paraflows – Platform for Digital Art and Culture
Q21 Backstage: paraflows is a platform for digital art and culture. Since 2006, it has been organising festivals relating to specific subjects such as UTOPIA (2008), URBAN HACKING (2009), Reverse Engineering (2012), Open Culture (2013), Digital Migration (2015), Id/entity (2016), apocalypse (2018) or PROTESTFormen (2021).
Since 2011, paraflows has been producing re_composed festival, exploring the problem of composition in the digital age. Since 2017, the paraflows portfolio includes international travelling exhibitions on varying topics.
Interview with Günther Friesinger
Who are you?
I am an artist, a cultural worker, a curator and a producer. Since 1988, I’ve been active in various cultural institutions and projects, especially in the fields of music, film, theatre, visual arts and media art. Many of my projects take place in the context of the internationally active art-technology-philosophy collective monochrome, for which I also serve as managing director. In 2006, we initiated paraflows to make the local digital arts and culture scene more visible and to connect it to international positions.
Since when has paraflows been part of Q21/MQ?
paraflows has been a part of Q21/MQ since its foundation in 2006.
How big is your team?
It depends on the project. Of course, for a festival we require a bigger team than for curating and producing an exhibition or a research project in the field of digital culture.
What’s the meaning behind the name paraflows?
paraflows stems from para – ‘in front of‘ or ‘behind‘ – and flow, meaning the net. The name, which we came up with founding the festival back in 2006, also references the very first festival topic, “The Nets Behind the Net”. It relates to the question of when it is necessary to move a project or a process back from the net into real space.
What are your fields of activity?
paraflows is a platform for digital art and culture. Since 2006, it has been organising festivals relating to specific subjects. Since 2011, paraflows has been producing re_composed festival, exploring the problem of composition in the digital age. Since 2017, the paraflows portfolio includes international travelling exhibitions on varying topics. From November 2012 until October 2016, we worked on the EU project EMEE – Eurovision Museums Exhibiting Europe, which was about an exploration of European identity, but also about developing modules and toolkits for exhibition dramaturgy, scenography and the use of social and interactive media in museums and exhibitions. Many of the project results were put to the practical test in the context of paraflows.
How do you reach your goals? What challenges do you face?
We explore current problems and try to align our projects accordingly. The challenge I see is that, too often, digital art and culture are not given the importance they deserve.
What is important to you?
Our goals are wide access to digital art and culture and sustainable acquisition of knowledge relating to the field. We focus on open data because we believe that freely accessible data does not only lead to more transparency and collaboration, but also to more knowledge. We also experiment with formats such as little BarCamps or the possibility of becoming an individual member of a specific project.
A perfect workday…
…does not start before 10 am, because I am a night owl.
Where can we experience your work?
Currently we are working on the production of ‘re_composed’ festival, taking place at Echoraum from 19 to 22 October this year. Simultaneously, we are collaborating with ‘Vienna‘s Urban Art - Kunst (in) der Stadt’ to develop new communication concepts for art in public spaces, e.g., apps, short films or 3D animation. We are also preparing a new digital exhibition format for a travelling exhibition.
Header image: © Kathrin Hunze
Date: Wed 19.10. – Sat 22.10.
Venue: Echoraum, Sechshauser Str. 66, 1150 Vienna
The twelfth edition of the festival re_composed will take place from October 19 to 22, 2022 in the Echoraum. The festival will feature contemporary composers whose work addresses the question of composing in a digital world and who continue to explore this question in their music, compositions and works.