University of Duisburg-Essen | Aylime Asli Demir: “AMBIGUITY & UNPREDICTABILITY”


University of Duisburg-Essen | Aylime Asli Demir: “AMBIGUITY & UNPREDICTABILITY”

FELLOW: Aylime Asli Demir

Media Art FellowsResearch

Duration: ongoing

The Institute for Art and Art Sciences at the University of Duisburg-Essen and the atelier automatique invited you to a workshop discussion with media art fellow Aylime Aslı Demir (curator, activist) as well as guests Eva Busch (curator) and Begüm Karagöz (student assistant at the queerfeminist Archiv LIESELLE).

The conversation discussed forms of resistance and the archiving of queer narratives, with a focus on the exchange of experiences and artistic, curatorial practices in the context of archives and (in)visibilities. The talks were moderated by Julia Nitschke and took place at atelier automatique in Bochum.

From December 9 to 12, 2023 and from January 27 to February 3, 2024, the Turkish author, curator, activist and media art fellow Aylime Aslı Demir was a guest at the institute as part of the project Ambiguity and Unpredictability: On Forms of Resistance and the Archiving of Queer Narratives.

Her stay is integrated into the art studies sub-project of the DFG research group Ambiguity and Distinction. Historical-Cultural Dynamics under the direction of Prof. Dr. Gabriele Genge and with the collaboration of Eva Liedtjens, which is focusing on queer perspectives and ambiguous concepts of temporality in contemporary art in Turkey in the current funding phase. Aylime Aslı Demir used the time of her stay in December 2023 and January 2024 for curatorial research on queer practices of archiving and resistance. In addition to the exchange with the research group Ambiguity and Distinction, Aylime Aslı Demir established contact with local initiatives and institutionalized archives to develop new forms of networking with actors of queer (media) artistic and curatorial projects between the Ruhr area and Ankara.

Aylime Aslı Demir is a writer, curator, and activist. Demir studied Public Administration, Political Science and Women’s Studies. Since 2010, she has been working on editorial and curatorial projects dealing with the politics and aesthetics of bringing together diverse knowledge and practices in
exhibitions and publications. From 2013, she is the Academic and Cultural Studies Programme coordinator and the editor-in-chief of Kaos GL the main Gay and Lesbian Cultural Research and Solidarity Association in Turkey. She lectured at Ankara University on Gender and Women’s studies and has been the coordinator of Feminist Forum which gathers together prominent feminists and
LGBTI+ activists around the world in Ankara. Additionally, Demir is a jury member of Women to Women Story Contest organized since 2006 in order to encourage women writers to write about their lesbian–bisexual stories.

Apart from her editor career, Aylime Aslı Demir has been active in the framework of exhibitions, conferences, and community work. Some of her recent activities include curating the group show Betwixt and Between in 2023 at Sanatorium in Istanbul. In 2022 she was a participant at Slavs and Tatars residency that was supported by SAHA. Aylime Aslı Demir curated Unpredictable Times: Queering Politics in Turkey at, MUCEM in Marseille in 2019. She attended the Young Curators Academy at Maxim Gorki Theater in Berlin in 2019. Furthermore At least three fingers; still life lessons from a queer feminist activist, Badischer Kunstverein, Karlsruhe 2019, Dislocations in Queer Art, Kara Art Studio, Kocaeli, 2019; Read My World Literature Festival, Amsterdam, 2018; Vanishing Mediator, Evliyagil Museum, Ankara, 2018; Colony, Queering the Posthuman, Schwules Museum, Berlin, 2018; Colony, Queering the Posthuman, Abud Efendi Mansion, Istanbul.

Aylime Aslı Demir established international Ankara Queer Art Residency in Ankara in 2019. The program hosts visual artists from Turkey and abroad and provides artists with 8 weeks of both living and working space while supporting and promoting production and research processes. During this time, artists have the opportunity to work with artists, activists, researchers, and curators from Turkey.

30 January 2024, 19.00
WerkStadt, Viktoriastraße 5, 45327 Essen

The Institute for Art and Art Sciences at the University of Duisburg-Essen and PACT Zollverein invited you to an exchange on artistic residency formats. Together with media art fellow and director of the Ankara Queer Art Program Aylime Aslı Demir (Ankara, TR), Thomas Lehmen from Kunsthaus Mitte (Oberhausen, DE) and Hanitra Wagner (Akademie der Künste der Welt Köln, residency programs) they talked about the possibilities and limits of (international) residency programs, their particularities and histories.

Interested people were invited to the WerkStadt to get into conversation.

The event was held in English.

Credits: Photo © Institut für Kunst und Kunstwissenschaften der Universität Duisburg-Essen


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Videonale E.v. Bonn | IMAI Inter Media Art Institutes

Media Art FundResearch

Duration: spring until December 2023

Video Digest – An Online Video Art Magazine by Videonale and IMAI – Inter Media Art Institute

With Video Digest, the Videonale Bonn and the IMAI – Inter Media Art Institute Düsseldorf presented an online video art magazine and an associated research and exhibition project at the Moltkerei Werkstatt, Cologne, complemented by the concurrent program series VIDEONALE.scope.
More info about Video Digest

The Video Digest project began with an interest in Video Congress’ video magazine Schauinsland which is located in the archives of the IMAI – Inter Media Art Institute. Video Congress was founded in Kassel in 1982 as a loose association of video artists in the wake of documenta 7. Wishing to work on related themes in a collaborative manner, to establish infrastructures for the young medium of video, and to simultaneously initiate a self-determined system of distribution for their works, the artists in this group worked with VHS tapes, each comprising several video contributions, which could be independently circulated, presented, and shared.

The initiators were inspired by the first video art magazine entitled Infermental, which developed just a few years earlier by Gábor and Vera Bódy. Between 1980 and 1991, ten issues of Infermental, featuring international, contemporary video art, were published by changing editors and with different thematic focuses. While Schauinsland was more linked to youth culture, punk as well as new wave aesthetics and the contributions of the various collectives were at times intertwined, Infermental strengthened the idea of an encyclopedia seeking to portray current video experiments in all their diversity.

The third video magazine included in the project is the Amsterdam-based Zapp Magazine with “branches” in New York, Paris, London, and Copenhagen. It operated a decade later than the other two and succeeded in once again redefining the format of the video magazine as an independent space of art, critique, and documentation.

The issues published from 1993 to 1999 did not only present video art, but also featured recordings of openings, lectures, and performances, which in their relaxed DIY aesthetics conveyed a polyphonic picture of the international art scene.

Despite structural and formal differences, these three video magazines share a particular political awareness showing itself both in the themes and the way they self-organized and distributed their work. Video Congress, for example, captioned their first issue with the motto: “Für eine aktive Art Video” (For an active art video) and the editors of Infermental also adopted a decidedly political tone by addressing the simmering East-West conflict.

Video Digest, initiated by the Videonale and the IMAI – Inter Media Art Institute, took up these impulses and from a present perspective examined the resistive potential of moving images through a series of dialogically presented contemporary works. The newly commissioned videos, performances, and zines by Ji Su Kang-GattoAyesha HameedBecket MWNRangwane, and Leyla Yenirce (in collaboration with Mazlum Nergiz) make use of diverse languages and strategies of protest and mobilization – but also of resignation –and reflect on a current video landscape shaped by video on demand, smart TVs, YouTube/Youku, TikTok, and Instagram.

Alongside new productions, the Video Digest exhibition presented the fourth issue of Infermental edited by FRIGO (Gérard Couty, Mike Hentz, Christian Vanderborght) with 102 contributions; issue one of Schauinsland entitled  “Erotik” with contributions by Gruppe A & A, Fun & Art and Norbert Meissner; and issue six of Zapp Magazine, produced and curated by Corinne Groot, Jack Jaeger, Arnold Mosselman, and Rob van de Ven. They were set in an exhibition architecture by Lennart Wolff and were joined by a program of screenings and performances.

Curators: Miriam Hausner, Nele Kaczmarek, Tasja Langenbach
Concept: Tasja Langenbach, Linnea Semmerling

All works were on display together with issues of the historical video magazines Infermental, Video Congress and Zapp Magazine in an exhibition at the Moltkerei Cologne from November 25 – December 10, 2023.

The IMAI – Inter Media Art Institute is dedicated to exhibiting, archiving, and distributing time-based media art. Founded in Düsseldorf in 2006, the institute has had its own video art channel, IMAI Play, since 2021. This focuses on a participatory presentation of videos from the IMAI archive and invites users to put together their own video programs, share them and comment on others.
More info about the IMAI – Inter Media Art Institute

Videonale e. V. is a non-profit association based in Bonn, which was founded in 1984 to offer a first platform in Germany for the then still young international video art – making Videonale Bonn one of the earliest festivals for video art worldwide. Since then, the association has dedicated itself to presenting contemporary video art in all its facets, addressing a regional, national and international audience. Every two years, the association organizes “VIDEONALE – Festival for Video and Time-based Arts” with an exhibition presentation and an extensive festival program. Since 2010, the VIDEONALE has had an online video archive with over 300 entries.
More info about the Videonale e. V.
More info about the online video archive
More info about VIDEONALE.scope

Credits:  Installation View, VIDEO DIGEST, 2023, Moltkerei Werkstatt, Cologne, Foto: Palazzo Photography

Studio Trafique | WEHR51: “FULLDEMO.CRACY”

FULLDEMO.cracy_Bild Peter Ritter
FULLDEMO.cracy_Bild Peter Ritter
FULLDEMO.cracy_Bild Peter Ritter
FULLDEMO.cracy_Bild Peter Ritter

Studio Trafique | WEHR51: “FULLDEMO.CRACY”


Media Art FundResearch

Duration: October 2022 to December 2023

FULLDEMO.cracy is a realistic live theater game with escape room character.

The multiplayer live setting allows the audience to become actors in the story and experience the achievements and challenges of democratic processes at first hand. The action centers around the fundamental questions: What form of democracy do we want to live in and how can we actively shape it?

2023: A previously unknown group has occupied several of the parliament buildings of the city. To date, it is not fully clear what their intentions are.
Who are these self-proclaimed “democrats”? Until it has been verified whether the perpetrators are armed and what their goals are, special task forces and counter-terrorism units are on standby. For now, there will be no intervention to prevent an escalation.

Is this an attack on the status quo or a necessary revolution in politics and society? And who are the minds behind this supposedly decentralised movement?

“Welcome, player. We need your help. Consider all your decisions: The future of humanity could depend on you. The clock is ticking from now on.”

Crude conspiracy theories and a global shift to the political right are holding each other’s feet to the fire. “Volksstürme” on parliaments of democratically organized constitutional states are a frightening “fad” not only in Brazil, the USA and Germany. Trafique react to these threatening scenarios with an artistic echo room that is designed on an interdisciplinary basis: The production FULLDEMO.cracy is being created by a team of artists, media designers and programmers in order to extend the performative design space with the latest digital and narrative methods.

The players are divided into two teams that play with and against each other in separate locations. They are accompanied by two actors who contribute storytelling elements on the one hand and can control the course of the game as game masters on the other.

A local server gives the players access to the web interface created especially for the play, which becomes a central location for the live game theater. Light/sound and various interactive elements in the room (e.g. buttons and motors) react directly to the gameplay and thus to the actions of the players.

The project is also funded by the Cultural Office of the City of Cologne, the NRW Kultursekretariat Wuppertal and the Ministry of Culture and Science of the State of NRW.

Premiere: December 6, 2023
More performances: March 6, 7, 8 and 9, 2024 | 8 p.m.
Location: Studio Trafique, Merheimer Straße 2

Studio Trafique – Institute for the design of theatrical visions of the future is a theater founded in Cologne in 2021 that focuses on contemporary aesthetics. The focus is on developing new forms of theater by combining familiar theatrical aesthetics with film and digital technologies. Studio Trafique is run by Ensemble Trafique with the artistic management team consisting of Anna Marienfeld and Björn Gabriel.

Studio Trafique was awarded the Kölner Kulturpreis für Junge Initiativen in 2022 for its initiative in the digitalisation of the performing arts. Over the past ten years, they have created a diverse program of various productions and have continuously developed further – always in search of appropriate manifestations for their contemporary content. In doing so, they overcome superficial genre boundaries.

Using digital and filmic elements, they extend the conventional representation and impact spaces of performing arts. Since the beginning of the pandemic, Trafique has developed the pioneering format of hybrid live-film theater, in which live character is always the main element: with live direction, live video editing and live sound engineering, every medium always refers to the theatrical situation and creates new experiences for the audience.
More info about Studio Trafique

WEHR51 (under the artistic direction of Andrea Bleikamp and Rosi Ulrich) focuses on the realization of its own concepts and theater texts, which are dedicated to current and socio-politically relevant topics. This is linked to the search for new dramaturgical approaches that lead to unusual performance venues and include immersive art forms. In the artistic debate, the content determines the form. The initial idea and theme define the dramaturgical approach, in which the tools of acting, dance, music, video and others are equally combined and expanded. The result is a diverse program of ‘hybrid’ productions.

WEHR51 sees the audience as part of the production. The aim is not to force the audience to participate or to lecture them, but rather to sensually warm people up, to question the themes and to rethink them.
More info about WEHR51

Image: ©Tobias Weikamp


Screening AM YOUR BODY_von Marco Donnarumma_bei PACT Zollverein in Essen_(C)Dirk Rose_Auswahl
Donnarumma_I-Am-Your-Body_0_Working-group-research-sessions_8_by Dirk Rose


FELLOW: Marco Donnarumma

Media Art FellowsFunding, Research

What do sounds mean to those who do not hear them? How can something be heard that cannot be heard? What sensory gaps are created by assistive technologies such as prosthetics and artificial intelligence (AI)? The project I AM YOUR BODY by Marco Donnarumma at PACT Zollverein offers a synaesthetic experience into a radically alternative sensorium. By repurposing and reappropriating AI algorithms and prosthetics developed for normative hearing, the performance interweaves sound, movement and light.

Electromechanical transmitters lie on the table, muscle sensors that make the physical – movements, palpitations, the blood flowing through the veins – audible and tangible. Marco Donnarumma develops musical instruments that make body sounds perceptible. To do this, he worked with AI robotics and new interfaces for musical expression. The five-member research group was able to experiment with these instruments as part of the I AM YOUR BODY project. They were people who have been deaf or hard of hearing since birth or who live with a cochlear implant, ranging from 15-year-old teenagers to 57-year-old electromechanics. With this very heterogeneous group, Marco Donnarumma explored the question of what sound means and how sound is perceived by deaf and hard of hearing bodies. The project aimed to expand the understanding of sound beyond the boundaries of normative hearing and to celebrate the interdependence of physical experiences.

Donnarumma himself is hard of hearing; in 2014 he was diagnosed with genetic, bilateral degenerative hearing loss. The participants shared their experiences at digital meetings and in workshops. Here we saw “how important it is for deaf and hard of hearing people to have a physical and mental space to exchange thoughts, concerns and questions about our physical experiences without being disturbed,” notes Marco Donnarumma. They talked about what sound can be – including vibration and light. Light filters were used to visualise – based on the individual hearing curve – what each participant can and cannot hear. The research is the inspiration for Donnarumma’s solo performance, which was premiered at PACT Zollverein in September 2023. An additional program with an exhibition, video installation, lectures and group discussions will complement the performance and make the creative work process understandable. Building on feminist theory and critical disability studies, this project seeks to promote a dialog between movement research, interactive music and human-computer interaction.

Marco Donnarumma (DE / IT) is an artist, performer, stage director and theorist weaving together contemporary performance, new media art and interactive computer music since the early 2000s. He manipulates bodies, creates choreographies, engineers machines and composes sounds, thus combining disciplines, media and technology into an oneiric, sensual, uncompromising aesthetics. He is internationally acknowledged for solo performances, stage productions and installations that defy genres, and where the body becomes a morphing language to speak critically of ritual, power and technology.
More info about Marco Donnarumma

Founded in 2002, PACT Zollverein in Essen is a production house with a special focus on performing arts in relation to science, contemporary theory and social topics. The house initiates and promotes experimental, artistic and transdisciplinary forms of knowledge production. Within an international stage programme, PACT presents co-productions, premieres and guest performances and realizes discursive formats such as symposia and festivals in the platform area. As a residency venue, PACT is a central place of work and activity for international and local artists. Together with six other central institutions in Germany, PACT is a member of the Alliance of International Production Houses.
More info about PACT Zollverein

Photos: © Dirk Rose

Rautenstrauch-Joest-Museum | Academy of Media Arts Cologne (KHM): “Leaky Archive”

Emdadul Topu – 5513
courtesy of the rautenstrauch joest museum _23824_1

Rautenstrauch-Joest-Museum | Academy of Media Arts Cologne (KHM): “Leaky Archive”

Rautenstrauch-Joest-Museum | Academy of Media Arts Cologne

Media Art FundResearch

Duration: spring until november 2023

The Leaky Archive project investigates how colonial archives and collections can be further developed in post-colonial times. Based on the free / libre open source philosophy, the teams of the Rautenstrauch-Joest-Museum (RJM) and the Academy of Media Arts Cologne (KHM), in collaboration with local and international institutions, colleagues and the public, are creating a new kind of archive – lively, multi-perspective and polyphonic. As part of this archive project, digital fellowships will be launched that focus on the fundamental perspectives of online collaboration, knowledge exchange and decentralised infrastructure. The project does not aim to transfer analogue ideas into the digital space, but to digitally rethink the RJM’s collections, the consequences of their digitization, the possibilities of their mediation and their radical democratisation through the creation of guides. The fellowships are aimed at artists, activists, makers, experts or collectives from the Global South. In each round, four fellows spend three months researching their own idea. They provide insights into the results of their research in digital public tours and lecture performances.

How can colonial archives and collections be critically explored and reflected on using digital technologies? This question is addressed by a digital scholarship programme, which focuses, for example, on the question of how digitised collections can be communicated in a new way.

Click here for the digital Leaky Archive

The exhibition opening took place on September 6, 2023 at the Rautenstrauch-Joest-Museum in Cologne.

In this podcast episode, Sophie Emilie Beha talks to curator Agustina Andreoletti about the project.

Founded in 1901 in the southern part of Cologne, the museum was reopened in 2010 as the Rautenstrauch-Joest-Museum – Kulturen der Welt in a new building in the city center. Around 70,000 items from daily life and rituals and around 100,000 historical photographs from Oceania, Asia, Africa and the Americas are kept there. Based on this primarily historical collection, various perspectives on the shared cultural heritage are opened up, with diverse past, present and future levels of meaning.

The Academy of Media Arts Cologne (KHM) was founded in 1989 and opened in Cologne in 1990. Today, the KHM is a major part of the German art and film school landscape. It represents a project-oriented approach and specifically promotes the interdisciplinary examination of various artistic fields (including photography, fiction, documentary and experimental film, video and light art, camera and image design, experimental computer science, theory, aesthetics and the history of machines, the arts and media).

Credits: Photos Depot: © Rautenstrauch-Joest-Museum | Photos Edit-a-thon: @ Dörthe Boxberg

MIREVI (Hochschule Düsseldorf) | Ruhrgebieterinnen: “You better don’t know”


MIREVI (Hochschule Düsseldorf) | Ruhrgebieterinnen: “You better don’t know”

MIREVI (Hochschule Düsseldorf) | Ruhrgebieterinnen

Media Art FundResearch

Duration: June 2023 to June 2024

Post-digital culture meets science fiction: the art project You better don’t know questions and stages the relationship between the environment, humans and the sense of reality and develops speculative narratives for paranormal and extraterrestrial experiences.

You better don’t know creates a fascinating surreal encounter with extraterrestrial life. The artists take up the UFO myth to invite us to play and experiment with orders of reality. The participants stand in the center of the action: In a hypnotic state between dreaming and being awake, they leave their familiar everyday surroundings to enter a post-apocalyptic world full of challenges. In exchange with beings from entirely alien worlds, they become active co-creators of a possible future.

Since my first paranormal, extraterrestrial experience at the age of eight in the form of a light phenomenon in the sky that cannot be clearly defined, I have always wondered whether this encounter was real or merely an illusion of light that appeared due to excessive consumption of sci-fi films.

I WANT TO BELIEVE. My faith in humanity is based on our post-digital society finding a solution for dealing with intolerance and rejection of the foreign / alien.
(Vesela Stanoeva))

The artistic project You better don’t know promotes the collaboration of various institutions and artists from a wide range of artistic disciplines (including media art, creative coding, sound design, dance, lighting design, scenography, costume design, 3D design) in order to jointly address the topic of the post-digital society against the backdrop of social and political change. The results of the cooperation project were presented at the NEW NOW Festival for Digital Arts in Essen in 2023. At least two further performances are also planned at Dortmund’s Theater im Depot.

Ruhrgebieterinnen is a collective of female artists founded in 2021 by Vesela Stanoeva and Elisabeth Drache and specialises in digital performance. In various performative and installation projects, they explore new forms of encounters and differences as well as the potential of diversity.
More info about Ruhrgebieterinnen

MIREVI is the “Mixed Reality and Visualization” working group at Düsseldorf University of Applied Sciences. In an external laboratory near Düsseldorf’s main railway station, a team of scientists, technicians and designers work together with artists on innovative human-technology interfaces that appeal to the whole body.
More info about MIREVI

Credits: @ Ruhrgebieterinnen