Exhibition, Workshop, Young Program
3 Nov 2017 – 12 Nov 2017
DIGITALE WELTEN started in November 2017 as a media art festival for young people in Frankfurt/Main. The first edition, in cooperation with visionale17, featured three artist workshops, an exhibition and a diverse supporting program.
The aim of DIGITALE WELTEN is to raise awareness for issues of network politics and questions raised by our digital society amongst young people. Through artistic approaches the program seeks to convey an emancipated use of media. Using the creative process to work with and discuss technology at eye level one’s own potential in relation to the technological lifeworld becomes tangible.
Perceiving young people as active participants of the digital world takes into consideration their notable perspectives and acknowledges their active role as critical designers of a global discourse. Furthermore, the close collaboration with the artists and designers can, after all, provide career guidance.
DIGITALE WELTEN was initiated by NODE and the Frankfurt Office for Youth and Social Affairs together with the Jugendbildungswerk and implemented in cooperation with visionale17 partners (in particular Medienzentrum Frankfurt and the local theatre Gallus Theater). Additionally, the Museum of Communication Frankfurt and MESO Digital Interiors were involved in the execution of DIGITALE WELTEN through the provision of workshop space and materials.
DIGITALE WELTEN will be continued and extended as an offer of cultural and political media education in Frankfurt.
The DIGITALE WELTEN program included three workshops with media artists and designers. While all dealt with the medium of film or video the three different focuses animation, sound design and media installation addressed different interests and talents of the participants.
Thanks to the cooperation with visionale17 the subject of freedom of expression was targeted in all workshops. Methods used were also examined on their influence on public and digital opinion-forming processes. The digital society was continuously discussed and critically examined. While for some participants topics like filter bubbles or fake news were completely new, others brought their critical knowledge to the discussion. Using the tools and materials offered in creative ways and developing ideas and prototypes, results to proudly present in the exhibition were quickly achieved. Individual growth was noticeable in all participants. While some of them had brought specific learning interests and goals to the table others were open to ideas and could be introduced to a new field of interest.
What does freedom sound like? Based on movie classics we examine how the sound of engagement and activism is produced. What does a revolution in a silent movie from 100 years ago sound like? How could it sound today?
Together we embark on the search: Equipped with recording devices (whether professional equipment or smart phones), listen to the street, listen in, get creative and arrange our own soundtrack. But, where can we find sounds? Do we have to produce them ourselves? Or do we just have to listen more closely?
Using professional music software (Ableton Live) we will alter film clips. We will analyse the recorded sounds, examine them for their effect, find out manipulation by sound effects can add to them. What is ‘real sound’? Is it even important that sound is ‘real’ or is it more important that we say something about the world as we see it?
Aljoscha van Bebber is a social worker, artist and musician. In his work he creatively alters public space and tries to redefine it. His brother Johannes van Bebber, a musician and lecturer, creates virtual worlds and real theatre stages. Together and as solo musicians they produce electronic music.
The UN Declaration of Human Rights states that everyone has a right to a free opinion. To achieve this we should be able to seek and disseminate information through any kind of media without restrictions.
In a time when we are constantly surrounded by various media one might think that we have already reached this unlimited freedom. However, we have all heard that we do not have free and uninfluenced access to information. But hardly anyone can keep an overview of what this means exactly.
In the workshop we will become critical media artists ourselves and design installations for the visionale17 exhibition: We will examine our individualized streams on YouTube and other social media, pick our hits and flops and design our very own ‘filter bubble’.
Kati Hyyppä is a Berlin-based media artist and craft expert. She brings robots to life and creates weaving looms for the world after the apocalypse. Kati’s favorite artist supply stores are DIY stores, 1-Euro shops, electronics retailers or any well-stocked garbage bin.
Smartphones and tablets are very popular and rather inexpensive. They allow you to access digital content at any location and add content within the given frameworks. Likes, shares, reviews, forum posts – perhaps, there might be even more possibilities? Are we using the full potential of this small tool?
During the workshop we will use the smartphone as a design and animation tool. We will get to know simple but clever do-it-yourself solutions for professionally animated films, creatively deal with our self-generated content and cover a range of formal and technical experiments, storytelling methods and ideas on how to convey a message. We will develop animated films, holograms and DIY projectors to show in the visionale17 exhibition.
LWZ is located in Vienna, Sebastian Pataki in Frankfurt. They are involved in a wide range of projects between graphic design, animation and illustration.
The DIGITALE WELTEN exhibition immediately followed the workshop program. Here, too, the topic of freedom of expression was the main focus. The results of the workshops were presented as well as additional projects of young people who had previously participated at ‘Jugend hackt Frankfurt am Main’ and ‘visionale im Quartier’.
The exhibition was open from 9th to 12th November 2017 during the program times of visionale17 and located in the foyer of Gallus Theater Frankfurt. All exhibition days were very well attended. We were especially happy about some visitors who explicitly came for the exhibition. The young artists and workshop participants returned several times with friends and relatives to proudly present their works of art.
Together with a large number of visitors, friends and families of the participants and those interested in media art the exhibition was officially opened on 9 November 2017. In a keynote speech Prof. Bernhard Kayser (University of Applied Sciences Frankfurt) explained the relevance of transdisciplinary media education in relation to cultural and political education.
The exhibition was continuously supervised by a team of mediators and young media educators. They were available for questions on the work, the content and the context of DIGITALE WELTEN and were able to convey the exhibition in individual discussions. Their commitment enabled a continuous and exciting discussion among all visitors.
The exhibition was complemented by a pop-up workshop entitled ‘Let’s build Robot Bugs!’ by artists Carolin Liebl and Nikolas Schmid-Pfähler. Visitors had the opportunity to program small robots and customize them. This pop-up workshop was designed to set the mood for dealing with technology and to be a foretaste of the future of DIGITALE WELTEN.
The festival was a perfect pilot: In the workshops, critical discussions were held on network culture, creative experiments were made and concrete ideas worked on. For all participants an individual learning success was noticeable. New perspectives on individual media usage were developed and discussed with friends and family.
The exhibition served as an important means of receiving recognition for what had been achieved. It was a meeting place for colleagues, partners, young people, parents and family members as well as those interested in media art. Being part of an established event, this was also the perfect way to introduce the new format DIGITALE WELTEN to a broad public.
Visitor feedback was consistently positive. Talks with visitors were usually inspired by the topics of the workshops. Thus, with it were not just the young people who were given the impetus to take a critical look at their actions in the digital society.