Keynote_Wege ins Anthropozän – Kritische Narrative und Desorientierung_Bergit Arends_im FFT Düsseldorf_(C)PLZZO_Auswahl_1
Panel_Kunst, Akti­­vismus und gemeinsame Strategien für Klima­gerechtigkeit_im Bild-Nina Fischer, Maroan el Sani, Vanina Saracino & Hanna Poddig_im FFT Düsseldorf_(C)PLZZO_Auswahl
R.I.P. – Resurrect in Peace_von Anan Fries_Performance im FFT Düsseldorf_Im Bild-Kieron Jina__(C)PLZZO_Auswahl
Autor*innenlesung von Sinthujan Varatharajah zum Buch an alle orte, die hinter uns liegen.
Autor*innenlesung von Sinthujan Varatharajah zum Buch an alle orte, die hinter uns liegen.
DJ Set: YAYA YAYA ist eine Crew, eine Plattform, die Raum und Stimme für Club und Popkultur bietet. YAYA ist ein solidarischer Space mit Fokus auf BIPOC femmes.
Mirjam Schmuck, Regisseurin von kainkollektiv, und Patrick Kruse, Kommunikationsdesigner von MIREVI, machen einen transmedialen Walk durch das KASSIA-Archiv und stellen das interdisziplinäre Projekt vor.
Der interdisziplinäre Künstler Kiran Kumār atellt Ideen und Ergebnisse ihres hybriden computergestützten choreografischen Ansatzes zur digitalen Visualisierung des tanzenden Körpers.
Talk: Freie Archivpraktiken & institutionelle ArchiveMit Wouter de Romph, Mirjam Schmuck, Agustina Andreoletti, Sam Hopkins und Kiran Kumār, moderiert von Christian Sievers.

Opening of the festival at FFT: Friday, 1 September 2023
Duration of the festival: 1– 30 September 2023

With the Peer to Peer – A Month of Media Art in NRW event series in September 2023, the Office and cooperation partners invite to a journey through the diverse and charismatic media art landscape of North Rhine-Westphalia. In workshops, performances, presentations, talks and urban walks, we look at current debates in the field of tension between art and technology on five consecutive weekends in Düsseldorf, Cologne, Havixbeck (near Münster) and Essen and position these jointly in a broader socio-political context. The starting point is provided by the sponsored projects from the programmes Medienkunstfonds and Medienkunstfellows of the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia.

Credits: Photos FFT Düsseldorf: © Plzzo | Photos Rautenstrauch-Joest-Museum + Kunsthoschule für Medien Köln: © Dörthe Boxberg | Photos Burg Hülshoff – Center for Literature (CfL), Havixbeck und PACT Zollverein, Essen: © Dirk Rose




Location: Temporary Gallery – Centre for contemporary art, Cologne

Office medienwerk.nrwWorkshop

Workshop series on the role of art institutions in socio-ecological transformation processes.

Against the backdrop of multiple social and ecological crises, the workshop series TOWARDS PERMACULTURAL INSTITUTIONS: CURATING TRANSFORMATION took reflections on the application of permacultural principles in the cultural sector as the starting point for a three-part workshop series. The focus was on the question of what role art institutions can play in urgent transformation processes towards an ecologically just and decolonial society and what options they have for action.

As a reaction to the precarious effects of hyper-capitalist modes of production and relationships, permaculture as a practice and philosophy is arousing increasing interest in the cultural sector when it comes to thinking about new approaches to institutional processes, program work and spatial practice.
What potential do principles and ethical concepts offer for cultural institutions? Which aspects can be transferred to the cultural sector and translated into context-specific actions?

The term permaculture is made up of the words “permanent” and “(agri-)culture” and brings different types of knowledge and practices together. Permaculture combines methods from organic cultivation as well as principles for designing social processes that aim for holism, regeneration, horizontality and reciprocity. The design of permaculture processes and systems is based on a cycle of observation, experimentation and adaptation. It is built on three ethical principles: 1) Earth Care: Care for the planet and all more-than-humans. 2) People Care: Care for people and equitable access to all the basics of life. 3) Fair Share: Fair distribution of limited resources.

The workshops aimed to transfer the content into your own institutional practice and offered the opportunity to analyze the institutional/individual status quo, outline visions and strategies and identify first steps for action.

Following the summer seminar Towards Permacultural Institutions: Exercises in Collective Thinking, organised by the Stiftung Künstlerdorf Schöppingen in cooperation with CCA Temporary Gallery, the Curating Transformation series creates space to critically question permaculture and think about a translation of its ethics, principles and methods into the art field. What could a permacultural (= socially and ecologically just) art institution look like?

Curated by Aneta Rostkowska and Nada Rosa Schroer

Based on the ethical principles of permaculture, TOWARDS PERMACULTURAL INSTITUTIONS – CURATING TRANSFORMATION covered three specific topics:

Friday, 20th Oct 2023, 2 – 8:30 p.m.
Saturday, 21h Oct 2023, 10:30 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Lecture: Friday, October 20th, 7:30 p.m., Antonia Alampi

In the spirit of People Care, the workshop on the topic of “Allyship” deepens the question of ways to support local environmental groups and climate justice activists and asks about ways to build solidarity and reciprocal relationships between actors and communities in the so-called Global South and North.

Video: © Claudia List

Friday, Nov 3, 2023, 2 p.m. – 8:30 p.m
Saturday, Nov 4, 2023, 10:30 a.m. – 8:30 p.m
Lecture: Friday, Nov 3, 2023, 7:30 p.m.

In the spirit of Fair Share, the “Degrowth” workshop looks critically and constructively at the approaches of the post-growth movement, especially education for sustainable development, and questions central strategies regarding their transferability to the cultural sector.

Critical friend report: © CentrumCentrum

Video: © Luise Flügge

Friday, Dec 1, 2023, 2 p.m. – 8:30 p.m
Saturday, Dec 2, 10:30 a.m. – 8:30 p.m
Lecture: Friday, Dec 2, 2023, 7:30 p.m., Lucia Pietroiuisti

In the spirit of Earth Care, the “Grounding” workshop is dedicated to curatorial and institutional practices that aim at ecological regeneration and asks about the interaction between ecology, pedagogy and physical-mental care.

Video: © Luise Flügge

The Temporary Gallery – centre for contemporary art is a non-profit institution for contemporary art in Cologne. Founded in 2009 as an art association, it was directed by art historian and curator Regina Barunke from 2012-2018. In January 2019, Aneta Rostkowska took over as director of the gallery. In solo and group exhibitions, the Temporary Gallery presents young or rediscovered, often international positions. Since 2014, the Temporary Gallery has been institutionally supported by the City of Cologne as a centre for contemporary art.
More info about the Temporary Gallery – centre for contemporary art

The workshop series is a cooperation between Büro and the Temporary Gallery – centre for contemporary art, Cologne.

Geert Lovink in conversation with Annekathrin Kohout „Stuck on the Platform – Reclaiming the Internet“

Echo, Damian, Scheinleistung

Geert Lovink in conversation with Annekathrin Kohout „Stuck on the Platform – Reclaiming the Internet“

FFT Düsseldorf – Forum Freies Theater
FR, DECEMBER 16, 2022, 18:30 H

Office medienwerk.nrwPanel Discussion

The media theorist and net critic Geert Lovink has been observing developments in the digital world with growing concern for years. He warned early on about platform capitalism and urged us to delete our Facebook profiles. His analyses show how interaction in social media can produce a special kind of sadness. Nevertheless, he has not yet lost faith in a better web. His new book “Stuck on the Platform. Reclaiming the Internet” (transcript, 2022) has just been published in German. In it, he calls on us to develop “our own versions of the technosocial”. In conversation with media scientist Annekathrin Kohout (“Nerds. Eine Popkulturgeschichte”, “Netzfeminismus. Digitale Bildkulturen”), Geert Lovink presented the German translation of the book for the first time.

After the talk at the FFT Düsseldorf, all interested parties were invited to join a public viewing session: Together we watched the livestream of internil’s performance Blackout in the foyer and interacted via chat bot with the stage of Theaterdiscounter Berlin.
More info about Blackout

Geert Lovink is a media theorist, internet critic and author of, among others, Dark Fiber (2002), Zero Comments (2007), Under the Spell of Platforms (2017) and Digital Nihilism. Theses on the Dark Side of Platforms (2019) among others. Lovink is the founding director of the media-theoretical Institute of Network Cultures (INC) based at the Hogeschool van Amsterdam, which has been dedicated to culture in virtual networks as a social phenomenon since 2004. Since 2021, Lovink has also been Professor of Art and Network Cultures at the University of Amsterdam.
Geert Lovink in the Collective Chronicle of Thoughts and Observations, 2017
More info about the Institute of Network Cultures (INC)

Annekathrin Kohout is a media scholar and co-editor of the book series “Digital Image Cultures” and the journal POP. Kultur und Kritik and a member of the editorial board of the international Journal of Global Pop Cultures. Her book “Nerds. Eine Popkulturgeschichte” was published by C.H. Beck in 2022. She is currently a guest lecturer at the Institute for Media, Theatre and Popular Culture at the University of Hildesheim.
More info about POP. Kultur und Kritik
More info about Journal of Global Pop Cultures

Verena Seibt and Clea Stracke


Verena Seibt and Clea Stracke

1980, Dachau / 1982, Berlin-Tempelhof

Office medienwerk.nrwFunding

In 2013, the scholarship of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia for female media artists was exceptionally awarded to two artists, Verena Seibt and Clea Stracke.

Jury statement
Verena Seibt and Clea Stracke (both living in Cologne) worked together as an artist duo from 2006 to 2016. Their artistic research starts with real (urban, social, architectural or institutional) spaces and – in a thoroughly humorous and ironic way – brings to light the buried truths of these spaces. Their video installation Und das Schiff fährt (And the ship sails), which they presented in 2009 for their graduation, deals with the architecture of the Coop Himmelb(l)au art academy building as well as with teaching and the ‘essence of an artist’. In the video, the alienation technique of the film medium transforms the building of the Munich Art Academy into a ship on the high seas at the mercy of the waves: “The real front is reinterpreted as a fictional backdrop – and in this metaphor of the ship sailing on the high seas, it refers to the highly real internal structures of the academy”, point out the artists.

Their proposed project Because I don’t love you any more will examine various separation processes at the recycling yard. The video intends to change the view of an everyday place by dramatically exaggerating tragic moments of separation.

Verena Seibt (*1980 in Dachau) und Clea Stracke (*1982 in Berlin-Tempelhof) studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich from 2001 to 2008 and worked together as an artist duo until 2016. In their subtle manoeuvres, the two create imaginary spaces by groping, wondering, dissecting their way into real places, balancing their finds on the fine line between fiction and reality. Film and installation are the artists’ central media for creating space-consuming scenarios.
More info about the artist duo
More info about the ARCA project
More info about Verena Seibt

Céline Berger


Céline Berger

1973, Saint-Martin-d’Hères
stipendium 2015

Office medienwerk.nrwFunding

The scholarship of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia for female media artists 2015 was awarded to Céline Berger.

Members of the three-person jury were Dr. Inke Arns (Director of HMKV, Dortmund), Thomas Thiel (former Director of Kunstverein Bielefeld) and Denise Ritter (artist and NRW Media Art Scholarship Holder 2012). The jury selected the scholarship holder from 55 applications.

Jury statement
On the one hand, Céline Berger is interested in how precarious working conditions are inscribed in (visual) language (Employees, Release, both 2010). On the other hand, the artist examines the ways in which language is used to achieve personal career goals within the company. For this so-called “business coaches” make use of a variety of models and conversation techniques: Neuro-linguistic programming, systemic constellation, transactional analysis, emotional intelligence. The relationship between “trainer” (coach) and “client” (coachee) represents a narrative universe that is particularly interesting for the artist: It is a framework within which “stories of the world of work” are told. Céline Berger weaves these stories, which she finds for example in the case studies of the Harvard Business Review, into poetic narratives (e.g. in Rare birds in these lands, La Ronde, both 2013). The artist, whose view was doubtless sharpened by her stay in the Netherlands, succeeds in creating an extremely detailed analysis of the current corporate world, which at some moments is quite frightening.

The jury is impressed by the accurate work of this artist, who manages to distil artistic reflections on the present, which is increasingly shaped by economic thinking, from the functional language of our working world. The work Ballade, which was produced as part of the scholarship, was shown in 2018 at Dortmunder U and Temporary Gallery, Cologne. The screenings were organised by the office.

Céline Berger (*1973 in Saint-Martin-d’Hères, France) explores the medium of language. Her artistic work focuses on today’s working and business world.
More info about Céline Berger

Vera Drebusch


Vera Drebusch

1986, herdecke
stipendium 2016

Office medienwerk.nrwFunding

The scholarship of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia for female media artists 2016 was awarded to Vera Drebusch.

Members of the three-person jury were Dr. Inke Arns (Director of HMKV Hartware Medienkunstverein, Dortmund), Thomas Thiel (former Director of Kunstverein Bielefeld) and Céline Berger (artist and NRW Media Art Scholarship Holder 2015, Cologne). The jury selected the scholarship holder from 43 applications.

Jury statement
The artist Vera Drebusch, who was born in Herdecke in 1986 and lives in Cologne, deals with contemporary history in her photographic, text and media works and updates them in the form of personal memories. In the photographic work Route (2014), for example, Vera Drebusch addresses the expulsion of her grandmother after the Second World War. The artist cycled the 300 km route from Poland via Czechoslovakia to Germany and projects this route as a Google map on her cleavage: her grandmother’s escape route appears as blue veins on her own skin. Hostage Radio (2014) was created during a stay in Colombia in 2013. Every Saturday, Colombia’s largest radio station broadcasts messages from family members of the many hijacked people to the kidnapped in the jungle from midnight until 6:00 the next day. The installation is made up of a radio station and a world receiver from which a text written and spoken by Vera Drebusch can be heard – all this is placed in front of a piece of Levanto Rosso (blood marble) illuminated from behind. Vera Drebusch also works with the methods of condensation and visualisation in other projects. Her new project, to be realised within the scholarship of the state of NRW for a female media artist in 2016, is entitled Die Höhle des Löwen (Lion´s Cave).

Lion’s Cave, mixed media installation (slide projection, images framed in steel, 50 x 70cm), 1987/2006/2016:
In an autobiographical work, Vera Drebusch traces her relationship with a childhood friend. The two grew up together, almost like siblings, but he later followed a completely different path. For eleven years he was a member of the far-right scene; he served two prison sentences and was recently able to leave the scene. The photos from the past thirty years have been thoroughly edited, his face as well as the tattoos all over his body have been retouched and erased for the sake of anonymity. The attempt at an approach is documented through quotes that have been handwritten and projected as a slide show directly onto the wall. The gallery of St. Peter serves as an exhibition space. (Mario Müller)

Vera Drebusch (1986 in Herdecke) lives and works in Hamburg, graduated in photography in Dortmund and followed this up with studies at the Academy of Media Arts Cologne, at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia in Bogotá and as a guest at the Bremen University of the Arts and the Kassel University of the Arts. In 2013, she founded the exhibition space GOLD+BETON at Cologne’s Ebertplatz. From 2015 to 2019, she took on teaching positions at the Institute for Art and Art Theory at the University of Cologne and at the Faculty of Cultural Studies at the University of Paderborn. She curated exhibitions in Germany and abroad for the Westdeutscher Künstlerbund.
More info about Vera Drebusch

Pauline M’Barek


Pauline M’Barek

1979, Köln
stipendium 2017

Office medienwerk.nrwFunding

The scholarship of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia for female media artists 2017 was awarded to Pauline M’Barek.

Members of the three-person jury were Dr. Inke Arns (Director of HMKV Hartware MedienKunstverein, Dortmund), Thomas Thiel (Director of Kunstverein Bielefeld) and Céline Berger (artist and NRW Media Art Scholarship Holder 2015). The jury selected the scholarship holder from 62 applications.

Jury statement
The artist Pauline M’barek, who was born in Cologne in 1979 and lives there, deals with fundamental questions of human perception in her multimedia performances. The subject of her video and audio installations, sculptures and drawings are media of perception (vitrine, holders) as well as the senses themselves. The interactions of seeing, hearing and touching preoccupy the artist as much as the significance of corporeality for human perception. In the continuous intersection of objective and subjective perspectives, M’barek relativises our awareness of the world. In her video Semiophoren (2013), for example, black, ethnological objects only become visible to the viewer through gestures of contact with white gloves due to a black image background. In contrast, the series of works Artifacts (2014) shows individual forms of touch as the artist reproduces individual hand movements in foreign-seeming artefacts made of alabaster plaster. As a consequence of the various translations of tactile experience, the artist also dealt with the possible touches of the eye and a materiality of seeing in her video Glance (2014) or the photograph Selbstporträt nach Ernst Mach (2014).

Her new project named Glance – the body in view, to be realised within the 2017 scholarship of the state of NRW for a media artist, will continue these artistic investigations into seeing as a tactile process. The production of a video is planned, which will tie in with findings from earlier works and focuses on the body as the actual medium of perception. This time, the artist wants to capture the viewer’s subjective gaze under professional conditions with macro shots of the pupil and simultaneously use them as a mirror of an architectural environment and physical movement in space. Since the pupil also reflects the body (nose, hands, legs, etc.), we will explore a space that is unfamiliar to us through the eyes of another person in the video and follow the minimal movement sequences of a rehearsed performance. In this way, a “second-order observation” or a slow “groping with the gaze” (Merleau-Ponty) is created in the Luhmannian sense – thanks to a natural distorting mirror, the glance in the gaze.

Pauline M‘barek (*1979 in Cologne) lives and works in Brussels and Cologne, studied fine arts at the Hochschule für Bildende Künste in Hamburg (2000-2007), École Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Marseille (2003-2004) and finally postgraduate media art at the Kunsthochschule für Medien in Cologne (2007-2009). The jury is impressed by this medially diverse and still very focused artist, who can already point to a very autonomous portfolio of work and numerous important awards.
More info about Pauline M‘barek

Kerstin Ergenzinger


Kerstin Ergenzinger

1975, Gomadingen
stipendium 2011

Office medienwerk.nrwFunding

The scholarship of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia for female media artists 2011 was awarded to Kerstin Ergenzinger.

Members of the three-person jury were Dr. Inke Arns (Director of HMKV Hartware MedienKunstverein, Dortmund), Thibaut de Ruyter (art critic, Berlin) and Susanne Weirich (artist and NRW Media Art Scholarship Holder 2008).

Jury statement
Kerstin Ergenzinger (living in Cologne) creates space-related, reactive installations, such as the impressive light installation ..W / ..O KEINGRADWESTUNDKEINGRADOST (2006), which consisted of a walk-in box whose corners were visualised by projected lines that shifted barely noticeably. The jury was also impressed by the expansive kinetic installation Studie zur Sehnsucht (2007-2009), which transferred seismological data into slowly changing mountain and ground formations.

Kerstin Ergenzinger’s project Rotes Rauschen is an experimental installation, a pseudo-scientific arrangement, an artistic study to explore the raw material of our perception – and a sculpture. The artist plans to transform a room in a stand-alone building without a basement into a “spatial seismometer and state and unrest meter”. This “listens to the tilts – that is, the shifts of weight inside it – as well as the slow frequencies of the omnipresent seismic noise that travels through the floor beneath it.” Everyone who enters such a spatial seismometer changes the weight distribution of the place and shifts the structure of relationships in space.

The project was presented at the Hartware MedienKunstVerein in 2012.
More info about the exhibition

Kerstin Ergenzinger (*1975 in Gomadingen) works in and between the fields of sculpture, sound, kinetics, light and drawing. The central theme of her practice is the indissoluble relationship between body and world, between perception and the perceived, between sensual exploration and the construction of meaning. Central to her work are cross-disciplinary art and research projects, including co-editing the artistic and academic publication Navigating Noise (Walther König, Berlin).
More info about Kerstin Ergenzinger

Denise Ritter

Denise Ritter

Denise Ritter

1971, Rodalben
stipendium 2012

Office medienwerk.nrwFunding

The scholarship of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia for female media artists 2012 was awarded to Denise Ritter.

Members of the three-person jury were Dr. Inke Arns (Director of HMKV Hartware MedienKunstVerein, Dortmund), Ute Vorkoeper (Curator, Hamburg) and Kerstin Ergenzinger (Artist and NRW Media Art Scholarship Holder 2011).

Jury statement
The oftentimes multichannel electroacoustic compositions in the sound installations, sculptures and objects by the artist and graduate geographer Denise Ritter (who lives in Dortmund) always take real sound situations as their starting point – such as the sounds of a rolling mill in Lorraine; sounds the artist creates when she falls asleep; the scratching of plant leaves on masonry; radio transmission between the Earth and the International Space Station (ISS). In addition to the precise and nuanced elaboration of the compositions, the jury was quite impressed by Ritter’s artistic approach to space and form. The artist calls them “audio-cartographic installations – walkable floor installations – with map signatures made of wire, speakers and compositions that reflect the landscape space in which they are made”.

Her project idea small world wide is based on the so-called ‘small world phenomenon’, according to which supposedly everyone in the world knows everyone else through a maximum of six corners (‘six degrees of separation’). The artist will define ten destinations (the International Space Station ISS, the research ship Polarstern of the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research, the Kenogami Jungle in Ontario, etc.) and have recording devices reach the ten destinations via a chain of acquaintances through ten ‘starting persons’, which are to be documented by ten ‘target persons’ via audio recordings. The audio material generated in this way becomes the starting point for a new audio-cartographic installation.
Denise Ritter in an interview about her project
More info about the project

Denise Ritter (*1971, Rodalben) is a sound artist. In her sound installations, she brings electro-acoustic compositions into harmony with sculptural spatial interventions. She graduated in geography, studied audiovisual art at the HBKsaar in Saarbrücken and was a ‘Meisterschülerin’ of Christina Kubisch. Denise Ritter is represented at exhibitions and festivals in Germany and other countries, she as well realises sound installations in public spaces and is, among other things, a winner of the German Sound Art Award.
More info about Denise Ritter

Tina Tonagel


Tina Tonagel

1973, Lemgo

Office medienwerk.nrwFunding

The scholarship of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia for female media artists 2010 was awarded to Tina Tonagel.

Members of the three-person jury were Dr. Inke Arns (Director of HMKV Hartware MedienKunstVerein, Dortmund), Thibaut de Ruyter (art critic, Berlin) and Susanne Weirich (artist and NRW Media Art Scholarship Holder 2008).

Jury statement
The artist Tina Tonagel (Cologne) has been developing experimental works with overhead projectors for several years. Starting with purely visual installations in which kinetic set-ups on the projectors generated images in real time, the artist has recently begun to extend these space-related installations with sound components.

Tina Tonagel’s project Himalaya Variations is an audiovisual performance with two overhead projectors. Self-made sound generators/musical instruments are placed on the projectors’ support surfaces; these instruments are played live and visualised in real time. The concept for this ‘kinetic overhead installation’ as well as this artist’s love of experimentation, wit and sense of humour convinced the jury.

The finished work of the scholarship was shown at the HMKV Hartware MedienKunstVerein in 2011.

Tina Tonagel (*1973 in Lemgo) studied at the University of Bielefeld and at the Academy of Media Arts Cologne (graduated 2004). She received, among others, the Milla and Partner Prize for Media in Space (Stuttgart Filmwinter) in 2004, the 5th Marl Video Installation Prize (Skulpturenmuseum Glaskasten Marl) in 2008, a scholarship from the Kunststiftung NRW (promotion of young artists) in 2009 and the Stiftung Kunstfonds working scholarship in 2011.
More info about Tina Tonagel

Susanne Weirich

Ani Schulze, Flint House Lizard_Installationsansicht_Kunstverein Siegen_2021_Foto Simon Vogel

Susanne Weirich

1962, Unna

Office medienwerk.nrwFunding

The scholarship of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia for female media artists 2008 was awarded to Susanne Weirich.

Members of the three-person jury were Susanne Ackers (former managing director of HMKV Hartware MedienKunstVerein, Dortmund), Annette Schindler (former director of, Basel) and Sabine Himmelsbach (former director of Edith-Ruß-Haus, Oldenburg).

Jury statement
The concept Angels in Chains by Susanne Weirich provides an examination of the group of three women who were involved in the Tate / La Bianca murders: Susan Atkins, Patricia Krenwinkel and Leslie van Houten. The research already done by the artist on relevant films and TV interviews as well as YouTube links brought interesting material to light. In this context, the link to the TV series ‘Charlie’s Angels’, which is also mentioned in the title of the work and which shows the role of the media in constituting reality, was quite fascinating. The intended multimedia installation will interweave the media images and constructs to blend one Hollywood image with the other. The result will be a type of re-enactment of the US series ‘Three Angels for Charlie’, which first aired in 1976 and was restaged as a Hollywood blockbuster in 2000 and 2003. Their staging of female self-empowerment corresponds with the way the women’s group of the ‘Manson Family’ is produced.

The jury was particularly impressed by the way in which a gender discourse is established through the violent behaviour that is illegitimate for women, which is “plausibly” portrayed in both cases. In addition to these thematic aspects, the intended technical-formal realisation, which has already been excellently handled in previous works by Susanne Weirich, was convincing, as the jury was able to verify on the basis of the submitted material on the artist’s work.

The funding provided by the scholarship from the state of North Rhine-Westphalia for the artist, who was born in Unna (*1962) and has lived in Berlin for several years, allowed her to work intensively on the conception and realisation of the installation.

The work realised within the context of the scholarship was presented at the HMKV Hartware MedienKunstVerein in 2009. The finished work was shown in January 2009 in the exhibition Man Son. The Horror of the Situation, curated by Frank Barth and Dirck Möllmann for the Hamburger Kunsthalle, which explores the topic of Charles Manson and ‘The Family’ in detail.
More info about the exhibition Man Son. The Horror of the Situation

Susanne Weirich (*1962 in Unna) shows diverse artistic strategies in her prototypical realisations of installations, objects and media productions. Starting from an accent on text as material, current works turn to forms of ritual in transcultural contexts. She has been a professor at the University of Duisburg-Essen since 2011. A retrospective of her work was shown in the film ART GIRLS in 2013, and international exhibitions of her work have recently been held in Bolivia and China.
More info about Susanne Weirich

Philine Sollmann

Philine Sollmann

1978, ulm

Office medienwerk.nrwFunding

The scholarship of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia for female media artists 2004 was awarded to Philine Sollmann.

Members of the three-person jury were Kathrin Becker (former director of Videoforum/NBK, Berlin), Iris Dressler (former director of HMKV Hartware MedienKunstVerein, Dortmund) and Bettina Lockemann (artist and NRW media art scholarship holder 2001).

Jury statement
With the award of the scholarship, the jury is supporting a young, promising newcomer artist from NRW. In her project, Philine Sollmann explores urban “non-places”.

Philine Sollmann (*1978 in Ulm) lives and works in Berlin and Dessau. She studied at the HBKsaar, Saarbrücken, in the class of Prof Ulrike Rosenbach. In 2001/2002 she received an Erasmus scholarship to the Escola Massana in Barcelona and passed her studies with distinction. Since 2001 she has participated in exhibitions at home and abroad with multimedia installations.
More info about Philine Sollmann

Rosa Barba

Rosa Barba

1972, agrigent

Office medienwerk.nrwFunding

The scholarship of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia for female media artists 2005 was awarded to Rosa Barba.

Members of the three-person jury were Kathrin Becker (former director of Videoforum/NBK, Berlin), Iris Dressler (former director of HMKV Hartware MedienKunstVerein, Dortmund) and Bettina Lockemann (artist and NRW media art scholarship holder 2001).

Jury statement
In her project, Rosa Barba explores the interfaces between music video, experimental film and installation. By awarding the scholarship, the jury is honouring an internationally successful media artist from NRW.

Rosa Barba (*1972 in Agrigent, Italien) lives in Cologne. She studied in Erlangen and at the Academy of Media Arts, Cologne. Her video works and film installations have already been shown in numerous renowned exhibition venues. These include the Kunsthalle Düsseldorf, the Museum of Fine Arts in Taipei, the Kunsthalle Budapest, the Museum Ludwig and the Kunsthalle Cologne. She has also participated in numerous international film and media art festivals.
More info about Rosa Barba

Rena Tangens


Rena Tangens

1960, bielefeld

Office medienwerk.nrwFunding

The scholarship of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia for female media artists 2007 was awarded to Rena Tangens.

Members of the three-person jury were Dr. Inke Arns (Director of HMKV Hartware MedienKunstVerein, Dortmund), Cornelia Sollfrank (artist, Hamburg/Celle) and Rosa Barba (artist and NRW Media Art Scholarship Holder 2005).

Jury statement
Based on Lev Manovich’s observation that “(media) augmented space is monitored space”, Rena Tangens’ project Citizens need parks, netizens need privacy will deal with the effects of real or expected observation on human behaviour and point out technical, political, but also artistic opportunities for acting against the loss of informational self-determination, which is often perceived as inescapable. Her concept of art is an expanded one that extends the Beuysian concept of ‘social sculpture’ into the media space and sketches out a decidedly political form of ‘relational aesthetics’. Tangens’ project, which explicitly refers to Frederick Law Olmsted, aims to encourage reflection on and critical participation in the social, societal and political processes that take place in “augmented space” within an aesthetic framework.

Rena Tangens (*1960 in Bielefeld) is an artist, publicist, net pioneer and co-founder of the Bielefeld-based Digitalcourage e.V. In 1984, she founded the art project Art d’Ameublement together with her colleague padeluun. Since 2000, she has researched and organised the annual German BigBrotherAwards (the “Oscars for data octopuses”). Rena Tangens coined the word ‘data octopus’ in 2001, which has since entered common usage. In 2004, together with padeluun, she received the art prize Evolutionary Cells, in 2008 the Theodor Heuss Medal for her commitment to civil rights, in 2014 the taz Panter Prize for Everyday Heroes, in 2015 the Personality of Consumer Protection prize of the German Foundation for Consumer Protection, in 2016 the Bielefeld Women’s Prize and in 2018 the Honorary Pin of the City of Bielefeld.
More info about Rena Tangens
More info about Digitalcourage e.V.
More info about the BigBrotherAwards

Agnes Meyer-Brandis


Agnes Meyer-Brandis

1973, aachen

Office medienwerk.nrwFunding

The scholarship of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia for female media artists 2009 was awarded to Agnes Meyer-Brandis.

Members of the three-person jury were Susanne Ackers (former managing director of HMKV Hartware MedienKunstVerein, Dortmund), Annette Schindler (former director of, Basel) and Sabine Himmelsbach (former director of Edith-Ruß-Haus, Oldenburg).

Jury statement
“The Unknown Theory Objects, also known as UTO’s, are accidental condensations of the theoretical field. … UTO’s are crystal balls in which the diffuse light of a theorem that does not yet exist appears.” This was written in 1993 by the Bilwet agency from Amsterdam, which aims to disseminate illegal sciences. These illegal sciences are often associated with something like futurology in general or trend research in particular.

The submitted project is entitled The Moon Goose Experiment/a bio-poetic investigation. The materials existing already are observations of the Moon Goose’s behaviour and reaction under the influence of the total solar eclipse in Siberia, 2008, which the artist collected during a Siberian expedition to Novosibirsk. Similar to the classical behaviour of migratory birds, the Moon Goose migrates from the Earth to the Moon and back. Researcher Agnes Meyer-Brandis is investigating the question: What disturbance or change does the solar eclipse cause to the flight routes, the flight rhythm and the behaviour of the moon goose?

Agnes Meyer-Brandis uses technology as a pseudo-scientific instrument. She makes use of this scientific instrument and transforms it aesthetically in an artistic way by constructing and opening up imaginary worlds. The artistically strong position promoted by this project links biological processes with technological-scientific methods in a performative form. The poetic investigation of science makes a smart and complex statement on the major theme of ‘science and art’.

The results of the residency were presented at HMKV Hartware MedienKunstVerein in 2009.

Agnes Meyer-Brandis (*1973 in Aachen) lives in Cologne. With her overall concept Forschungsfloß für Unterirdische Riffologie u. V. she developed her own language and defines her role very precisely as that of a poetics scientist. In different references to place and research journeys, her artistic language is constantly given new vocabulary.
More info about Agnes Meyer-Brandis

Marianna Christofides

Marianna Christofides

1980, Nikosia

Office medienwerk.nrwFunding

The scholarship of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia for female media artists 2014 was awarded to Marianna Christofides.

Members of the three-person jury were Dr. Inke Arns (Director of HMKV Hartware MedienKunstVerein, Dortmund), Thomas Thiel (former Director of Kunstverein Bielefeld) and Denise Ritter (artist and NRW Media Art Scholarship Holder 2012) and. The jury selected the scholarship holder from 55 applications.

Jury statement
The artistic practice of the cypriot media artist Marianna Christofides, who lives in Cologne, includes multimedia installations, slide projections, objects, photographs and texts. The thematic starting point of her cross-media works is often travel experiences, specific places or personal stories. She subjects archival material such as old glass slides, photographs and cartographies, text, film and sound material to artistic transformation and combines them in spatial installations with her own images and objects. As a result, temporal, geographical and thematic narrative strands often flow together quite intentionally in her works. By linking past and present, using transdisciplinary information and documentary methods, Christofides creates her own atmospheric topographies and fictional visual environments.

All her projects are characterised by a process of approaching the material and her own research, which reveals valid doubts about the fixed reality of objects, places and landscapes. For example, her current video work Here let me stand (2013, HD video with sound |4:3| 29’42” loop) focuses on an extensive folio from 1881 entitled Cyprus Antiquities – Excavated by Major Alexander Palma di Cesnola from the National Archives of London. Christofides combines the highly detailed images of archaeological artefacts, their chronologically as well as topographically subjective classification into a slow, poetic tracking shot. For l’histoire d’histoire d’une histoire (installation, 2012), randomly collected Laterna Magica glass slides were digitised, partially edited and condensed into a fictional film history in 200 still images.

The jury was convinced by Christofides’ multi-layered work and her proposed project, which – based on an already planned residency – will continue the examination of the surface imprint of the landscape around Los Angeles, tracing socio-economic, geological and architectural traces of contemporary history there. Using the methods of cinematic montage, the artist will draw a current landscape portrait consisting of several media, temporal and disciplinary sources.

Marianna Christofides (*1980 in Nikosia, Cyprus) lives and works in Cologne. In 2011, the artist represented Cyprus at the 54th Venice Biennale. She has received numerous awards, including scholarships from the Stiftung Kunstfonds, Künstlerhaus Schloss Balmoral, Alexander S. Onassis Stiftung, Kölnischer Kunstverein and Imhoff Stiftung as well as being nominated for the 8th Deste Prize in Athens. She is currently a fellow at Villa Aurora, Los Angeles. Recent exhibitions of her work have been held at the National Museum of Contemporary Art (Athens), Gasworks (London), Kölnischer Kunstverein, Museum für Fotografie (Braunschweig), Museum für Gegenwartskunst Siegen, Kunsthalle Bremen and BOZAR Palais des Beaux-Arts (Brussels).
More info about Marianna Christofides

Bettina Lockemann


Bettina Lockemann

1971, Berlin

Office medienwerk.nrwFunding

The scholarship of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia for female media artists 2001 was awarded to Bettina Lockemann.

Members of the three-person jury were Iris Dressler (former director of HMKV Hartware MedienKunstVerein, Dortmund), Sophie Delvallée (artist, Avignon) and Ute Vorkoeper (curator, Hamburg).

Jury statement
The 2001 scholarship of the State of NRW for a media artist from NRW was awarded to the artist Bettina Lockemann for her concept Was habe ich eigentlich mit der Raumfahrt zu tun? Archiv der Gegenwart (working title). The project addresses the multi-layered overlaps between public and private events as well as memories.

The works Border Patrol and Position I and II by Bettina Lockemann, which were developed as part of her scholarship project, were part of the international group exhibition nicht weit von der wirklichkeit entfernt in autumn 2002 at HMKV Hartware MedienKunstVerein, Dortmund.
More info about the exhibition nicht weit von der wirklichkeit entfernt

Bettina Lockemann (*1971 in Berlin) lives in Cologne and is an artist as well as academic specialising in artistic documentary photography. After training as a photographer in Berlin, she studied artistic photography and media art in Leipzig and gained a doctorate in art history in Stuttgart. For five years, she was professor for the practice and theory of photography at the HBK Braunschweig. She has received numerous scholarships and presents her work in exhibitions, lectures, photo books as well as texts.
More info about Bettina Lockemann

Ilona Johanna Plattner


Ilona Johanna Plattner

1961, Dachau

Office medienwerk.nrwFunding

The scholarship of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia for female media artists 2000 was awarded to Ilona Johanna Plattner.

Members of the three-person jury were Iris Dressler (founder of HMKV Hartware MedienKunstVerein, Dortmund), Christine Meierhofer (art historian, Berlin) and Dr. Friederike Wappler (lecturer at the Institute of Art History, Ruhr University Bochum).

Jury statement
The first scholarship from the state of NRW for a female media artist from NRW was awarded to Ilona Johanna Plattner, who applied with her concept for a web art project that questions the status of the real, the fictional and the virtual. was presented in an expanded form (installation Stellen im Hirn und andersWo) as part of the exhibition Chiffren + Legenden (March/April 2001). Parallel to this, the mystic’s website was presented at the international film festival femme totale., web art project, 2000-2018:
(produced within the framework of the scholarship of the state of NRW for female media artists)
Everything starts with a tablet. The gap indicates a product, but it does not contain the substance to relieve the headache, but rather the writing that titles this web art work: The Mystic. The domain of the dieMystikerin has existed since May 2000, and since then the work has taken on ever new forms. It is a central component of a core work (Stellen im Hirn und andersWo) by the artist Ilona Johanna Plattner.

DieMystikerin is unthinkable as an offline work, because it calculates with the surfer’s subscription and reflects this through its structure appropriate to the web and the corresponding form. The use of simple coding, which always remains understandable even for the not too skilled layperson, refers to the history of the HTTP protocol and of HTML as a system for text transmission and page description from a time before multimedia. The work is not based on closure, but it is also not performative in the proper sense. However, it does deal with conditions that generally revolve around the concept of virtuality, language and the artist. In this sense, it is appropriate to the medium of the Internet. Not every update is an addition. Sometimes it is the small changes like deletions that cause irritation to the viewer.

The central aspect is the self-describing element and the question of identity in the age of digitality. Since its popularisation, the internet has deconstructively negotiated the concept of identity in many ways. Transgendering in chat rooms (but also in text-based adventures), for example, allowed a real-time set of communication rules to change name, gender or genre according to set conditions. The understanding of the respective community could be counted on. But what theorising about such phenomena largely ignored was the physical constitution, which led to exorbitant theoretical bubbles that, in extreme positions, already placed people in a nirvana of zero and one.

The term mystic functions as more than just a metaphor in Ilona Johanna Plattner’s work. By linking an ancient religious-intellectual phenomenon with the questioning of identity claims in our time, Plattner articulates a critique of the technocratic attitude towards the web. At the same time, however, the work intensively questions the networking of identity with the concept of the artist and plays this out on the basis of autobiographical details, which, strictly defined, are fictionalised by the medium. In order to clarify the ranges, Plattner repeatedly produces local installations of her work, extracts images, text fragments and arranges them into complex self-referential settings that expose the literariness of the internet in a circular way. In the process, the modularity in real space corresponds equally to the work on the internet. In this context, is both the centre and the periphery of a notion of identity, language and meaning that has begun to rotate. (Matthias Weiß)

Note: The website has been offline since mid-2018. The last version can be read in the Internet Archive.
More about the last version in the Internet Archive

Stellen im Hirn und andersWo, spatial installation, 2001:
Based on the etymological meaning of place as “extreme end”, Stellen im Hirn und andersWo poses the question of reality, of its constitution and construction and of its media. Where is the furthest end, the unimaginable, where nothingness begins? Each place deals with a different set of themes and/or media, the handling and signification of contexts of perception. In different places at different times, different places are combined and modified. dieMystikerin as a switching point and germ cell questions what a person is, what constitutes a person in relation to communication media that do not require a physical presence. The material medium is different in each case, it influences and determines what is to be perceived. The places change in form and content, in image and text, in real and fictional, in concrete and virtual, in life and death; musical structures of repetition and variation. (Ilona Johanna Plattner)

Ilona Johanna Plattner (*1961 in Dachau): Creating art is an act of liberation. I detach myself from the attributions, the morals and the existing viewpoints. I dissect and re-evaluate. Art is like a birth. To be born takes time and patience and skill and practice. Then, when art is born, when it spreads, it can shatter, comfort and cause rebellion. The power of art is one that is often underestimated. It works in the underground, in the unknowing, and it works in unpredictable ways.
More info about Ilona Johanna Plattner

Aurelia Mihai


Aurelia Mihai

1968, Bukarest

Office medienwerk.nrwFunding

The scholarship of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia for female media artists 2003 was awarded to Aurelia Mihai.

Members of the three-person jury were Iris Dressler (former director of HMKV Hartware MedienKunstVerein, Dortmund), Diana Ebster (former curator at lothringer 13/spiegel, Munich) and Anja Kreysing (artist and NRW Media Art Scholarship Holder 2002). The jury selected the scholarship holder from 53 applications.

Jury statement
Aurelia Mihai’s project Tal der Träumer is based on an examination of historical culture in the USA. The intention is to create an installation based on two spaces, which on the one hand takes up the aesthetics and languages of the scientific exhibition and on the other hand of the scientific-documentary film. California and Nevada become the paradoxical venue for Egyptological research and archaeological excavations. The subject of the investigation are detailed imitations of Tutankhamun’s tomb or the Sphinx, as found in the gambler’s metropolis of Las Vegas, as well as film sets from the Hollywood industry.

The staging of a fictional and “fake” study of antiquity is caught up with reality: for example, the movie set of Cecil B. De Mille’s monumental film The Ten Commandments (1923) – i.e. the set of a 30-metre-long temple architecture – was buried in the sand of the Santa Maria dunes after the end of filming. Remains of these sets were found 10 years ago and examined by archaeologists. However, the movie set has not yet been lifted.

The jury was convinced by the accurate preliminary research, the conceptual approach as well as the planned realisation and presentation of the project. Furthermore, the complex layers between documentation, fiction, science and illusionism, which the project Tal der Träumer contrasts, were decisive.

In addition, the projects submitted by Christine Erhard (Düsseldorf) and Monika Pirch (Düsseldorf) also received an honorable mention from the jury.

Aurelia Mihai (*1968 in Bucharest, Romania) studied at the Art Academy Bucharest, Art Academy Düsseldorf and at the KHM Cologne. From 2009 to 2021, she taught at the HBK Braunschweig. She has received numerous prizes and scholarships, including among others: E-STAR scholarship IEA N.Y.; Villa Aurora scholarship, L.A.; EMARE scholarship; HTBA Hull; Förderpreis für Bildende Kunst der Landeshauptstadt Düsseldorf; EuRegio Kunstpreis; Villa Massimo scholarship Rome and IASPIS, Stockholm. Her works have been shown internationally and have been featured at various festivals.
More info about Aurelia Mihai

Anne Pöhlmann

Anne Poehlmann Bonner Kunstverein 2014

Anne Pöhlmann


Office medienwerk.nrwFunding

The scholarship of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia for female media artists 2006 was awarded to Anne Pöhlmann.

Members of the three-person jury were Dr. Inke Arns (Director of HMKV Hartware MedienKunstVerein, Dortmund), Cornelia Sollfrank (artist, Hamburg/Celle) and Rosa Barba (artist and NRW Media Art Scholarship Holder 2005).

Jury statement
The 2006 NRW scholarship for female media artists goes to Anne Pöhlmann (Düsseldorf) for the project Skater im erweiterten Raum. In her artistic work, Anne Pöhlmann has been dealing with “visions of the future from the past that have become real” for quite some time. This interest has brought her to the Parisian districts of La Defense and Beaugrenelle. In Paris, she also came across a website with photos of young people skateboarding in these same neighbourhoods. According to Pöhlmann, the skaters occupy precisely those places “in between the architecture, in between the defined and enclosed spaces”. These non-places, in-between spaces, paths, corners, purposeless zones – negative forms of the surrounding architecture – in turn preferentially appear as sceneries in computer games. Pöhlmann asks whether these non-controlled places, which evade urban planning, economic, commercial or digital control structures, are not the last romantically occupied free spaces of the big city. Her artistic project will use the purpose-free zones to show parallels between urban architecture and computer games.

The results of the scholarship were presented in the exhibition Walkthrough at HMKV Hartware MedienKunstVerein.
More info about the exhibition Walkthrough

Anne Pöhlmann (*1978 in Dresden) studied at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf. From 2018 to 2019, she was a substitute professor of photography at the HBK Braunschweig. She received the Peter Mertes Scholarship from the Bonner Kunstverein and has realised several solo exhibitions, e.g. in the Japanraum of the Langen Foundation. She has also been represented in various group exhibitions since 2002, including Bon Voyage! Travelling in Contemporary Art at the Ludwig Forum für Internationale Kunst Aachen (2020), Stop talking, let’s play! at the Kunsthalle Lingen (2019) and Next Generations. Current Photography made in the Rhineland at Museum Morsbroich Leverkusen.
More info about Anne Pöhlmann

Nico Joana Weber


Nico Joana Weber

1983, Bonn
stipendium 2018

Office medienwerk.nrwFunding

The scholarship of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia for female media artists 2018 was awarded to Nico Joana Weber.

Members of the three-person jury were Dr. Inke Arns (Director of HMKV, Dortmund), Tasja Langenbach (Curator and Artistic Director of Videonale, Bonn) and Pauline M’Barek (Artist and NRW Media Art Scholarship Holder 2017). The jury selected the scholarship holder from 56 applications.

Jury statement
In her works, Nico Joana Weber explores along dichotomously imagined structures such as centre – periphery, architecture – nature, inside – outside and transfers them into a state of hybridity. Or rather: she dissects the hybrid that is already immanent in these structures and uncovers it. The starting point of her research is often architectural bodies, on and in which narratives of historical and cultural processes of appropriation and change can be read. For example, in works such as Monstera Deliciosa (2018) or Unstable Landscape (2016), Nico Joana Weber reconstructs how Western-influenced architectures locate themselves in the tropical environment of South America. The architectures are not shown here purely as an expression of the dominance of one culture and its technology over another. Rather, the vulnerability of these buildings is uncovered, which have to assert themselves as foreign bodies in the context of local conditions.

Within the framework of the scholarship awarded here, Nico Joana Weber wants to advance her project Hybrid Moments (AT). The project approaches Nigeria’s colonial past through the various architectural designs that can still be found there today as a legacy of British colonisation on the one hand and the Portuguese slave trade from Nigeria to the former colony of Brazil on the other. Key to this are both the realised designs of architects from the Department of Tropical Architecture, which was formed at the Architectural Association in London between 1955 and 1970, and the so-called “Brazilian Houses”, which were created in Lagos by former slaves who had returned from Brazil. Architecture can be experienced here not only as a manifestation of global historical processes and as a hybrid cultural building in which influences flows into one another from the centre and the periphery on an equal basis. At the same time, it is permanently documented as a cultural asset in decay that threatens to be lost in the transition between modernity and the present.

We are positive that Nico Joana Weber will find impressive ways of representing these complex processes in her images and the subsequent spatial installation, and are glad to be able to support her in this ambitious project with the scholarship for female media artists from the state of North Rhine-Westphalia.

Nico Joana Weber (*1983 in Bonn) works with video, photography and multimedia spatial installations. She studied Fine Art and History of Art at Goldsmiths College in London and completed her postgraduate studies at the Academy of Media Arts in Cologne in 2013. In her work, she deals with the aesthetic and political imprints of architecture and landscape in transcultural contexts.
More info about Nico Joana Weber

Image: Nico Joana Weber, No Longer A Single Root (2021), Filmstill © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2022

Vanja Smiljanić


Vanja Smiljanić

1986, Belgrad
stipendium 2019

Office medienwerk.nrwFunding

The scholarship of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia for female media artists 2019 was awarded to Vanja Smiljanić.

Members of the three-person jury were Dr. Inke Arns (Director of HMKV, Dortmund), Tasja Langenbach (Curator and Artistic Director of Videonale, Bonn) and Pauline M’Barek (Artist and NRW Media Art Scholarship Holder 2017). The jury selected the scholarship holder from 56 applications.

Jury statement
Vanja Smiljanić is interested in speculative narratives, feminist science fiction and a new materialism that connects the physical with the otherworldly. Since 2010, she has been involved with the new religious UFO movement “Cosmic People”. After many unsuccessful attempts, Smiljanic finally became a member in 2013 and today describes herself as the “senior architect” of the “Library of Light” of the “Cosmic People”, i.e. the archive whose contents she is beginning to change ‘from the inside out’. She reports on this (subversive) activity in lecture-performances. Vanja Smiljanić reflects on her subject from an ambivalent inside – and lets an interested public participate in her artistic research work in novel live formats.

Within the framework of the scholarship, Vanja Smiljanić will work on her experimental documentary film Herland. For this, she will work with members of the “new religious movement” “Unarius”, a religious UFO cult founded in 1954 in El Cajon, California (USA). As in previous projects, the artist seeks to use the “unscientific” practices developed by this group as alternative methods of critical thinking. At Unarius, Vanja Smiljanić is particularly interested in the “Past Life Therapy” practised there. The artist reinterprets this into a “choreography of becoming” that is supposed to lead to a “trans-personal state”. The film will focus on Billie Stafford, a 78-year-old woman whose past lives allegedly included Leonardo da Vinci, an illegitimate daughter of Maria Theresa of Austria and Charlotte Perkins Gilman. Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1860-1935) was a utopian feminist author and an intellectual leader of the American women’s movement. Her book Herland (1915) depicts a fictional, women-only society free of war, violence and domination. Based on interviews with Stafford/Gilman, Vanja Smiljanić will develop an experimental documentary format that will take viewers on a journey into the history of feminist and anarchist science fiction, cyberfeminism and tech noir.
Dr. Inke Arns for the jury

The work Orion Debacle was shown as Video of the Month at Hartware MedienKunstVerein in April 2019.

Vanja Smiljanić (*1986) is an artist born in Belgrade and living in Cologne. Her research focuses on visual art, video and performance. In her practice, she often uses the performance-lecture model as a way to cross fictional and experiential universes that include technical gadgets, diagrams and sci-fi povera sculptures. Her work combines otherwise non-comparable systems of reality and bears witness to the basis of ideologies as alienated regimes, using her own body as a medium of narration, often shifting between the position of oracle and storyteller.
More info about Vanja Smiljanić

Julia Weißenberg

Julia Weißenberg

Julia Weißenberg

1982, Bergisch Gladbach

Office medienwerk.nrwFunding

The scholarship of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia for female media artists 2020 was awarded to Julia Weißenberg.

Members of the three-person jury were Heike Ander (cultural scientist and curator, Academy of Media Arts, Cologne), Tasja Langenbach (curator and artistic director of the Videonale, Bonn) and Nico Joana Weber (artist and NRW Media Art Scholarship Holder 2018). The jury selected the scholarship holder from 62 applications.

Jury statement
What narratives are underneath the surfaces of architectures, objects, products that surround us every day? What stories are woven into them? What politics of social global coexistence are hidden behind the appearance of the exterior? Julia Weißenberg explores and reveals these politics in her works using a wide variety of media and forms. They are the stories of raw materials that we wear on our bodies every day in the form of clothing or technical equipment and which, seen in their pure form, expose global dependency relationships and trade routes. It is the narratives of brands and products that are invisible layers over our perception and our bodies. And it is the architectures that manifest utopias and worldviews in their location in space and time. Julia Weißenberg opens up these surfaces with specific interventions and invites us to take a deeper look.

In her project The Habitat, with which Julia Weißenberg applied for the scholarship for female media artists, the artist also looks behind the scenes of contemporary architecture and asks how different types of work are reflected in the forms of our living. Specifically, she compares the living spaces of “digital nomads” with those of Chinese migrant workers in so-called “urban villages”. While the former determine their place of residence themselves according to their own criteria and understand living out of a suitcase as the luxury of freedom of a Western lifestyle, the latter are the pawn of superior power relations and are condemned to live and dwell in a permanently temporary state between demolition and a new beginning. How can a sense of security, safety and identity be created under these respective conditions and in the architecture designed for them, and what connection do our human bodies have to make with the architectural bodies for this to happen? What relevance do these categories have at all for a modern nomadism? And is there a right to something like home?

We are pleased to support Julia Weißenberg in realising this project with the scholarship for female media artists from the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, and we are excited about the new readings she will open up for us as a result.
Tasja Langenbach for the jury

Julia Weißenberg (*1982 in Bergisch Gladbach) studied at the University of Applied Sciences Düsseldorf and the Academy of Media Arts Cologne, where she graduated in 2012.
More info about Julia Weißenberg

Anja Kreysing


Anja Kreysing

1967, Hamm

Office medienwerk.nrwFunding

The scholarship of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia for female media artists 2021 was awarded to Anja Kreysing.

Members of the three-person jury were Dr. Inke Arns (Director, HMKV Hartware MedienKunstVerein, Dortmund), Iris Dressler (former Director HMKV Hartware MedienKunstVerein, Dortmund) and Vanessa Joan Müller (former Curator, Frankfurter Kunstverein, Frankfurt am Main).

Jury statement
With the new technologies, our ideas and the realities of space, architecture and living have shifted considerably. Everyday life is already characterised by multiple overlaps between physical realities and the realities of codes. Mobility and fluctuation, data flows and hypertextures, the instable and the fluid, deterritorialisation and non-places are just some of the key concepts around which current discourses on new technologies, architecture and urbanity revolve. Utopias and dystopias are created in equal measure.

With the project AudioArchitect. reality dub, Anja Kreysing examines public and private spaces in various cities for their specific “sound patterns”. The sounds of public buildings, places and private spaces are to be recorded on an audio CD and then brought to the respective other “listening places” in the form of a “pocketarchitecture”, i.e. a technical device that mobilises the auditorily recorded location.

The concept was convincing because of its original approach to the acoustic de-/mobilisation of architectures, spaces and places. The project was also positively evaluated for its use of different artistic materials, techniques and actions: it combines audio material, objects, communication design, low and high tech with performative approaches.

The jury also gave two honourable mentions: Firstly, for Michaela Schweiger and her project Multipl(a)y by(e), which deals with the structure and architecture of so-called “cyber cities”. Secondly, for Susanne Brügger and her project Das Inselproblem (The Island Problem), which deals with the cartographability of public spaces.

The work was shown in 2003 by HMKV Hartware MedienKunstVerein parallel to the exhibition games. Computer games by artists in the PHOENIX Halle in Dortmund.
More info about the presentation of AudioArchitekt reality dub

Anja Kreysing (*1967 in Hamm) lives in Münster. She studied experimental film and sound art with Lutz Mommartz (master student). She also improvised music with Malcolm Goldstein, among others, and is a Certified Deep Listening Practitioner after Pauline Oliveros. She has created live soundtracks for film, theatre, performance and improvised music with accordion and electronics in the tradition of Experimental/Noise & Folklore Imaginaire. She has also designed electro-acoustic environments / sound installations and curated for “schwarz-weiss ist die bessere farbe”, a label for film concerts.
More info about Anja Kreysing

Ani Schulze

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Ani Schulze

1982, Frankenberg

Office medienwerk.nrwFunding, Opening

The scholarship of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia for female media artists 2022/23 was awarded to Ani Schulze.

Members of the three-person jury were Heike Ander (cultural scientist and curator, Academy of Media Arts, Cologne), Dr. Linnea Semmerling (Director IMAI Foundation – Inter Media Art Institute, Düsseldorf) and Julia Weißenberg (artist and NRW Media Art Fellow 2020, Cologne). The jury selected the scholarship holder from 62 applications.

Jury statement
Ani Schulze works with the media of video, drawing and sculpture, among others, which she combines to create multimedia spatial landscapes. Intense sounds and pressing rhythms give her surreal, fragmentary visual worlds an inescapable attraction. The themes that interest Ani Schulze range from non-linear narrative strategies and the interweaving of natural and cultural landscapes to materiality and digitality in image design.

In her project The Hurricane, Ani Schulze dedicates herself to the fictional utopia of a radical community of women from the 17th century, living free of patriarchal constraints. The artist wants to link this with the lives and works – sculptures, figurines, costume designs, watercolours, drawings – of three French women artists of the 20th century to create hybrid characters in the interweaving of mythical and real female figures, which she stages in collaboration with two dancers in a speculative, abstract-spatial scenario. With the help of computer-generated animations, the boundaries between the historical figures and their actors, real and fictional spaces, historical facts and anecdotes are to be dissolved.

Ani Schulze convinced the jury with her dense, collage-like multimedia spatial installations in which, with an extraordinary sense of rhythm and dramaturgy, she interweaves a wide variety of media and materials – such as video, drawing, sculpture, ceramics, sound, found footage – to create complex, surreal-seeming narratives and ambivalent emotional images of our society.

We are excited to support The Hurricane by Ani Schulze in 2022/23 with the NRW scholarship for female media artists, a project that aims to create perspectives for new spaces of possibility and realities against the backdrop of virulent questions of coexistence, historiography and constructions of femininity.

Ani Schulze‘s (*1982) work moves seamlessly between video, sculpture, painting and installation. She studied at Städelschule Frankfurt, Glasgow School of Arts, Kunstakademie Düsseldorf and Karlsruhe. Her work investigates the correlation between the human body and its environment as well as the construction of feminity. Her works have been shown recently at Hamburger Kunsthalle, Kunstverein Siegen, Salzburger Kunstverein and I: Project Space in Beijing.
More info about Ani Schulze


Opening 21 October 2023, 6 to 9 pm
Exhibition period: from 22 October to 19 November 2023

Opening hours
Sat and Sun | From 3 to 6 pm
at Moltkerei Werkstatt
Moltkestrasse 8, 50674 Cologne
More info about The Convent of Pleasure

Portrait: © Jorge Nogueira; Video stills + Images of the installations THE CONVENT OF PLEASURE: © Ani Schulze; Images of the installation: © Simon Vogel, Ani Schulze, Flint House Lizard, Kunstverein Siegen, 2021; Video still: © Ani Schulze, Suffusion of Yellow, 4K Video, mit Sound, 10 min, 2021

Sophia Bauer

Sophia Bauer

Sophia Bauer


Office medienwerk.nrwFunding

The scholarship of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia for female media artists 2021 was awarded to Sophia Bauer.

Members of the three-person jury were Heike Ander (cultural scientist and curator, Academy of Media Arts, Cologne), Tasja Langenbach (curator and artistic director of the Videonale, Bonn) and Nico Joana Weber (artist and NRW Media Art Scholarship Holder 2018). The jury selected the scholarship holder from 62 applications.

Jury statement
Sophia Bauer’s artistic practice focuses on sound as a historical document and resource for new forms of knowledge production: “Thinking through sound as a network of connection and belonging helps us to question structures of exclusion,” says the artist. She sees sound “as a medium that can critically illuminate the core ideas of the concepts of separation of European imperialism and colonialism”. In her works – most recently mainly sound installations and sound archives – Sophia Bauer questions the traditional hierarchical structures of an asymmetrical power relationship between humans and nature. With the help of sound recordings, the aftermath of colonial structures, as manifested for example in the biosocial (communication) networks of domesticated forests, are traced and revealed in order to create alternative contexts through recontextualisation and to gain new insights for postcolonial discourses.

In her multi-part work complex Forest Scapes (since 2019), Sophia Bauer explores the influence of colonialism – inscribed in botanical and zoological taxonomy – on various forest landscapes. Following on from her sound installation Kereita Forest Block about a cypress plantation in the Kenyan highlands, the artist is now planning a comprehensive sound study of the Arabuko Sokoke Forest, one of the last largely intact dry coastal forests in East Africa, covering an area of 420 square kilometres, as part of the NRW scholarship for female media artists. At the centre of Sophia Bauer’s acoustic elaboration is a rethinking of the network of relationships between inhabitants, users, places and plants. The artistic source material ranges from reports from the National Archive of Kenya dating back to colonial times to interviews and sounds of trees, birds and insects recorded with highly sensitive contact microphones. From this repertoire, Sophia Bauer creates a sound composition that is arranged on the basis of acoustic characteristics to form a constantly changing mesh of sound and brought into a spatial installation.

Sophia Bauer has convinced us with her sound study Forest Scapes: Arabuko Sokoke Forest, which promises to offer a complex, profound and political experience of natural spaces and cultural landscapes. We are pleased to be able to support this transcontinental project with the NRW scholarship for female media artists.

Sophia Bauer (*1987 in Ebersberg) works primarily with sound, video and photography in her installative-multimedia works. She studied African languages, literature and art at the University of Bayreuth and graduated in Media Arts at the Academy of Media Arts (KHM) in 2019.
More info about Sophia Bauer


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 and Jonas Lüscher
Moderated by: Dr. Iuditha Balint and Fabian Saavedra-Lara

Together with the cooperation partners, the Fritz-Hüser-Institut für Literatur und Kultur der Arbeitswelt and the HMKV Hartware MedienKunstVerein, the Office cordially invited to the discussion “What the Valley calls thinking – and how it is talked about” with the literary scholar and publicist Prof. Dr. Adrian Daub, the writer Jonas Lüscher and the curator and director of the HMKV Dr. Inke Arns on June 15, 2022 at 7pm. The venue was the cinema in the Dortmunder U.

On the occasion of the current HMKV exhibition House of Mirrors: Artificial Intelligence as Phantasm, the discussion event at Dortmunder U brought some thoughts from Adrian Daub’s and Jonas Lüscher’s texts into dialogue with the ideas and selected works from the exhibition. What all three participants have in common is the concern to take a critical and differentiated look at the history of ideas in Silicon Valley and the narratives about digital technologies produced by the companies residing there. In the discussion, some of these myths, which currently revolve around the buzzword “artificial intelligence”, for example, were named and deconstructed.

The event was moderated by Dr. Iuditha Balint (Fritz Hüser Institute) and Fabian Saavedra-Lara (Büro

About the guests:
The Cologne-born Germanist and literary scholar Prof. Dr. 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.

Dr. Inke Arns is the director of HMKV Hartware MedienKunstVerein in Dortmund, Germany. She has worked internationally as an independent curator and theorist specializing in media art, net cultures, and Eastern Europe since 1993. After living in Paris (1982-1986) she studied Russian literature, Eastern European studies, political science, and art history in Berlin and Amsterdam (1988–1996 M.A.) and in 2004 received her PhD from the Humboldt University in Berlin. She has curated many exhibitions – at the bauhaus dessau, MG+MSUM Ljubljana, Gallery EXIT Pejë, KW Berlin, Museum of Contemporary Art Belgrade, CCA Glasgow, CCA Ujazdowski Castle Warsaw, HMKV Dortmund, HKW Berlin, Muzeum Sztuki Lodz, La Gaîté Lyrique Paris, MMOMA Moscow, BOZAR Brussels, NCCA Yekaterinburg, exportdrvo Rijeka, a.o. She is the author of many articles on contemporary art, media art and net culture, and has edited numerous exhibition catalogues and books. In 2021-2022 Visiting Professor at the Münster Art Academy. 2022 Curator of the Pavilion of the Republic of Kosovo (artist: Jakup Ferri), 59th International Art Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia.

A cooperation between the Fritz-Hüser-Institut für Literatur und Kultur der Arbeitswelt, the HMKV Hartware MedienKunstVerein and the office.

The programme was funded by NEUSTART KULTUR and Stiftung Kunstfonds.

Portraits: 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” took place within the scope of the NEXT LEVEL-Festival, on the UNESCO-Welterbe Zollverein in Essen and offered various thematic forums, panels and presentations. Digital formats and concepts for performance and concerts were presented and discussed, as well as live-act platforms and corresponding exploitation issues. The focus was on projects and initiatives from NRW.

Open talk moderated by Klaas Werner (Office
Sunday, November 28, 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 were 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”.

Moderated by: Fatma Idris (journalist)
Sunday, November 28, 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 was recorded by WDR 3 for the programme “Forum” and broadcast at a later date.

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.
More info about Next Level

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 covered the following topics:

  • Basics of copyright: what is copyright, how does it come into being and how does it end?
  • Free uses in the context of culture and education: Quotations, satire, accessories, uses for teaching purposes (training, conferences).
  • Use of online content on platforms, social media and websites: Linking, embedding, sharing
  • 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 was held in German.

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.
More info about

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

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

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 as 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.
More info about Mario Frank
More info about KOLLEKTIV33
More info about the Land in Sicht e.V.

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. Jonathan Kastl and Mario Frank have been working together under the name frankaflux since 2021.
More info about Jonathan Kastl
More info about frankaflux

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.
More info about “Tag der Medienkompetenz”

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.
More info about THE SOUND OF DATA

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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Bildschirmfoto 2021-05-05 um 14.17.18


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

Louis Betong & Balz Isler 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.

Afro-Tech Fest – exhibition, talks, performances, workshops, films and music

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-Tech Fest – exhibition, talks, performances, workshops, films and music

Fr, 20.10. – Sa, 28.10.2017

Office medienwerk.nrwFestival

The Afro-Tech Fest was organized by HMKV (Hartware MedienKunstVerein) & Büro in cooperation with Interkultur Ruhr – a project of the Regionalverband Ruhr (RVR) and Africa Positive e.V.

The AFRO-TECH FEST presented a festival week from 20 – 28 October 2017 with talks, lectures, film screenings, performances, DJ sets, concerts and workshops at various locations in Dortmund. The programme started at the same time as the exhibition Afro-Tech and the Future of Re-Invention of the HMKV (Hartware MedienKunstVerein) at the Dortmunder U – Zentrum für Kunst und Kreativität and created very different occasions to discuss and deepen the themes and motifs of the exhibition together and to experience them directly in many events. During the Afro-Tech Festival, works from media art, visual art, film and photography as well as contributions from pop culture and applications from digital culture were shown and discussed.

In an international group exhibition and festival week, AFRO-TECH deals with speculative visions of the future and current developments in the field of digital technologies by artists and inventors from various African countries, the African diaspora and many other voices in the USA and Europe. The focus is on science fiction narratives and ideas of technology that function according to their own rules and do not follow the dominant narratives of the West. An essential inspiration for the artistic works is Afrofuturism, which emerged in the middle of the 20th century against the background of the historical experience of racism and discrimination of the Afro-American community in the USA and tells of a future that opens a space for one’s own history, for emancipation, self-empowerment and individual freedom. The concepts, ideas and aesthetics of Afrofuturism are not limited to the USA, but circulate around the world, influencing numerous other artists and encountering their own experiences – also in German-speaking countries.

The project is based on a special cooperation of different partners from the artistic, cultural and socio-cultural field on a local, regional and international level. Artistic positions and projects from the field of digital culture that have never before been shown in NRW will be presented. At the same time, the Afro-Tech Fest networks with Dortmund’s diverse city society via numerous event formats and creates spaces to get into conversation, think, experience art and dance. The common goal of the participating partners is to present Africa as a continent of technological innovation and to take a differentiated look at current developments in media art in Africa and the diaspora. Afro-Tech would like to be an occasion to ask: What other strategies, practices, aesthetics, narrative traditions and technological ideas, apart from the hegemonic Western perspective, are there to think about the future – and what do these futures look like? What do they also tell us about the different experiences of the present and history?

All of the Afro-Tech Fest talks are available on Vimeo. The opening lecture was given by Ingrid LaFleuer from Detroit:

Host Office HMKV (Hartware MedienKunstVerein)
Interculture Ruhr: Regionalverband Ruhr (RVR) / Sponsor of the Interculture Ruhr
The exhibition was supported by: the TURN Fund of the Federal Cultural Foundation and the Ministry of Culture and Science of North Rhine-Westphalia.
The festival week was supported by: the Federal Agency for Civic Education, the Ministry of Culture and Science of North Rhine-Westphalia, the NRW KULTURsekretariat International and the Kulturbüro Stadt Dortmund.
Main funder HMKV: Dortmunder U – Centre for Art and Creativity
Partners: Goethe-Institut, Afrikamera – Current Cinema from Africa (Berlin), NRW KULTURsekretariat, Kino im U e.V. (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 does it influence artistic modes of narration and design? What does this mean for directors, video artists, actors or musicians? What does this mean 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?

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.

The technical procedure: 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 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.
More info about the event

Programme on Thursday, March 19, 2020

Michael Eickhoff (Academy for Theater and Digitality, Theater Dortmund)
Sina-Marie SchnellerJascha Sommer (Cheers for Fears)
Klaas Werner (Office
11:30Intervention I
Diana McCarty: Be(coming) media – Techno feminist Pasts, Presents & Potentials,
12:30Intervention II
Anja Breljak: Staging Affect? Digitization as a socio-affective process (DE)
14:30Tele-PanelArtistic approach to (post)digital challenges
Christian Sievers: Trackedness. The dream of control, dealing with
Insecurity – and what art makes of it (DE)
Régine Debatty: Where are the click-luddites? (ENG)
Philipp Jonathan Ehmann: Multimedia theatre – completely without media, completely without Theatre (DE)
16:15Discussion about the Tele-Panel

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.

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.
More info about the Kulturkonferenz Ruhr 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


Blue Skies 1
Blue Skies 2


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 modifying 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 was 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.
More info about Blue Skies

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

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

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

Notes. Admission to the talks, lectures and workshops only with registration. Free admission to the concerts, the exhibition and the party. Tickets for the performances “Medusa Bionic Rise” by The Agency and “Uncanny Valley” by Rimini Protokoll (Stefan Kaegi) could be ordered on the PACT Zollverein website.

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 brought together digital natives from art, science, schools and politics and asked 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 lightning talks, discussions, performances and workshops the FFT negotiated 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.

Saturday, May 11, 2019, 12 a.m.
With: Dr. Stefanie Husel, Dennis Palmen, machina eX.

Moderation: Klaas Werner

“Games are the new normal”, declared Al Gore in 2011. Since then, at the latest, we have known that interest in games has also reached the political and economic spectrum. We talked about games as a cultural form, artistic practice and profitable entertainment media.

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 was dedicated to the topic of robotics on March 15th – 17th, 2019. Visitors could 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?

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. 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.

In this event, presented by the office, the artists showed how they work, both in the technical process and on a conceptual level, focusing primarily on their current work Empathy Swarm. Kanno, whose work Lasermice also deals with swarm behavior, joined the discussion.

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: Céline Berger, BALLADE, 23 min, 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.
More info about the event

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.

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 created the festival themselves, changed roles from experts to laymen and experimented 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.

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

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

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

FILM 1: The Working Life, SUPERFLEX
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 Fenger, Bjørnstjerne 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: Ballade, Céline Berger
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
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).

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

Following: 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 wanted to question things, identify the elementary functions of products – and remove it! We took a look at the components and tried to make new combinations. In the end it was supposed to 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 who do not yet have any knowledge of programming were given the opportunity to take 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.

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.

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

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, aimed 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 Armen 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-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-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 Ruhr, Africa Positive e.V. and office 

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

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 …

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. 

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

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.

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).

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

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.

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. 

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

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.

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 sponsor 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: 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 ones which are performed live and also the ones 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.

Panel: Performativity of digital media – on action and participation everywhere 
Talk: 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 panel were a cooperation with the office 

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

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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)

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.
More info about Jaromil
More info about
More info about DOWSE

The workshop took place at the space 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 Elagoz.

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.
More info about Samira Elagoz

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)


(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

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

Curator Film programme: 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 p.m.: 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

On 16 October, a discussion event organized by took place as part of the exhibition Digital Folklore by Hartware MedienKunstVerein (HMKV). Designer Manuel Bürger (Berlin) was invited as a guest speaker.

In his creative work Manuel 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 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.
More info about „The Laboratory of Manuel Bürger“

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.