The urban Festival of Media Art »Seasons of Media Arts« is presenting a new edition for the Karlsruhe Summer of Culture 2021. Video, sound, and light installations, projections on facades and on streets, art interventions, and interactive projects with a special focus on local media artists will be on view from 17 September to 17 October 2021 in Karlsruhe’s public spaces.
How do we want to live in the future? Under the title »Connected Future«, this year’s festival explores the limits and possibilities between virtual and analogue space, between the apparent remoteness of digital technologies and the human need for physical proximity and social interaction. The artists who work where art and technology intersect demonstrate with their often software-based works great awareness of the complex social and psychological dynamics that accompany digitization. They investigate how the future can be shaped today through interconnectedness, networking, and exchanges.
This collaboration between the Karlsruhe Department of Cultural Affairs and the ZKM gives media artists the opportunity to present their works in a variety of urban locations.
“In Karlsruhe, the city and the media arts have a strong bond that impacts urban society and sends out its rays into the world. With »Connected Future«, the festival addresses social issues of global dimensions that are preying on the minds of all of us. It brings together art, science, and technology. And with the »Seasons of Media Arts« I am very pleased indeed that for the third year now Karlsruhe is presenting itself in the best possible light as a UNESCO City of Media Arts,” says the Mayor of Karlsruhe, Dr. Frank Mentrup, about the start of the festival.
In addition to the works ACCESS by Marie Sester, Saving Water by PONG.Li Studios, and The Silent Chaos of Colors by Eva Judkins and Holger Förterer, which could not be shown last year due to the pandemic, this year’s exhibition also includes a number of works supported by the City of Karlsruhe’s UNESCO Media Arts Project Support Program. Also on display are two works from the international City to City initiative, launched by the Media Arts Cluster of the UNESCO Creative Cities network, the work Klangkanal by Peter Weibel, a literary dialogue with the artworks produced by the Badisches Staatstheater, and new works by Karlsruhe artists Sarah Degenhardt, Sarai Rose Duke, Rainer Kehres, Jia Liu, Didi Müller, Andreas Siefert, Gerardo Nolasco-Rózsás, and Dan Wilcox.
The »Seasons of Media Arts« will be staged at numerous locations in the city’s public spaces. These include Werderplatz, Südliche Waldstraße, Stephanplatz, and the Nymphengarten. In addition, visitors will discover media artworks in shop windows and foyers, at the Badisches Staatstheater, in the Kinemathek Karlsruhe, in the Tollhaus, in the ZKM, and at the Regierungspräsidium on Rondellplatz.
“The festival is unique because it brings media art into the public realm where people live and work, meet or stroll. A must-attend event for all media art enthusiasts!” says Deputy Mayor Dr. Albert Käuflein.
The opening of the festival is also the moment when Dr. Susanne Asche retires and hands over the reins to her successor Dominika Szope, who will head the Karlsruhe Department of Cultural Affairs, and thus also direct the major undertaking of the UNESCO City of Media Arts, from October 1.
“The »Seasons of Media Arts« are the result of new thinking, promotion of culture, and good cooperation. In this way a space for creativity and reflection on the issues of our times can be created that inspires, crosslinks, and connects,” says Dominika Szope, ZKM.
All works featured in the »Seasons of Media Arts« can be accessed with the browser-based app UrbanExplorAR via two different use modes: via location sharing and augmented reality, the works can be explored in their real environment, and in addition the app offers biographical and content-related information on the respective works and artists.
Twice a week, the ZKM organizes free bicycle tours to the artworks in the city. More information at zkm.de/tours-workshops.