Feature of the Month March 2010

Violence Online Festival –
Violence Online Festival


Short note:
Violence Online Festival was active between 2002 and 2004, starting in August 2002 as online part of Violens Festival Tabor/Czech Republic, since March 2004, Violence Online Festival is complete and became an integral part of the global networking project [R][R][F] 200X environment,

Summary:“Violence” is a New Media art project in form of an online festival reflecting the phenomenon of “Violence”, curated, organized and created in Flash by Agricola de Cologne, curator and media artist operating from Cologne/Germany. As an ongoing project Violence Online Festival is developed for being presented in future in the framework of physical and virtual media festivals and exhibitions. For each event a new project version will be created adjusted to the actual needs including additions of new artists/works and other changes.

Violence is an expression of speechlessness, of lack of communication. The best solution to eliminate violence and confrontation is looking for communicating, dialogue and networking, starting already in the smallest cell of society: the family, which leads in consequence to openness against the different, tolerance. A good example on the way to that represents the net based art project – http://www.a-virtual-memorial.org – Memorial project against the Forgetting and for Humanity.” (by Agricola de Cologne, published as Article20 in – Covenant of the Articles of Artistic Mediation on World Mediation Summit Washington 2002 )

The human character contains both a light and a dark side, good and bad, individually manifested. Deeply rooted is a dark-sided element: Violence. In happy surroundings, it becomes hardly visible and in less happy surroundings – either of a physical, psychological, environmental, ideological, economic or political nature – nearly automatically a kind of survival strategy with all the known consequences we see manifested in conflicts on a small or large scale. Violence is present anywhere, hidden or sleeping, hesitating, waiting or in action, starting from simple mobbing via verbal or physical attacks, the bandwidth has no end. Nowadays, globalization, social injustice, unemployment, increasing wealth on one side and on the opposite increasing poverty (without mentioning some causes) produce a climate where violence has a fertile soil. From the attack on 9/11 in the USA, people from the Western civilization became painfully aware that security of any kind is a mere illusion; not only the internal, but also the external enemy is present anywhere. Artists are said to be the consciousness of a nation or society as they reflect the actual state of the psychological and physical environment. When this state is penetrated by violence, nobody is surprised that violence becomes a universal subject for artistic reflection, the difference may only be the view on it and its perception depending on the respective cultural background. ‘Art and violence both seem to stem from the abstract: that place beyond logic, the realm of the emotion. When they intersect we are simultaneously repelled and attracted, frightened and excited. Historically this meeting has been wrought with complexity, and as cultural violence in every society increases, we are prevented by paranoia, censorship and ethical demands
from asking, and sometimes even posing, some of the most important questions violence and art together and separately produce: how is violence represented, and what or how much of it do we need to resist the cultivation of fear and the encouragement of dependency? Is violence a tool, a process or a result? When are artistic portrayals of violence justifiable? As intellectual exercise, ritual, or spiritual enhancement? For other purposes? Or are they never justifiable? Is violence in art an action, reaction, or reflection? ‘ (quotation: festival statement). How different the results of an artistic reflection can be is shown through the Violence Online Festival including more than 300 artists from 42 countries presenting their work. It forms a dynamic collaborative art work presenting very individual visions and use of media. The relevance of violence becomes visible also through the high quality standard of all the included works. Each of them represents another aspect of violence – caught in textual poetry, running as a video or embedded in an interactive environment of a net-based art work. In reaction to the key role (mass) media plays by displaying and even promoting violence, a new environment (interface) has been created for Violence Online Festival, which houses and hosts the art works within a virtual media company named “Violence Media Incorporated”. By dividing the company into different departments (eg. “Violence for Happiness” , Violence Marketing” or “Violence Broadcasting”), it becomes clear that their meaning has a rather ironic or sarcastic character, which gives the embedded art works a new meaning. While surfing through this environment, the visitor is forced to ask and give answers, and becomes slowly a part of this network of art through his reflections and changes of perception.

Violence Online Festival presentations
* Version 1.0 : Online part of Violens Festival Tábor (Czech Republic) 17 – 31 August 2002
* Version 1.1 : Featured on A Virtual Memorial www.a-virtual-memorial.org Sept. 2003
* Version 2.0: Computer Space Festival 2002 Sofia (Bulgaria) (18-21 Oct 2002) and Liberarti Festival /Liverpool Biennale 2002 (10 Oct – 01 Dec 2002)
*Award: Special Prize of Computer Space Festival Sofia (Bg)
*Version 3.0: “e-magic_cybermedia events”
43th International Film Festival Thessaloniki (Greece) 12 – 16 November 2002
*Version 4.0 “New Media Nation – Festival of Festivals, Bratislava (SK) 20-22 Feb. 2003
*Version 4.1 Spotlight: TURBULENCE/New York launch on 4 March 2003
*Version 5.0 “Videoformes – 20-23 March 2003
18th International Video &Multimedia Festival Clermont-Ferrand (France)
*Version 6.0 1st New Media Art Festival Chiang Mai (Thailand) 4-15 April 2003
*Version 6.1 Net Art Open 2003 – Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA) Dublin *Version 7.0 PEAM 2003 – Pescara Electonic Art Festival *Version 7.1 Web Biennial 2003 Istanbul Museum (Turkey) *Version 7.2 Fibreculture Conference – Digital Literacies – Brisbane/Australia (11-13 July) *Version 8.0 //Open-air at Royal Gardens (Copenhagen/DK)
curated by Pio Diaz and Eva Sjuve (10-31 August 2003)
// File 2003 – Electronic Language Festival Sao Paulo (Brazil )14-27 August // Nonetart Festival – Arte Digital Rosario 2003 (Arentina) 15-27 August
Version 9.1 at “Globalization” on Wigged.net – January-December 2004
*Version 10.0+