Over 30 years ago was the start of the popular festival held every year in Osnabruck in Northern Germany. Then it was a small festival, but with the same commitment from the organizers and the locals. The first organisers were Hermannn Nöring, Alfred Rotert and Ralf Sausmikat and they are still today as committed after all these years.
The start in 1981
The festival started in 1981 as an experimental workshop with the intention of creating a platform for innovative and experimental art from the genre’s movie, video, multimedia as well as new media. Today the festival is one of the most important festivals when it comes to media art in Europe. People come from all over the world. Here, trends are set for the medial stage and every year they will put light on relevant events in the genre. This festival lets the artists establish themselves but also see themselves as advocates to highlight young media makers.
Tickets selling out
Both theatre and movie tickets are sold out as soon as they are released so if you would like tickets to the most popular events at the festival you need to be on alert. During the festival there is a “What if – congress” where the platform is in discussions about the effect of media and information between speaker and visitors. Peter Weibel is an artist and specialist in theories in media who has put a lot of effort on where media art is heading, he calls it ”Qou vadis” from the Latin “where you go” that was known to the world through a French silent movie from 1901.There can be lectures on things not related to media or art. As an example of this there has been lectures on Bitcoin, which somehow could be related to media since it wouldn´t exist if it weren´t for today’s media. There has also been lectures on WikiLeaks and Pirate party. The role that media and films play in social media can also lead to protests that are shown at the festival. There are also awards handed out at the festival, and often the prizes are spread all around the world.
Robots among the people
One popular attraction at the festival that no one can avoid are robots walking around the area to deliver messages to the visitors. An example is that on the robots it can say “Give back my future” or “Just because we can´t see it doesn´t mean it is not happening”. This is a way to get the visitors thinking and be a part of the including part of the exhibition. This part of the exhibition is a very nice mix of lights, sound, apps and audio walks. This part of the show engages the visitors and gets them interested in their message.
The European Media Art Festival continues to grow, and events and exhibitions are growing and changing every year. Always working on going forward and evolving.