area: Media Art
recommending institutionTransforming Freedom
time periodJune 2007 - June 2007
Report and Reflection on a month as a guest in Vienna's special "Art Palace"
The MuseumsQuartier residency was a unique and special opportunity, especially in my case as I was in between the direction of two major projects (DEAF + transmediale), both of which needed distance from one another, both in terms of time and space. The residency provided me with a rich 'neutral' space within which I could reflect on the work with V2_Institute for the Unstable Media through which I had just completed the DEAF festival and the bureaucratic calm I needed to begin the conceptual preparation for the transmediale festival in Berlin. As such the residency for me was a perfect research opportunity within a rich artistic and theoretical context, allowing me to meet and discuss ideas, issues and projects with a large range of other artists and media activists ... not just those at the MQ but of course also those living in Vienna.
The one month I spent in Vienna was also very dense with events, discussions and meetings on an almost daily basis. I was invited to speak and participate at a number of events happening in Vienna, including two directly related to the MQ complex, both of which I was able to incorporate elements of into the transmediale festival research I was conducting.
The Conference „Next Step Politics!? 2009 – Piraten nach Brüssel!?“ included a discussion panel in which I joined the founder of the Swedish Pirate Party Rick Falkvinge, and Austrian MEP Eva Lichtenberger was especially interesting for me in that I was able to bridge the worlds of politics and media art activism which my co-panelists (coming from other professional backgrounds) were not immediately aware of. The ensuing discussion on ORF led us to conduct a follow-up to the conference at the transmediale in Berlin, in which Ms. Lichtenberger together with other international guests took the stage in a discussion on the discrepancies between impending copyright laws and the realities of 'the street'.
I also had the distinct honour to welcome and introduce the Slovene sound artist Marko Kosnik at the opening of his show at the MQ AiRbase. Marko was a resident in the month before me, and possibilities such as these marked some of the highlights of my stay. I later invited Marko to perform a live version of the documentation of the 'operabil' project he showed at MQ, which we integrated into a dual performance together with myself at the opening of the transmediale.
In general the interaction and possibility for collaboration between the residents was very positive and the organizers did a great job in bringing us together and introducing us. The apartment was excellent and any problems that arose were promptly dealt with by the organizers. The atmosphere was friendly and the location of the MQ in the heart of Vienna meant that we were able to directly participate in everything going on in Vienna, while still having the necessary space for retreat that makes a residency such a valuable experience. In my case the it definitely provided such a possibility, which then in a sense contributed to the success of my first transmediale. For this amazing experience I would also like to thank Andreas Leo Findeisen and the transforming freedom 'crew' who run such a diverse and invigorating range of projects resonating far beyond the confines of Vienna's cultural hub!