MediaForum 2000




The British Council, Moscow

Royal Netherlands Embassy

Netherlands Royal Embassy in Moscow


(June 24-27, 2002)
 in the frame of XXIV Moscow International Film Festival



This year Media Forum includes the following parts:

1) First presentation of the programme «Russian Video Art Anthology» out of «MediaArtLab» collection. 1980-2002.
2) Presentational video programs
• the Netherlands Media Art Institute Montevideo / Time Based Arts. Retrospective of video art.
Urban Visionaries. A program of the British videos and cinema avantguards
• International Short Film Festival Oberhausen. MuVi-Reel 2001

«Russian Video Art Anthology»

Programme 1
«Cinema and video art –the border. The Utopia of slow video».

Reality captured on cinefilm is fractured, while reality captured on video lingers. Unlike the motion-picture camera, the camera-recorder records image and sound simultaneously. If the cinefilm achieves the distancing effect, the major achievement of video is an ability to create a copy of reality. Cinema being a human mind’s discontinuity incarnate, invented after the “Death of God”, it is video that returns to human kind the holistic world view. A human being with a discontinuous consciousness, brought up within the cinema culture, looks into a syncretic thinking camera-recorder. What will come of it?
(Milena Musina).
Programme 2
«Aesthetic and technological experiments in video art».

The definitions of “artistic experiment” or “experimental creativity” can be run across fairly often in contemporary art and especially video art project description. It is not only a manifestation of a critic’s or art historian’s vagueness concerning both aims, problems and artistic quality of a given work, perceived as a creative process not as a finished product in the traditional sense. It is also an evidence of a very important methodological transformation that has irrevocably changed the 20-th century aesthetic paradigm. All the above applies to video art, which has become a field of experimental study and trial for various ideas, methods, technologies, not necessarily coming initially from the contemporary art arsenal.
(Tatiana Gorucheva).
Programme 3
«Videoart and TV»

The artist is the medium of the media space. This is one of the main character traits of the nature of art from its beginnings to our days, independent of its surroundings, allowing us to interpret the role of a video artist as a spiritualist, ventriloquist, messiah and ingenious crook. Indeed, wherever our medium is to be found, no matter what the country or technological level of its civilisation, he never loses the chance to become the centre of attention. The television broadcasts of the 20-th century gave him new opportunities. The whole historical diversity of artistic manipulation of the viewer and own image became accessible through mass-media technologies on TV screen. On the other hand, the television, due to broadcaster virtualisation technologies and the possibility to turn informational channels into “super” reality of the viewers existence, is rapidly itself becoming a mutant medium, changing its mask every minute.
(Alexei Isaev).
Program 4
«Video art and mass visual culture».

With the beginning of postmodern era the fine arts have ceased to be the sphere that defined the visual image of a culture. Mass production of various quality and multipurpose images, often aggressively introduced into the everyday surroundings of a human being made scholars change their view point on the problem of art production and articulate the new phenomenon as a field of culture studies defined as visual culture.
The process of communication language formation for the contemporary visual culture is mostly determined by technologies used in creation, reproduction and distribution of images. The first to notice their major role in changing artistic image ‘s function and status was Walter Benjamin in his article “The work of art in the era of mechanical reproduction” (1935) which later became a keynote for contemporary culture and art research. The gist of this transformation is: from creating a distanced reality image, to reproducing reality as such by the new techniques, a reproduction utterly convincing and thrilling the viewer by its intensity - for instance, on screen. The other important feature of this transformation is the easiness of reproduction, replication and mass distribution of visual products, which has made it accessible for all, so that the image as such has lost its value and became an object of economical and political manipulation.
(Tatiana Gorucheva).
Programme 5
«Performance and video in contemporary Russian art».

This part explores the border territory of Russian art, created by the mutual attraction of two genres, performance and video… In the English-language critical tradition a conceptualising system for video and performance interaction of has already been established, while in the Russian tradition it is now in the process of being formed. The central concept here is video performance. It is widely used in description of art actions documentary, performances made specially for the camera, art works integrating action into installation in “close circuit” and TV –experiments.
The concept is narrowed in such terms as “performance-oriented tape” and “tape of actions”, more appropriate for documentation, and on the other hand, the terms “performance-based video” or “performance-and-video piece” - describing works of a more symbiotic kind. There is also a term for various border genre experiments - “theatrical video performance”.
(Konstantin Bokhorov).
Programme 6
«Visual Music».

For a long time the art of light, colour and movement was growing in the deep recesses of traditional arts - music, painting, musical theatre scenography and ballet, realised by various means and techniques and called by different names. In cinematography it was known as “absolute film” or “abstract animation”, while in video art it is usually called “video synthesis” or “image processing”. 
Many artists have invented their own unique instruments for moving visual images’ synthesis and projection, each of these instruments given a special name: «Clavilux», «Lumia», «Mobilcolor», «Colour Music», “Optophone piano”, ”LightMusic”, etc. 
Nowadays this tradition continues in creation of special computer software.
Andrei Smirnow.
Programme 7
«Video art and youth (club) culture».

With a competent PR campaign - i.e. mentioned in the mass media, a contemporary culture event becomes a model for reproduction. Thus functions the youth popular culture by reproducing fashionable images, new technologies and communication forms.
During the first half of the 1990’s in Russia, we first notice the club culture phenomena, including chaotic reproduction of video and audio images, the clichés of contemporary art in a averaged, i.e. popular context.
In this the young generation of new technology art disciples has modernised the aesthetic demands of the consumer, finishing the experiment of “capitalist-type culture product” creation in the club and TV spaces.
(Olga Shishko).

Urban Visionaries (support: The British Council)
Composed by Helen de Witt (Great Britain),
Presented by Rhidian Davis.

Is a unique collection of artists' films, commissioned by the London Film and Video Development Agency and representing the depth of the talent pool of artists working in the film medium. At a time when more and more visual artists are experimenting with the film medium , this diverse programme of shorts re-evaluates and challenges cliched preconceptions of what "experimental" means. These are visionary films
offering an eclectic mix of fiction and fact, extending the boundaries of the often conventional and conformist world of short film. 
This is a programme guaranteed to transfix audiences. And the diverse group of filmmakers represented here will be available to introduce
screenings and talk about their work. 

Montevideo/Times Based Arts, Amsterdam
Support: Netherlands Royal Embassy in Moscow
Presented by Jan Shujren, Netherland 

The following videoprograms present a selection of works out of the 100 video art works coming from the collection of the Netherlands Media Art Institute, Amsterdam, which will be made available at the Mediatheque (Moscow, MediaArtLab - for individual viewings and educational screenings) 
This project and presentation has been realized through a co-operation between the Netherlands Media Art Institute, Montevideo/Time Based Arts, Amsterdam and MediaArtlab, Moscow, with the
generous support from the Netherlands Royal Embassy in Moscow.

International Short Film Festival Oberhausen
MuVi-Reel 2001
Presented by Ulrike Erbsloeh 
In 1999 the Short Film Festival Oberhausen introduced the world's first festival prize for a music video made in Germany - the MuVi Online Award. The impulse to create this award arose out of the observation that music videos had increasingly managed to emancipate themselves from their purely illustrative and advertising function, transforming themselves into a completely independent form of visualisation and image formation.

In its three years of existence, the MuVi Award has become a crossroads and forum for directors, labels, the music press and the short film scene - a place both to make discoveries and to be discovered. In 2001, a new MuVi Audience Prize was added on. In the guise of the MuVi Online Award this new prize was announced by the Short Film Festival in conjunction with MTV and the entertainment portal,

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