Bürger (Berlin), Moderation: Dr. Inke Arns (HMKV), Fabian Saavedra-Lara (Office

Manuel Bürger (Berlin) or “The Laboratory of Manuel Bürger” (Worldwide) deals with amateurish and virtuoso design forces, works between nonsense and cultural theory and looks after clients from various areas of the communication-landscape, such as the transmediale festival in Berlin. Bürger is part of several collectives like Mimetic Club, Bench Boys, Figure 8, teaches at the Merz Akademie in Stuttgart and successfully runs the Naives & Visionaries publishing house. He is also in charge of the regularly published research magazine CVSN of the Critical Vision course at the University of Cincinnatti, USA, and the annual research publication of Aarhus University, Denmark. Recent publications and essays deal with the mimetic potential of design and house music: “Slippery Design – forever beta” and “Duck House Theory – Robert Venturi’s Darkroom Fantasies” respectively.

The office was funded by the Ministry for Family, Children, Youth, Culture and Sports of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia. Office hosted by: Hartware MedienKunstVerein, Dortmund.